How to buy a bicycle in Auckland

On the last day of November, I found myself in Auckland – the largest city of New Zealand. This was my second time here. The first time was six years ago on my round the world trip when I was too lazy to write a blog. However, back then I wrote an article about Auckland (for money), whose main purpose was to explain how the North Island of New Zealand looks like a fish and Auckland would be its anus

 

Auckland is not exactly a Manhattan but coming here after five months in Melanesia it felt like a super busy place. The first day I had problems crossing streets and I got completely lost in a shopping mall - took me about an hour to find an exit. It was refreshing to be in a place where I could be anonymous, but then noone would say hello on the street.

Auckland is not exactly a Manhattan but coming here after five months in Melanesia it felt like a super busy place. The first day I had problems crossing streets and I got completely lost in a shopping mall – took me about an hour to find an exit. It was refreshing to be in a place where I could be anonymous, but then noone would respond to my hellos on the street.

I wanted to buy a bicycle in Auckland and then spend the next few months (as long as New Zealand’s summer weather allowed) cycling. Back in 2008 I travelled mostly on the South Island (including by bicycle) and now I wanted to concentrate on the North Island.

I spent ten days readjusting to civilization and rediscovering shopping therapy. I needed to buy a lot of things for the bike, but my first priority was shoes since I had nothing but slippers on me coming from the tropics. And my first day in Auckland was very cold.

I also tried to take care of my 3-4 tropical ulcers that had developed while I was in Vanuatu. They started as small scratches or mosquito bites that I scratched and got so infected that by the time I arrived in NZ they were huge and deep. I am not posting pictures because they were pretty disgusting. They ended up not healing and with me paying around 300 NZD to doctors and for two type of antibiotics. Now I have some pretty nasty scars on my legs, but the wounds have healed. I had thought for a long time about getting a tattoo while in the Pacific (that’s where tattoos come from originally). Got myself some scars instead. Same thing, aint it!

Mt Eden is a nice extinct volcano where I did some geocaching and had a walk in the bush.

Mt Eden is a nice extinct volcano in the middle of the city, where I did some geocaching and had a walk in the bush.

Buying a bicycle does not happen overnight. I wasted a couple of days going to all the chain bike shops that had 50% discounts for Christmas. But they are quite expensive to begin with. Finally I made it to a shop called Adventure Cycles that a few people had already recommended to me. It’s run by an ex-American guy named Bruce who is a cycling enthusiast. They have some pretty good deals for used bikes and take things very seriously.

Ladies and gentlement, Traicho Junior. He's named after Traicho, my South American companion, who was a Trek 3900. Traicho Junior is a Trek 800 and a size on the smaller side for me, but it was love at first sight.

Ladies and gentlement, Traicho Junior. He’s named after Traicho, my South American companion, who was a Trek 3900. Traicho Junior is a Trek 800 and of a size that is on the smaller side for me, but it was love at first sight.

 

More Auckland

More Auckland

There were also free apples at this place. New Zealand's economy is based on agriculture but fruit, vegetables and milk are ridiculously expensive.

There were also free apples at this place. New Zealand’s economy is based on agriculture but fruit, vegetables and milk are ridiculously expensive.

 

Auckland7

Auckland9

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Auckland8

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Not even is it the middle of summer on Christmas, but their Santas are also skinny. This one had an artificial belly.

Not even is it the middle of summer on Christmas, but their Santas are also anorexic. This one had an artificial belly.

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