words by Andy Chalmers (@gkg.nz), photos by Steve Garratt (@steve_steve_garratt)
The Tuatara bikepacking route around the deep south of New Zealand grew out of a desire to share the quietness, adventure, and views of my childhood region. The timing seemed right as the world began to slowly climb out of a COVID soup. While 2021 might have been a little early for the first edition, following its successful adventure around the deep south, many seemed keen for their turn in 2022. However, for 2022, I wanted to somehow capture and share the story of the route, the places, and touch on the friendships we can make through riding our bikes.
It always pays to use the right people for the task, and it was with this ethos in mind that I met up with Cam Haylock for coffee. A youth worker with a passion for all things surf, skate, and snow, and a dab hand behind the camera, I was keen to see if he would be interested in capturing an adventure of the two-wheeled kind.
Cam in his role as founder at the Thanks Foundation was quick to understand the heart of the event and assemble a team that would benefit from being a part of the adventure. After a number of planning sessions poring over route details and expected time frames, February 2022 soon rolled around.
The crew assembled and began the adventure of capturing the adventure. Late nights, early mornings, interesting campsites, and far too much fast food very quickly created a fresh appreciation in the film crew for the sport of riding a bike alone and for a long time at pace.
Once the week was over, Cam then locked himself into editor mode and soon brought the first cut over for a view. We watched together, sitting in the lounge. As the credits rolled he enquired, “So, what do you want to change?” as if I had any rights to his paintbrush.
We then had the joy of taking the film on a mini tour, first the world premier at the Hollywood, a local institution in Sumner Christchurch where the Thanks Foundation is based. A sell-out crowd enjoyed their evening before we were on the road to Gore for a screening in my home town, the home of the Tuatara start/finish line, then off to Dunedin for another sell-out night.
As always, there are many people to thank for supporting the adventure. Cam and his Thanks Foundation crew for understanding the heart and capturing the story so well. Grant at Julbo NZ for getting onboard at day one. The Ground Effect Crew for understanding the importance of a good adventure. And, MAProgress as always. Thanks for being here.
You must be logged in to post a comment.