Saturday, February 25, 2012

Transport North to South Island New Zealand, Bring your MTB

Mountain Biking

Jim Larsen is offering a flight service for the Heaphy Track with his Cessna 185 6 seater aircraft.

The track is being opened for mountain bikes in May 2011.  

This service includes the Marlborough Sounds. He will do North and South Island pickups.  

He can land you at the Heaphy Track either at Brown Hut or Karamea.  

He can land at Havelock and other locations by arrangement.  

He can carry 4 bikes and 4 passengers.

Landings at Canaan Downs to connect with the Rameka cycle track.

Total cost from Takaka airfield including a view of Takaka and Harwoods Hole $300 for 1 to 4 passengers & bikes.  

For additional information contact Jim on 0800 150 338

To carry 4 bikes & 4 passengers
1 BikeFits as is
Number 2 & 3 bikesremove front wheels from frame + pedals & possibly handle bars
Number 4 bikeThe same as number 2 & 3 + rear wheel removed
Flight costs
Flights  from Taranaki / Wanganui / Paraparaumu  To Brown Hut & return from Karamea.
Total cost $2300 / 

Local  flights are based on 1 bike & 1 passenger = $200  example.
Nelson /  Motueka /  Takaka / Brown Hut / Karamea

Scenic Flights

Fly with Jim in his 5 pass Cessna 185. He has years of flying experience over the area. High wings give excellent viewing. An opportunity to open a window makes ideal photography.

For more information, email or call Jim on 03 525 6167 or 0800 150 338. Please leave a message if the phone is not answered. Messages are checked regularly.

Click here to make a booking.

$40 SCENIC FLIGHTS$40 scenic flight takes you from Takaka airfield along the coast to Wainui Bay - Takaka Town - Pupu Springs.

FAREWELL SPIT FLIGHTS FROM $62Flight includes/ depart Takaka airfield via Cape Farewell - Farewell Spit light house-Wainui Bay-Takaka township-Pupu springs.

Aircraft hire total = $310
Therefore cost split between 5 passengers = $62 each
Therefore cost split between 3 passengers = $104 each

Flights over Farewell Spit, Cape Farewell, Kohurangi and Tasman National Parks.Call or visit is us at our Takaka Airport base to select a flight path and discuss prices.

------------------------------------ Andrew Sheldon

MTB in Rotorua

"A lot of visitors see Rotorua as a mountainbiking Mecca."
Many mountain biking enthusiasts love the MTB tracks in Rotorua, stating that there are a lot of great areas and it is more affordable to have a holiday in Rotorua.

This is a great article about Rotorua Mountain Biking from NZ Herald.

MALFROY motor lodge Rotorua has been listed as one of the BEST HOTEL Bargain’s in the entire South Pacific. Click here to see the list - Top 25 Bargain Hotels in South Pacific.  This award is based on the criteria that tourists find most important:- rates, facilities, amenities, location, and customer service. MALFROY motor lodge Rotorua Accomodation offers:

·        $125 per night for 2 in a Studio Apartment with Massage shower / Spa:
·        Free Wifi Broadband, and Free local calls
·        32” LCDTV with DVD Player and 6 Satellite channels,
·        Free DVD library
·        Fully supplied Kitchenette with hot plates, microwave, fridge, pots, pans etc.
·        Mineral Spa and heated Plunge Pool in the tropical garden, along with a guest barbecue area
·        Free off-street parking
·        Children's playground
·        On-site laundry service
·        Free Tour Desk, with numerous discounts
·        Unbeatable customer service

“Great value & friendly service” - This is a good standard motel, run by a friendly owner in a good central location."
Shanghai (From UK) - December 2011
“A most excellent stay” - We absolutely loved our stay at Malfroy Motor Lodge. Our room had everything you could possibly need including a kitchen area with a great array of kitchen utensils, a spa shower and the most comfortable bed we'd slept in for a long time."
Wellington, NZ - December 2011
"Friendly helpful owners, wonderful beds - Great hot pools, handy to the city. What more could you want?"
New Zealand - December 2011 

Visit our MALFROY motor lodge Website 
Read our Rotorua Motor Lodge, MALFROY Blog 
Tourist information Rotorua 
Things to do Rotorua 
Family Accommodation Rotorua 
Sports Team Accommodation Rotorua 
Mineral Pool Rotorua 
Serviced Apartments Rotorua
------------------------------------ Andrew Sheldon

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mountain biking in Surigao del Norte, Philippines

According to Wikipedia:
"Great trails run all around the Cities of Butuan and Surigao, Surigao del sur, Agusan del Norte and Siargao. There are regular cross-country and downhill competitions done in these areas which are participated by local and international bikers. Caraga has an active and hospitable biking scene. Butuan or Surigao-based bikers regularly tour the rugged terrain of the region and are eager to show their routes to new comers".
Andrew Sheldon

Buying a mountain bike in Japan

Mountain biking is one of the best ways to get around Japan after trains. If you are thinking about buying a mountain bike in Japan - my advice is DONT because there are better options:
1. Existing bike users: Probably every foreigner (gaijin) guy who lives in Japan buys a MTB - find out from classifieds who is leaving the country. If they are desperate to leave you might pick up a cheap one . They probably used it for less than a year. Try sites like and forums. also has a classifieds section
2. Local councils: Every local government has a recycling depot where they process trash. There must be 100 million bicycles in Japan. These bikes get dumped at local depots every time the police do a sweep of illegally parked bikes, or residents dump them somewhere because they are moving and cant afford to take them with them. Many families don't even bother to collect them, and more still leave them there so the police will take them. Some are just left in the park.

I got a great mountain bike for free by going to the local depot. Sure there was a lot of rusty rubbish there, but there was also a shiny orange one that I was able to get. The local government advised me to file the previous owners name off the bike, but I didn't want to do this because I would have no recourse if the police questioned me. I had no title to it, no receipt. So check if you can get a recipe. But you can't knock a free bike.
The Japanese don't think to ask at these places, and are too snooty to even consider using a second hand bike, or anything used for that matter. Usually these 2nd hand things end up being exported to Asian countries like the Philippines or Vietnam.
I used a girls bike (with a basket) for about a month before I came across this free bicycle supply. You don't even need Japanese. Just go there and grab the bike, and when they query you, ask 'Daijobe' - Is this OK? If they 'Daijobe' - no prob, if its anything else, get an interpreter. Personally I find having a Japanese person with you makes you smell like roses. You have the credibility of being Japanese if your are with a Japanese person.

Buying a mountain bike in the Philippines

There is a place in Paranaque, Metro Manila which is well known for customising your mountain bike. I bought one here for Y10,000, then changed a few things, eg. I paid a little extra for a better seat and foam (non-sweat) grips. Having purchased the bike I was having troubles within 2 weeks:
1. Peddles: I wa riding along and one of the peddles fell off. The problem was that the peddle was incorrectly lined. This cost me an extra P3000.
2. Gears: The gears were not compatible with the bike. The bike was Taiwanese, so designed for a 7-speed gearset, but it was an 8-speed Shimano gearset, so they had a spacer filling the gap. After about 4 weeks the spacer broke, so the gears were loose, so the chain was falling in between the crack. That cost me an extra P2000.
This bicycle was starting to cost me. Well it did look good!
Andrew Sheldon

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mountain biking at Lake Taal, Batangas, Philippines

One of the attractions of the Philippines is that the high rainfall and humidity tends to chemically whether most rocks into fine soils. This makes them great for mountain biking. I went for a drive on the weekend along the edge of Lake Taal. There are several attractions of this area.
1. The view of the volcano - better scene from Tagaytay, but from Laurel you can get a ferry over there.
2. The view of My Macolot near Cuenca
3. The mountain biking in the area
4. The boat services from Laurel to the volcanic island. For those of you unaware, Lake Taal has a resurgent cone in the middle of Lake Taal. According to family, Lake Taal had its last serious eruption around 45 years ago. It produced ashfalls over about a week before settling down. But that's the personal account of a 7 year old.

The mountain biking trail is actually the road running alongside the lake, from Tubig to Laurel. These towns are accessible from San Nicholas or Batangas in the south, and Tagaytay and Talisay in the north. Might route notes included:
1. Aguncillo is a small town after San Nicholas
2. Bgy Guitna
2. Bgy Panhulan has nice trees along the street.
3. Subic town.
4. Tubig has nothing of note, but its where the concrete road turns to the dirt we like for mountain biking. The road is only slightly undulating; its nice black soil, so there is little prospect of getting a flat tyre. The excellent soil arises because its unconsolidated ash deposited from the volcano over millions of years. If you are interested in geology, you will see great road cuttings on this section.
5. The road rises a little higher at Bilbinwang.
6. Bgy Buso Buso was a very nice, near the lake. There is a good view of the volcano there.
7. At Gulod the road goes up and back down. I didn't see any good views from the top. Take the right turn at Gulod that takes you the shorter and flatter route to Laurel.

The trip makes sense from Tagaytay since you can get accommodation there, or at Talisay or Laurel. there are a lot of resorts along the lakeshore. It might be a better MTB trip if you combine it with a boat ride to the volcano from Laurel. The 3rd photo above is a view of the volcano from the viewing deck of a resort in the area.
Andrew Sheldon

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

International commercial MTB trips

Looking for a mountain biking tour provider - the following website strikes me as an aggregator of localised MTB tour providers around the country. See
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