Our last full day in New Zealand, I rented a Ninjette from the folks over at nzbike.com. $70 for a full day, maybe $90 with petrol included. I headed north from Auckland on 16, found mile after mile of well-paved, well-paced roads with good cadence and spectacular scenery. Enjoyed getting completely lost in a generally northeasterly direction, hit the eastern coast, took in the surf, and hugged the coast south. It’s all farms: one lane bridges over creeks, limestone hillocks, and the occasional jaw-dropping valley opened up in the sun. Hit some dirt, a few dead ends, and generally had a grand time of it.

Everyone, everywhere, was thrilled to say hello, tell me about their farm or flower shop, and give directions. I don’t think I met a single unfriendly soul in the whole darn country. Even petrol station attendants grinned, warned me about storms to the north and pointed a better route. Maybe it’s a factor of size, maybe it’s purely cultural, but I wish the rural US were anywhere near this friendly.

Sunset lasted three hours. I don’t know how to describe it, and it doesn’t come through in photos. Been trying for the last eight hours to find an exposure that fits, but nothing feels right. The light is warm, hangs in the air thickly, coats the landscape in dusty gold.

Highway 1, north of San Francisco. I absolutely love the stretch at the crescendo; it makes me melt every time I hit those curves.

Experimenting with vibration stabilization with virtualdub deshaker, but I don’t think the 82% rolling shutter factor is correct for the 1080p mode… so the sky is dancing. Color is a little closer to what I’d like, and I got to have a little fun with that first cut to the tunnel. :)

The back side of 9, Old La Honda, Skyline, and some bits in between. Shot with a GoPro HD Hero, helmet top mounted.

Never edited anything before–a few cuts are rough, and I wasn’t aggressive enough with color grading.

6:00 AM. Oh, snap.

I think I was supposed to be on a plane. This morning? Wouldn’t I have set an alarm for that? Yeah, the plane definitely leaves at 7. Today? I packed last night–it must be today. How long does it take to get to San Jose?

An hour?

Pre-departure

Optimism prior to embarking on the Great SF-Seattle Adventure…

Crash damage

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