Meet Adam Townsend, Natural High’s new operations assistant. Hailing from Kempsey on the east coast of Australia, Adam’s hooked on cycle travelling. So hooked, in fact, that he’s made it his full-time profession! Here’s his story.
Tell us about your riding experience.
After riding BMX bikes in my youth, I got back into riding and particularly into mountain biking in 2005 through the local mountain bike club. I got hooked! Although I’ve done a few races, I’m not really into the racing scene, more of the serious social rider. The local mountain bike club has been described as a drinking club with a mountain bike problem on more than one occasion. We travelled a lot to ride different trails and race, and even flew to Rotorua twice just to ride the trails there.
In 2011, I worked for the local bike shop and then in 2013 I started my own bike shop. I have been involved with Warmshowers for a few years now and hosted many international cycle tourists as they cycled along the east coast of Australia, and that spurred my interest in cycle travelling. I met my now partner Lyndal when she cycled up the coast in 2014, and we decided to make cycle travelling a lifestyle. We packed up the bike shop and left in February 2016, cycling 5000km in Australia before flying to New Zealand in August.
We’ve cycled about 1000km of the North Island (up to the Cape and back to Auckland) but have since acquired a motorhome and a couple of dual suspension bikes to make riding fun again. And it’s working! Seasonal work with Natural High is a perfect fit for our new lifestyle and we already have plans to cycle the USA and Canada before we come back to Natural High for the 2017/18 season.
Favourite ride (either in New Zealand or overseas)?
I’d have to say the Rotorua Redwoods (yes, all of it!) would top my list as far as mountain bike trails goes. But the Mawson Trail in Australia has been our favourite off-road touring route. I like to think I’ve only just begun to discover what’s out there, and I hope my mind gets blown over and over again.
Best spot for after-biking drinks?
Anywhere that does a good cold beer and chicken schnitzel for lunch! Actually I don’t mind a good coffee after a ride, either. I’ve found a good one on the commute to work and one not far from home, which is conveniently on the way back from the Port Hills trails here in Christchurch.
What do you like to do when you’re not riding?
Even when I’m not riding, I’m usually fixing a bike, modifying a bike, reading a bike magazine, making my way to the next biking location, or scoping out some trails somewhere. If I’m not doing something bike related you can guarantee I’ll be listening to music, drinking coffee, or eating pizza….and I am never far from Lyndal.
What made you want to work for Natural High?
Adventure biking is my thing! And like all others who have found their religion, I can’t wait to spread the word and help other people see the light. Steve and Cecileah are great. I feel like family already. And the seasonal nature of my job means that I can travel in the off-season, and I know I’ve got a great job with some great people in an amazing place to come back to.
Do you have any “must-do” rides or destinations?
I still have most of the South Island to explore and it looks amazing! USA, Canada, Iceland, Europe, Japan….they’re all on the list. Some of it trail oriented, some of it tour oriented.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My motto: Do what makes you happy. Stop dreaming about the life you want and go get it. Life is way too short and pointless if you don’t live it well, or live it the way you want to.
You’ll find Adam working out of our Christchurch branch. And if his experiences have got you all fired up to embark on your own cycle tour, we’re now taking bookings for the April edition of our 9-day Twin Trails Tour. View full details here.
Have a great week,
P.S. Good luck to everyone taking part in this weekend’s Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.