Judi Desire’s daily routine looks a little like our wintertime daydreams here at Bike New York. She’s spent an impressive portion of the last three years bike touring around the world, and when she happens to be in NYC, we’re lucky to have her as a volunteer at our classes and events.
Below, Judi tells us about her most recent journey through New Zealand (via Hawaii, Tasmania, and Australia), escaping the East Coast winters, her favorite touring gear, and why she sports a Bike New York cycling cap. Prepare to be transported to some truly breathtaking landscapes, because she’s also shared some of her incredible photos with us. To see more photos and to follow Judi’s adventures, check out her blog, geeketteworld.tumblr.com
What inspired you to embark on this trip?
After learning to ride as an adult in 2010 & 2011, I went on my first bike tour to South American (Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru), Spain (Camino de Santiago Compostela) and Camino de Santiago Portugal (coastline) in 2013. After that tour, I was hooked. Since then, I’ve done five other bike tours. I usually start a tour in December to celebrate my birthday and hide from the East Coast winter. For this trip, I decide to return to countries I enjoyed when I was learning to ride but missed during my backpacking in 2011 & 12. I started the tour on January 1st in Oahu, Hawaii and will end somewhere in the world in 2017. So far, I’ve been on the road for a month in Tasmania, Australia, and I’m currently touring New Zealand. I’m heading to South East Asia next.
What did you do here in the states before going on the trip?
I’m a freelance front-end developer for advertising agents.
So what’s been your favorite place on this trip so far?
My favorite has been Christchurch, New Zealand where I attended the 5th and final memorial service of the earthquake that struck Christchurch in February 2011. It was held in The Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and I felt fortunate to meet locals who were affected by the earthquake and listen to their stories to understand the recovery and healing process of the city.
Sounds like you’ve met a lot of people on your travels – who stands out?
By far, the older generation (65+) of bike tourers who are fully loaded and self supported, who laugh at the word “retirement.”
How’d you gear up for this trip?
I purchased the Trek 520 (with v-brakes) touring bike to handle difficult road conditions and weather. I’ve kept all gear from past tours.
Do you have a favorite piece of gear?
Ortlieb Rucksack adapter for panniers. It converts a pannier into a day/hiking backpack.
What’s your go-to snack or meal when you’re on the road?
COOKIES!!! I’m addicted to cookies and bar snacks (trail mix) when I’m on a tour.
I see a Bike New York cap! What’s the story with that photo?
I truly enjoyed my time as a bike instructor for the spring, summer and fall After School Program. I wear it for the kids and to representing NYC cycling! It’s a great cycling/hiking cap.
When did you first get involved with Bike New York?
I knew I had to get involved with Bike New York when I found out about the Learn to Ride – Adults class, so I began volunteering at the classes and as a marshal at group ride events.
What advice would you give to someone interested in touring?
Don’t over plan because NOTHING goes as planned. Set your own personal goals because it’s not a race or a competition, and don’t be afraid to ask locals or fellow bike tourist questions.