"T" for two and two for Otago
In December, 2012, my wife, Julia, and I spent 3 days riding the Otago Rail Trail. This was New Zealand's first rail to trail conversion. It is in the Central Otago region in the south central part of the South Island. It runs from Clyde in the west to Middlemarch, in the east. The actual railroad went all the way to Dunedin, on the east coast, and it is possible to end or start there, though not on the rail trail.
We originally thought about renting 2 separate bikes. But, while I am an experienced bicycle tourist, my wife isn't. So, we decided to rent a tandem, instead, and simply ride it as a team.
We had never ridden a tandem before and knew that it was more difficult than simply riding one's own bicycle. So, we rented on locally for a couple hours to see if we could and would like doing it. We found it to be challenging, require teamwork, and communication but nothing we couldn't do.
In the end, we both think it was a good decision as it allowed us to stay together and talk during the entire ride. It is hard to say if it was harder or easier than it would have been on separate bikes. To me, it seemed about the same level of effort of one of my solo tours, though, the trail surface of rocks (both loose and buried) on dirt isn't something I normally tour on.
The trail is about 90 miles long and is very popular. We were told that 120,000 people use the trail every year with over 5,000 riding the entire distance. The "normal" riding time is 4 days. We decided to do the trail in 3 days as we were willing to do a bit more mileage per day and wanted to have an extra day for something else.
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