Model Megan Gale’s Cycling Holiday Tips
Supermodel and cyclist are not two words that usually go hand in hand but Megan Gale has always been known to be excellent at multi tasking. Along with model, mum, actress and designer, Megan is now the ambassador for The New Zealand Cycle Trail. We chat to Megan about how to make the most of a cycling holiday.
Cycling is part of my exercise routine so combining it with travel is the perfect balance. The best part is you can explore the country from an entirely different angle – it’s like riding through a postcard. The opportunity to promote New Zealand as a destination and its Great Rides is incredibly exciting!
How important is it for you to stay active on a holiday?
Active wellness is such a key part to any holiday, I highly recommend cycling as it suits all levels of fitness, plus you get off the beaten track. Basing your holiday around an activity gives you a real sense of achievement at the end of each day.
What advice would you offer for planning an active holiday?
- Balance: A healthy holiday is all about balance. I love good food and the odd tipple of wine so I like to level things out with exercise, plenty of rest and relaxation. New Zealand is ideal for me as there are so many different activities and all within close proximity.
- Keep hydrated: It’s easy to lose track of time and forget to do something as simple as drinking lots of water but it’s so important to hydrate your body more than usual on these cycling holidays. It’s also good to stretch before you set out for the day and also of an evening. Your body will thank you for it.
What do you need to do to prepare for a cycling holiday?
It’s about choosing the best ride for you – whilst I went with multi-day rides, there’s plenty of day ride options through New Zealand. You can travel with your own bike, but I’d recommend hiring bikes from one of the many bike tour operators on each Great Ride…
How fit do you need to be?
I love cycling, but I would not consider myself an expert! I’ve always believed that variety is important as far as exercise goes, and doing things that I get enjoyment out of, so that it doesn’t seem like a chore. I love yoga and try to practice it several times a week. In addition to that I try and mix things up with spin cycling, power walking, light weight training and Pilates.
The best thing is that you don’t have to be an experienced cyclist to explore New Zealand by bike. The Great Rides have something to suit all ages, levels and tastes of cycling. I did two multi-day rides including The Timber Trail (easy-intermediate), which winds through ancient forests in the North Island, and the historical Otago Central Rail Trail (easiest-easy) in the South Island.
Whether you’re an expert hard-core mountain biker or it’s been a while since you last rode a bike, there’s an enjoyable and suitable route for you to discover.
What are your top packing tips for cycling adventures?
You don’t have to have the latest and greatest technical gear to be prepared for a cycling holiday in New Zealand. As long as you pack active wear, a good pair of sneakers and something warm you’ll be set. Comfort and layers are key. I’d also recommend grabbing yourself a pair of padded cycle pants, and can promise you that you won’t regret it! Naturally, sunscreen and sunglasses are important.
Is cycling a family friendly activity?
Absolutely, I can’t wait to take my family back to do one of the cycle trails.
What was your favorite section of the Timber Trail?
Definitely the suspension bridge and the breathtaking native forest. A must do is a stop at Sam Neil’s Two Paddocks Winery in Central Otago.
What advice would you offer on how to get the most out of a New Zealand cycling holiday?
- It’s all about new experiences: everyday is a different journey on The Great Rides in New Zealand. Be sure to stop and explore each place you pass, whether it’s a quaint historical town or hidden beach, there’s so much to discover. Being on a bike enables you to get up close and to see things from a different perspective.
- Get to know the friendly locals: striking up a conversation with a local is never a bore! New Zealanders are famed for being friendly and welcoming so take advantage of local knowledge – you’ll learn something new every day.
- Take a fully charged phone with you: always make sure phone is fully charged before heading out in case you run into trouble or there’s an emergency and take charger with you. Also you want to be able to take a lot of photos as the scenery is just so spectacular.
Where’s the best cycling in New Zealand?
New Zealand has more than 2,500km of pristine cycleways that showcase the many great sights the country. From the top of the north island and its volcanoes to vineyards in the South Island – New Zealand is a dream destination for cycling.
When is the best time to go cycling in New Zealand?
Spring or Autumn. With crystal clear days and warm temperatures, Autumn is the best season to visit.
To find out more about New Zealand cycling adventures, check out http://www.newzealand.com/au/cycling