Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome to Laid Back Touring!

Welcome to Laid Back Touring.

I'm Nick Johnson. I'm a geek by trade, but I'm taking the next 8 weeks off work to do something totally different: I'm going to do a muscle-powered tour of Aotearoa (New Zealand), and I'm going to blog and video blog about it right here. Expect posts, photos, video blog entries, and even live tracking information so you can see where I am right now.

I'm not taking an ordinary bike, either; I'll be touring NZ on this recumbent trike. Compared to a regular bike, I'm hoping it will be more comfortable, more fun, and more unusual, if a little slower when it comes to climbing hills. But I'm not in any hurry.

A little bit about me: I'm originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, but I've spent the past four years living overseas, first in Dublin, Ireland, and for the last year or so in Sydney, Australia. I work at Google, most recently on the Google App Engine team as a Developer Advocate. I'm moderately well known for my main blog, where I mostly talk about tech stuff, App Engine, and Damn Cool Algorithms.

I'm looking forward to my tour as an opportunity to decompress a bit, do something different form my usual day job, and see more of my home country at a more relaxed pace than I have in the past. My ultimate goal is to ride the entire country, starting at the northernmost point, Cape Reinga, and ending at the southernmost part of the mainland, Bluff, following anything but a direct route along the way. Going the quick way, you could do this on a bike in as little as 14 days; I plan to take a lot longer and see a lot more.

The tour starts January 30, 2012. Tune in then for the first installment!


  1. Good luck on the epic trip, enjoy the beautiful scenery, but be careful of those trucks on the winding mountain roads! And if you need a topo map to help you explore away from the road on your way down check out

  2. If you pass through Arrowtown (near Queenstown), drop in for a cuppa - or a bed for the night. Appengine has allowed me to build a global business while living in the heart of NZ's Southern Alps, and I'd love to shake you by the hand and tell you what a great product you have. You can get me on 021 333 291.

    1. That's a generous offer, Greg - thanks! I may just take you up on it when I swing by that way, towards the end of my trip.

  3. Wishing you a fun and safe journey!