When a self-propelled, low-tech, slow torque tour of New Zealand arrives in Palmerston North, it will be something of a homecoming for performer, biking and science enthusiast David Klein.
Following a break after cycling his solo show Tour de Science 2500 kilometres around the South Island, Klein will be biking into his hometown on Wednesday, January 18 for a presentation at the fx2 theatrette in Square Edge.
The former pupil of Terrace End School, Ross Intermediate and Queen Elizabeth College, who now lives in Wellington, doesn’t drive. That makes the Tour de Science a long-distance bicycle ride with Klein carrying his props, set and camping gear aboard a longtail cargo cycle.
‘‘It’s quite heavy, but it provides more than enough storage for the stuff I use in the show and for camping - which has been really fun. It has a great range of gears, and has tackled a lot of hills in the South Island.’’
Aboard this trusty personpowered steed, Klein has been spending six to seven hours in the saddle to average 70 kilometres a day during his storytelling tour.
‘‘Some days I did 120 to 130 kilometres, but that was a push. It’s such a big heavy bike and there were days I overestimated what I could do.‘‘
Part autobiographical riff inspired by his love for science, Tour de Science is ‘‘a tweaked and enhanced’’ version of Klein’s 2015 show, Toward a Better Understanding of the Universe, which won Best Newcomer at the 2015 New Zealand Fringe Festival, and a rave review when he performed it at the Melbourne Fringe.
From atoms and cells to the solar system and beyond, Klein shares his journey of curiosity and discovery through childhood and into adulthood.
He once considered teaching, but re-evaluated education as a career in reaction to formal learning structures based around passing tests.
‘‘You can learn anything anytime out of school just for the sake of it, by asking questions - ‘What’s that tree?’, ‘Why does that work like that?’ Those moments are much more important than rote learning.’’
After his 6.30pm Wednesday Square Edge show, Klein bikes off to Bulls for a performance in the Friendship Club Hall on Thursday.
Science storyteller David Klein and his cargo bike on the 5000km nationwide ‘‘Tour de Science’’.