29 October 2019
Woke up at 5 for a coffee and mind-adjust for a wee four day ride to Christchurch in aid of a party at Mt Olympus. Loaded my Osprey Escapist backpack with a single change of clothing, some slides (like jandals only not), a bag of cashews and Whittakers dark choco (all the essentials). Jumped on the bike and pointed towards Taupo. Definitely a slightly almost-nervous almost-excited feeling sitting on the Soma at the start of a hoooooogie of a ride. Unfortunately a raging southerly blasted against me the whole day which kept the pace pretty slow, at one point riding 13 kph on a perfectly flat stretch of road for an hour :(
Arrived Taupo after four hours, got a butter chicken pie, mocha and a vanilla coke :))
The headwind continued to Turangi. A few hours later I was at a Turangi bakery, topped up with another pie, a cream bun and a coke :)))
The dreaded headwind remained out of Turangi and through the (lovely) Desert Road. Just before clocking in at Subway Waiouru, a car crashed about 400m up the road from me. Seems the driver fell asleep and swerved into a tree. They organised their crash about 100m from the local police station. By the time I pedalled past the cops had quickly finished their donuts and arrived at the scene. Somewhat miraculously all three occupants were ok (luckily... take dem naps #drivewired).
Pit (and art appreciation) stop on the Desert Road.
After that excitement, parked up at Subway with the never-ending soda fountain and a footlong sub. Sussed cheap accom in Taihape, booked a backpackers and set off to track it down. Stoked to find it was downhill all the way from Waiouru and the wind had taken a turn to the north. Ayooo.
Met Stan (the owner) at the backpackers who had lit the fire and prepped the spa (legend).
Exited stage right from Taihape at the crack of dawn, aiming for the Bulls BP. Managed to get there pretty early, pushing through another raging southerly and some heavy rain. Best to forget that part, haha. Scored a butter chicken pie, vanilla coke and three chicken bites. Waited 'bout an hour to dry off a little and encourage the rain to back off. It was flat riding all the way to Foxton - literally no hills. FYI Foxton is a very nice township, just out of eyeshot of the main road, great stop. More flat roads to Otaki BP for another butter chickie, a cordon bleu, and a mocha :)) Rested there another hour, ha! Back on the Soma and over the hill to the Dee and Bubbles Clark whare in Lower Hutt for a catch up with the gang. Memorable times as always.
Gale force headwinds, plus rain. Choice.
Up 'n' at the ferry. Papa Bubs booked me a 'first-class' ticket so travelled in luxury (chuuuuuur). Downed all the juice and coffee I could fit in before hitting Picton and cruising past Blenheim and down the drop-dead-gorgeous Kaikoura coast.
North to South.
No pie stops and one of the shorter rides of the trip made day three very relaxing. Paused a couple of times to spectate some water dogs, err fur seals, and a bunch of surfers. Pretty jealous - the surf was looking prime.
Made it to Kaikoura township just on dark and crashed at a backpackers. Fish and chips for dinner at the local Chiwi’s diner (Chinese kiwis - that was their actual name). Had the best custard square of my life, then found out Guy Wicked-Williams was in town so we caught up for a chat and a one scooper at the dairy (or two scoops if your Guy W-W). Then off for a hooogie of a sleep.
Kaikoura serving up No.1 custard squares.
Woke up latest and the most tired out of the four days so far. Straight to the Kaikoura bakery for pies and coffeeeeeessss. Cruised out of town and down the remainder of the earthquake and slip ravaged Kaikoura coast. Spectacular, impressive and scary. Talked to a final bunch of happy road workers before swooping inland to attack the hilly Hunda Lees :(
This magpie was having a laugh.
Made Cheviot about 4 hours later. Rated the pie and coffee as the tastiest of the trip, or ever!! Think I'll put that down to the level of bonk. Although the pie did wound me 10 buckerroos, so maybe it really was that amazing.
Best (and most expensive) pie ever.
My last pit stop was in Amberley. Had a good chat with some locals over a mocha. Arriving in Christchurch felt like a victory lap. It was straight to KFC for the evening (think I’m going vegan after this!). Cruised to my final destination at Uncle Gordon and Auntie Julies to hang with cousin Ferg. Bambi (Andrew Bamford) and Ash came over with a supply of Double Browns and yarns :)
Massive sleep-in and then outa bed and on the bike to Ground Effect for a big catch up with the squad over coffee and hot-out-of-the-oven cheesy scones - always a great time!
Scones and coffee.
Stopped at the thrift shop on the way home and got a Shrek outfit. Then off to a mate of Charlie Murray's house for the KOM and the start of a weekend of responsible drinking and irresponsible skiing :)
Tidy tidy, skeeeeet, swim, pie, plane, home, ded.
Very happy to be back at work.
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