How hard can it be riding a farm track around a lake - water is flat right ??
"much to learn in 6 hours and 40 minutes you have"
- Look Yoda, its a cold southerly, dark and drizzling - what would you know.
Apparently he knows lots, cause I did learn many things that day, just a week ago.
4.45am is really early to wake up, have coffee and try to keep breakfast down
5.30am is not any more civil, but the lift to the start with Zeph & Sarah was.
"Here, let me put your bike on, have another coffee"
Love that shit.
Note to self, take a head torch next time, trying to wipe your bum in a DOC toilet in pitch black is pure guess work.
Ok, 5 mins to start. We are in the first 3 rows. It is dark still and then we ride through a tree canopy which is darker.
Some muppet tries to lock handle bars with me, but he ends up in the water ditch. A few folks have lights - they are my friends.
A 2 km climb early on has many many people removing jackets. I unzip mine and sweat it out.
I pass many slower riders on the downhills.
They pass me right back when I get a flat.
I pump my shit arse little pump like maybe one hundred times, the tire self seals and we're off again. I catch Sarah crossing the river at the top off the lake.
As soon as I turned into the headwind it was much much colder - funny that.
Gloves saturated from rain and river crossing. Can't move ankle/shin interface, so stomp on pedals like a Russian.
The first 4 guys in the 125km race pass me soon after - they are like a team pursuit on the track.
Didn't look like fun so left them to it.
Saw my personal photographer, Stefan and mechanic Nick at Green Bush hut. Refill camelback, eat food, put on knee warmers and jacket.
Riders with grim faces on hard tails pass me, they are hating life right now. Glad I stayed up late the night before and made a few quick mods to dual suspension 29er:
Install new used brake pads.
Forks had the new cartridge installed mid week.
New bearings installed after facing bottom bracket shell.
Swap out pedals - hate mine to fall off, huh.
Otherwise I just pumped up the tires
The scenery is stunning - the near valleys are topped with snow - it really is picturesque.
I feel like I'm stuck on the slow lane and the only people I pass are broken down. This is hard work.
Trying to eat and drink is a chore. Every time you think It's food time, an up or down arrives that requires either two hands on the bars or an empty mouth to breath.
Drink some water - sure thing. Take a leak - it's really cold.
Repeat all day.
I caught Sarah who had a puncture.
I took over while she ate.
We laughed at some guy who was laughing at us, until he realised he had a puncture too. He was n't happy and his mother would not of approved of his potty mouth.
We were gone before he even had a tube in.
Steve Gurney nearly takes me out as I veer left to go around a big hole/puddle. He's coming up the inside, but not fast enough. I can see his bars beside me so I do the nice thing and go through the hole. I laughed and said a few words.
I also said "you're lucky I'm not a train Steve"
He laughed and commented that my jacket was the same colour.
Ho ho ho.
Dingle Station was serving tea and scones.
The ride thus far was serving up pain and suffering.
It was fun fun fun and then it wasn't anymore.
I thought Keighley might not like to do this next year.
No matter, the last 30 kms was on gravel road that was damp and not fast.
Oh, unless your name is Gavin Mason and the big diesel was finally getting would up after too much steamed pudding the night before. Freak.
I walked up the hill out of Timaru Creek so I could eat and stretch everything.
Melissa Newell passed me looking very wobbly.
Squeaking chain - hey lady, can I oil that for ya ?
"sure, got any water and food ? I'm frozen"
She finished 9th women home in the long one.
Hannah Thorn caught me at the top while I was taking another leak. Her chain was barking too. She passed Melissa before the finish.
Sarah and I rode and rode and rode. I'm sure the distance signs were up the shit.
No matter, we crossed the line to rapturous applause from the locals and then were besieged by the local CRT real estate agent and his mate the cop.
"how was it, would you do it again? do you like my new bike?'
"Hard, no, that's nice."
I felt pretty broken, my eyes were full of crap - glasses got rain on both sides early on, so sat atop my helmet the whole way. Might go pursuit helmet with visor next time.
My back was so sore I nearly asked Keighley to undo my shoes.
Yes, I fell asleep on the couch mid afternoon and had an early night.
I have no idea why I rode to work on the Monday, but I did.
It was a big day out or me, but hey, a few guys did it twice in one day last year and while I rode for just over 6 hours, in Rotorua the 24 hr champs were on - many people were riding solo, much of it in the rain and dark.
Spare a thought for those suckers.
That's truely a big day out.
How about next year the 24 hr champs bring themselves to Hawea and we see you solo's bust out 4 laps ??