New Zealand - Top to Bottom

2014-03-04

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  1. Geraldine next stop

    Entry: 4/03/2014 1:12:20 a.m.

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil: 32km of hell on wheels this morning driving rain wind gusts and cold fun fun fun
    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

    • Neil: We decided to pull the pin on the rest of today's ride we have got accommodation at Glentunnel motor camp only 68 km today in atrocious conditions . We will try and get back on track tomorrow or the next day
    • Iain: Looks a little chilly boys! Helmets inside look naff!! Hope for tailwinds.
    • suds:
    • clatta:
    • clatta:
  2. He'll on wheels

    Entry: 4/03/2014 1:29:22 p.m.

    • david: I will start with us leaving Wellington on the ferry last Saturday. We got to the Ferry Terminal with miles of time to spare. This was after we rode the Ruamata climb which was 8 ks of uphill that seemed to go on and on. We all enjoyed the view from the top then barreled down the hill and basically on to the motorway which allows bikes to ride side with trucks,buses and numerous cars many more than we would see on our roads on a Saturday morning! When we arrived at the Terminal at 11.30am we all changed in the car park with bums exposed for all to see!! We broke down all the bikes and loaded them into the van. This saved $15.00 per person. The Ferry left at 3.30pm so we sat around for three hours reading and fulling a sleep! The Ferry crossing was a little lumpy but not enough for anyone to be seasick! Meal was in Picton and like any place we eat, they struggle to feed us all and the waitress was turning other patrons away! The fllowing morning was cold but the day turned out brilliantly sunny and we stopped at Havelock for a coffee and muffin (no surprise I hear you all say!) the views were magnificant! The ride was relatively short at only 140K Nelson was sunny and the group split up to visit friends and relatives. The accommodation in Wakefield was a drive and we shared our rooms with cockroaches! The restaurant kitchen was where we were allowed to make our breakfast and we all agreed that we would give it an E rating as there was half eaten food in the sink and in pots!! Next morning we headed off south and at Foxhill we came across a crash with a truck and trailer on its side in a paddock. (see video) The most notable points about this ride was how aggressive the truckies were with one giving us no more than a foot and a half while layiny on his horn and squeezing between us and and another truck!!! No-one got his number as we were shocked at how close he had come to us! The two big climbs kept us warm until we got hale and rain as we arrived into Murchison. We had a great meal and the service was quick and efficient. It was so good we asked to see the duty manager Louise Tapper and complemented her. She was very matter of fact as she said she was geared to serving buses! We left in the rain and continued down the road with the road with the weather coming good as we rode into Springs Junctions. The distance was 194Ks. It rained during the night but we awoke to mist and cold. The ride to the top of the Lewis Pass was at a reasonably gentle pace as it was taking everyone time to warm up. We regrouped at the top with the Temperature being -1.8 degree and the mountains were covered in snow!! This made the ride down the hill pretty bloody cold but we covered good distance! There was high winds predicted but they didn't arrive till we cleared the hills! Then we got the winds for the rest of the journey> It got gale force and rain swept in. As we approached the main highway the crosswinds were dangerous with a capital 'D'!!! So much so there was talk about how mad we were to press on!! But press on we did and we finally arrived in Rangiora at 6.30pm and there was a mad struggle to get out of our wet clothes and into a hot shower!! The clothes were thrown into driers and hung all over the rooms heaters pumped out heat and windows got saturated with moisture. Meal was had at 8.30pm and we finished at 9.30pm back to the units with it still raining. Team went to bed happy to have survived what can only be described as an atrocious and dangerous day!! We slept soundly dreaming of a brighter day in the morning. ALAS no we awoke to heavy rain and wind. Were we going to ride in this- hell yes!! We took off with the camp manager telling us the rooms would be free if we decided to turn back! We were made of strener stuff and made it to Oxford a whole 34Ks down the road!! We stopped at a cafe and turned it into an indoor swimming pool!! Don't think the cafe staff were thrilled with us! A meeting was held about our options as everyone was cold and Geraldine was still a 150Ks away and not really an option. We got out the maps and phones to change accommodation arrangements. One option was to jump in the van and drive till we got to better weather this was declined by the majority and we pushed on for another 34ks to Glentunnel and got nice digs!! It is still raining and Suds make some calls to cancel Twizel and arrange to stay at Tekapo tomorrow at 197ks. then back on track to Clyde at 216Ks. We will leave early in the morning and hope the weather is kinder to us. We may be doing it tough but not as tough as some of the Christchurch folk who have had roofs blown off and houses flooded. Our thoughts are with them and this time.
    • Mark W:

    • Mark W: Boys on the ferry to Rawene. Remember back when it was warm boys?
  3. Short day

    Entry: 4/03/2014 5:15:55 p.m.

    • Neil:

    • Neil:

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    • suds:

      Chris having an entree for tea
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