Scott had done a great job with calculating our distances each day for the Tour. but I’d mentioned to the team I was sceptical I’d be able to make to the ferry in time on the third day. He kindly set up a training weekend to replicate the distances and elevation we’d encounter on day two and three so I could have an idea of what we were in for.
Day one - Proposed distance 110km, Proposed elevation 2000m
The first 15km for this ride was along the beach from Kawhia up to Aotea. With the tide coming in we had 2hours to make it, no problem.
Or so I thought. I’d transitioned to tubeless for this trip since they’re what I’m using for the Tour, being lighter and hopefully quicker to deal with any minor punctures since they self seal. Unfortunately the sand was a bit softer in places than expected and I slipped sideways quite a bit. I think that was enough to cause my tubeless to burp and before I knew I was flat. I kept pushing the bike since I knew the tide was coming in and I needed to get around the point. Scott helped me with getting a tube installed and we were off. Not at lightening pace since it was hilly. Very Hilly. Great training. It was hot too. Very Hot. According to my Mum the hottest day of the year so far. Also great training.
There were no towns on the route until a school near the end so I made use of a passing stream and my Aquatabs to top up all my bottles. It was a good thing to do since I was sweating buckets.
My main goal was to make it back to Kawhia in time to buy my new favourite treat: Gluten Free trumpet! You can imagine my dismay when I saw the shop was shut early since it was a public holiday. Nerena saved the day tho and showed the way to the nearest service station. What a great day out.
Day one - Actual distance 111km, Actual elevation 2256m
Day Two - Proposed distance 85km, Proposed elevation 900m
Day one involved skirting Mt Karioi, day two was Pirongia. We arrived fairly early at Oparau but since I knew this was maybe my only chance to stock up on supplies I got what I could. This resulted in cycling up hill whilst eating a dairy free magnum. I’m happy to say I did not drop ANY. Possibly the proudest moment of my cycling career to date.
We reached the base of the climb and started the ascent. It seemed to take a while but the legs, although tired, just kept turning. Regular food stops will do that for me.
We stopped for lunch at a lovely stream and refilled our bottles there. Finding some shade in the sweltering heat was a real treat. The descent started shortly after our lunch stop. Wohoo – what a ride! 10km of lovely flowing gravel road.
Turns out the climbing was a bit more than planned, so I’m now feeling much more confident going into day two and three of the tour.
Day Two - Actual distance 89km, Actual elevation 1698m