Day 1 Cape Reinga to Ahipara

105km 485 elevation

I don’t think many of us slept very well the night before the first day of the Tour.. The drive was quite strange with a sea fog obscuring the view most of the way to the cape.   It cleared just as we got to the car park, and I was grateful that it looked like it was going to be overcast,  There isn’t any shelter on the beach.

The car park was heaving with people in high viz and lycra so we were fashionably late to the party. A bit of a miss calculation on how long it would take us to pack the bikes up and walk down to the Lighthouse for the first compulsory photo point.

After bidding Mum and Dad farewell, we got started at 8:30. It became apparent fairly quickly that  puffing when going up hills was still stretching the sore ribs a bit. But hurray for drugs!  (As prescribed by a doctor 🤓).  The gravel sections were even more painful, but I knew once we got to the beach it would be very flat.

Mum and Dad surprised us at the end of Te Paki stream road, and after one last hug I was riding down the stream.  That was probably the most interesting part of the day, 90 mile beach might not be actually 90 miles, but it feels longer when you’re on a bike. It’s apparent the landscape is a bit monotonous when you get excited by a piece of driftwood. I was grateful though not to be on to bumpy bits for awhile to give my ribs a chance to heal.

I met some nice people on the beach, conversation was a great way to start pass the time.  Another highlight was the lunch that my lovely mum had packed for me. I think I ate more before the stream then Nerena did all day.  As mentioned previously, I don’t deserve my parents.

The tail wind that I had asked for arrived part way through the afternoon which was lovely.  It stayed overcast for most of the day which helps not get too hot. I had prepared well with 4 L of water since there are no places to refill bottles on the beach.

The organiser of map progress (spot tracker system) had set up a cleaning station at the campground which was great to clean all the sand off my bike. I ate as much as my tummy could handle for dinner and then a bit more. We have reset our bikes for tomorrow and now the only thing left to do is get a good nights sleep.