It was very hard
Today almost broke me. It was hard. Very hot and super hilly, but we did it.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing. For example-
1) I wish my bike was a bit lighter, 28kg at Cape Reinga with 4L of water on board. But I can’t think of anything I’d like to leave behind! So the only thing I could have done was spend thousands more on a space age bike. (Or an electric-bike eh dad?!)
2) I should have left earlier this day. 6:45 was about an hour too late. Poor Nerena and Scott had a long day of extended waiting for me. I knew we wouldn’t make the closing time for the accomodation so Scott was kind enough to race ahead after Tane Mahuta (no mean feat on a single speed over big hills) to let them know we were still coming. We arrived in time to shower, eat dinner, reset for the next day and that’s about it. I wanted to be in bed about two hours before I was, and my hair was still wet which made for a chilly night.
3) I shouldn’t have stopped when my friends did in Rawene. I had eaten while we were waiting for the ferry, so I didn’t need the food, given my average pace is so slow, I should have kept moving.
I did have plenty of time to think tho. I thought about all the people who are supporting me. I felt the weight of their expectation, not in a burdensome way, but as a gentle prompt to keep moving, when I wanted to give up.
I mulled over all the things that went well. We had a lovely lunch, and I had enough food and water to keep me going. I didn’t have a mechanical issue or flat tyre. My ribs handled the hills and bumps much better than the previous day. Despite severe water restrictions I was able to have a lovely shower. This mightn’t sound like much, but after my hardest day on the bike, it was amazing.
Although I was tired, I stayed focussed and didn’t fall or get lost! That’s a major win.