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Day 7, Mangakino to Timber Trail, Camp Epic

92km 1940m elevation

I should have taken the hint that the day would be tough when it took me two hours to travel the first 20 km on a sealed road, due to a howling headwind.

I had been slightly delayed getting away in the morning due to the friendly B&B owner locking my bike in the garage. This was good from a security perspective but bad from my prep angle. This meant I missed the bunch I was planning to ride with from the day before. I also stubbed my toe on the concrete step outside the garage and didn’t realise I was leaving blood all over the carpet. A bit of a debacle really.

Once I got onto the four-wheel-drive track it was more fun but the swing bridge was a real mind bender. (See photo) There was debris littered below the bridge that had fallen off bikes before, it was very narrow, completely see-through and knowing one of the blocks had given way recently was quite disconcerting.

Although I was still travelling without Scott and Nerena, there were plenty of friendly faces passing by with encouraging words or a smile.

I had done the first half of the timber Trail before with friends so I knew what was in store. I knew I must be better now since I was able to ride a heavy bike at what used to give me a lot of trouble. I passed a lot of people going the other way, also bike packing, which is unusual since the timber trail is normally ridden north / south. I found out that they are doing the Kopiko event which is from one side of the North Island to the other.

I was very relieved to make it to Camp Epic before sundown since such clear skies at that altitude would mean a cold night. The accommodation was amazing and the staff were so friendly, bringing out the care package my workmate Tegan had left for me. They provided eggs for breakfast so I knew my day would be off to a good start. The facilities were sparkling clean and very tidy. 

Camp Epic on the Timber Trail