Monday 29 February 2016

Day 15 Notes

Holy crap, I’m  already 1/3 of the way through my trip, time is going so quickly. Today was a great day full of wind when I left Eketahuna. The trip to Greytown this was a mixture of gravel and sealed roads over 70km which I did in 3:28.  This 3:28 was slow for an open road section which was mainly due to the wind.  At times I was pushing hard on the flats doing 12km per hour, but the highlight was doing 25km per hour up hill on a touring bike, the wind was strong at my back.  The road names are classic, I had to go down south on north road which then turns to west road and a 90 degree turn from north road is south road, go figure.  Lucky I did not pay too much attention to the signs. Had a coffee in Masterton with a ginger crunch, first espresso in 800+ kilometres it was so good.  When I got to Greytown which was supposed to be the stop over place, I just did not feel like stopping, I was feeling good and wanted more cycling today. Greytown looked like a neat little place but move on I must.  So I decided to do an afternoon session from Greytown to Featherston then onto the Rimutaka rail trails.  I did half the trail and then backtracked  on SH2 to our stop over point for the night the Kaitoke Regional Park campground. This added another 58km for the day making it a 128km day.  In short - an awesome day.  The Rimutaka rail trail is another awesome trail. There are four old rail tunnels to go though, no LED lights in these tunnels and you cycle in the dark trusting there is nothing in front of you.  I have to confess I had to walk up a small section of the trail; I think this was called Siberia Gully but not 100% sure. We managed to move the ferry ticket forward a day and so head to the South Island  tomorrow.

Look at the wind. Could not hold the front wheel straight for photo, look at grass. turn left and go fast up hill.

One more boundary for the books. 

That's not what I learned at school. South 90 degrees to North, with West 180 degrees to North. 

Queens park in Masterton

Doing the wrong trail. 

Just got the Rimutaka's to get over.

Getting onto the trail. 

Happy and away.

More up hill.

And more...

One of the tunnels. ( no light in them)

Far out,  people cycle up this.. ( I had to walk, no traction or legs about 15%+ gradient)

Park with old stuff. 

Morning session GPS data here

Afternoon session GPS data here 

Sunday 28 February 2016

Day 14 Notes

The ride from Ashhurst  to Eketahuna  was just about all road today. The ride started with a climb over saddle road, this road is a good climb and will allow you to get close to the wind turbines. The turbines are huge standing underneath one you can appreciate the scale also the surprising speed of the outer edges of the turbines they look slow from a distance but believe me they are flying.  From there I was down balance road all the way along all the wind farms right to the end with the small New Zealand made two bladders. From there it was off to Pahiatua I was looking forward to a coffee but alas it is a small town and it is Sunday, so I had to settle for a OSM bar and more vita sport (yum .. not).  From  Pahiatua I when the back roads to Eketahuna  where I just had to get the classic killed by kiwi photo. WE staying at the  Eketahuna  Campground tonight and must say I like the campground, plenty of open spaces.  Tomorrow another road day to Greytown, before going back to the tracks through the Pakuratahi forest. The decision to short cut means lots of small cycles on the way down.

Full GPS data here

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Up Saddle road getting a sense of the scale of the turbines.

Looking back down saddle road.

You don't see a road steam train every day if it can get up so can I.

Trying to be creative

Standing underneath

Backroads between Pahiatua and Eketahuna   

Death by kiwi

Trying to be a local. Yea Right!

Saturday 27 February 2016

Day 13 Notes

Today was a short cut ride to make sure I have plenty up my sleeve to connect with the Cook Straight ferry. Hunterville to Ashhurst  via road 54 was an easy road ride of only 61km.  The highlight was going over the Stormy point lookout this was a 250m climb over 4 km.  On a normal day this is a big climb but after my last few days this was just a blip. Great views from the top. After getting to Ashhurst  I took a ride on some of the local trails. There are some great hidden gems, the trail I took is a virgin trail not yet complete but will end up connecting to Palmerston North and it looks like it will be great for families. Tomorrow I am going up and close to those wind turbines with a ride over yhe saddle road from Ashhurst to Woodville and then on to Eketahuna.

Get GPS data here 

The start of the hill for the day.

There is my bed going past me, driver waving.

Almost at the top.

At the top. A good view from stormy point after that 250m climb.

Stormy point.
The start of the saddle road, tomorrows adventure.

Trying out the new unfinished trail. it is looking good.

Down by the river.

Doing a little river riding. 

Riding on the river bed.

A view down the river.

A break, river was quite low.

Part of the trail going towards Palmerston North  which is finished. It is looking great.  Get GPS data here

Friday 26 February 2016

Day 12 Notes

Today as I said good bye to Ohakune I realised how lucky I was to have a clear day yesterday on the mountain as the cloud was covering it this morning. The cloud did eventually blow away but I would not like to wait for that to happen. I picked the perfect day.   On paper today’s cycle should have been an easy cycle mostly downhill and only 90km. The reality was the back roads are hard, out of the 90km about 55km was gravel and lots of loose gravel to boot. At times I think I was doing more drifting than cycling with the choice of skinny wheels and I had to sit on the brakes on the downhills.  Although Hunterville is 300m below  Ohakune I  climbed 1088m and descended 1382m  a lumpy day. I think I am also paying the price for going up the hill yesterday as the legs were feeling very heavy.  After I got to Hunterville  I found the swimming pool and it was awesome to jump in and get wet. Now that I am in Hunterville I am going to alter the course a little and go directly to Ashhurst. This will put me a day ahead of the schedule, but it does give me plenty of breathing room to get to the ferry on the 2nd March by 4PM.

See GPS data here

The mountain is gone on my way out this morning.

Any guess as to what grows in Ohakune 

The start of the day easy riding.

On to the smaller roads.

Still easy going.

And on to even smaller back roads with gravel.

The easy gravel.

Looking back the cloud has gone.

A foot in each district, check out the gravel road.. there was 40 more km of that.

Typical of the day.

Love those hills. It is the real country.

In Hunterville and buggered.