Well, here’s the highlights of Ken’s weekend adventures:
Thurs 17 Mar
-Catch the ferry to Picton, decide to be adventurous and hitchike to Nelson.
- Spend 2hrs riding up the road, down the road, up the road again, and flapping my arms in the air. You’d think someone would pick up a crazy guy off the side of the road. The Dutch girls around the corner get picked up in less than 5min
- Finally get dropped off in Nelson, after nearly puking in this guys car, catch up with Munimanpete, and go for a short ride, then watched some UNICON action on DVD
Fri 18 Mar
- Throbbing headache- I can’t believe I have to ride 106km tomorrow!
- I watch Martin (the guy I was staying with), clean mushrooms out of his camelbak.
Sat 19 Mar
The Rainbow Rage! Luckily the headache and flu was almost gone. We arrive fashionably late, but had just enough time to collect our racepacks, attach numberplates, and tighten my nuts.
The ride started in St Arnaud- a small town in the upper half of the South Island, and cuts across the most direct route to Hamner Springs, through the Rainbow Valley. It was a very pretty ride but also very flat and not that technical. In fact, it was more like a road ride on gravel than a MUNi ride.
I was somewhat undergeared with Coker/150’s and plodded along, trying to enjoy the view and watch all the funny contraptions people were riding (see above). There were a number of tandems, etc. One guy rode on a one pedal for most of the race after losing his crank. The most impressive thing was the guy in his mid-80’s who rode the Rainbow Rage
It was a very scenic ride, with a river on one side, as we snaked around the Rainbow Valley. A couple of river crossings but nothing too strenous. The were two big descents. The first dropped off down Island Saddle (the big climb of the day) and into the toughest part of the course, which was very flat but for which I will call the never-ending-road-from-hell. It just kept going on and on and on…I thought it would never finish.
Eventually it did and took us into one of the sketchiest high speed Coker descents I’ve ever done, a steep 6km of high speed gravel road to the finish! Pure white knuckled, jaw clenching fun!
Didn’t get any prizes, which included a Pot of Gold (complete with a solid lump of gold). It is the Rainbows end after all!
Sun 20 Mar
Hamner Springs hotpools!!! Nothing like a smelly sulphur pool to ease achy muscles
Mon 21 Mar
I get back to Picton and ride to the Queen Charlotte Walkway. Apparently rates as one of the best singletrack in the country so I was keen to see what the fuss was all about.
Maybe after riding 25km to get there (it looked like only 5km on the map- doh!), I probably wasn’t in the best shape to ride it, but I was a little underwhelmed with the Queen Charlotte Walkway. The first few kms I did was just like any other singletrack anywhere in the country. Not bad- but not great either.
Another quick 25km ride back to Picton and then a ferry trip back home!
Pete- you don't have a spare article (or two) you could mail to me by any chance? Got to keep the sponsors happy :p