Today I bought some nommy cheese supreme Doritos from the Mangakino Four Square. I strapped them to the back of the R20 and we headed into the bush. Now as far as I'm concerned, cheesy Doritos are the king of snacks with their fluorescent orange color and deliciously moreish flavouring. I don’t know what fine cheeses they use, but it is a truly wonderful flavour. I strapped them as tightly as I could without popping the bag, being careful not to damage my precious cargo.
As we headed into the bush, the track got rougher, and the bag shook loose, and unbeknownst to me, eventually fell off. I heard a distinctive pop as Dan ran them down, popping the bag and shattering my pride and joy, my precious chips. Was it deliberate? Will we ever know? Certainly he thought it was hilarious - his vindictive cackle still haunts me. I was distraught! My mood improved only slightly as I scooped handfuls of delicious dorito crumbs into my mouth, but how I mourn for all I lost this day ...
.. but the show must go on. Today we went from Mangakino to most of the way through The Timber Trail. At the start of the Tour Aotearoa, a number of people looked at us and the bikes sceptically, and said things like “yeah, you might be fine for the first few days, but you clearly haven’t thought about the Timber Trail” and similarly encouraging comments. So apparently this Timber Trail was a Big Deal. It was going to be brutal climbing, technical descending, and was going to break our bikes and make us realise ho naive we were for bringing along such silly bikes.
But what a track! It was spectacular scenery, the track was well made and looked after, and it was nice to get off gravel and tar seal onto interesting, slightly more challenging riding, even with no suspension, small wheels and very little meaningful brakes. It was a brilliant track, and we enjoyed it a lot.
Early evening we made it to the Timber Trail lodge in the middle of the trail, had pizza and drinks, then carried on. Riding the 150m from the lodge to the trail, we both got our first punctures. How about that for bad luck!
We carried on as it got dark, switching the lights on as it got colder and darker. We got to where the old timber tram line went, and as we were riding through one of the cuttings through the hill, Jeremy noticed some glow worms! We switched off the lights and discovered both sides of the cutting full of glow worms, so you could walk down the middle of it in the pitch dark, with a wall of little sparkling lights on either side. Amazing! It's just a pity the photo isn't quite as stunning ..
Todays vital stats:
Distance: 99 km
8:13 riding time
57.2 kph Max
*my apologies to Yeats; I suspect he would be devastated by this mangling of his work. Educate yourself about the real form of 'Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven' here.