We had a big day ahead, so we got up and left ‘early’ (7am is ‘early', right?). In a fit of uncharacteristic forward thinking, we’d checked the weather forecast for the next few days. Normally, our philosophy regarding weather forecasts is that we have to ride each day anyway, so it’s not like we can avoid the weather, so why worry about it? Anyway, we noticed some decent rainfalls predicted for a couple of days, so decided to try and get to Haast in two days.
So we started early.
And it was cold.
And I was resenting cold early morning starts right up until a weka came and offered some encouraging words.
The first half of our day’s riding (to Ross) continued on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. It is a brilliant trail, through some brilliant scenery.
And today, there were quite a few people out riding it, most of whom were older people on ebikes. It was great to see, and I rode along, talking with one guy who was riding from Hokitika to Ross and back (probably about 50km), and he explained how much more accessible to older people like him ebikes made things. And then he rode away from me, not even puffing, while I rolled along the neverending bike trail to Ross.
Not all cyclists were quite that same level of friendly though; as we passed another cyclist, Jeremy got curtly informed he should get a bell. He actually does have a bell, thank you very much, but the constant ringing as we ride on gravel is somewhat annoying, so he’d adjusted it so it didn’t ring. You just can’t please everybody.
We made pretty good progress throughout the day, stopping at each of the well spaced settlements for drinks and snacks: Hokitika for second breakfast, Ross for elevensies/lunch, Hari Hari for afternoon tea, Whataroa for after-afternoon tea, and then powered through the last 30km into Franz Josef for dinner. Brilliant!
166km total distance
1124 m elevation gain
8:27 total riding time
68.0kph max speed