I won't go into a huge amount of detail here (I'll save it for a website update) but Friday brought a good weather forecast and I was off!
As I was running the ride alone I was able to start and finish the route wherever I wanted to and to then stick to route as much as possible. As it turned out due to Ashhurst being a check point on the ride it was very easy for me to start and finish there and run the entire course in it's entirety - mint!
I was very lucky with the weather with the only real rain being riding from Palmy to Ashhurst! The forecasted wind on the East coast was nowhere near as bad as on the night of the actual GC and so the weather turned out to be one less thing to worry about.
The ride itself turned out to be pretty easy as far as GC's go - I felt pretty good for the entire ride, ate fairly well and didn't get as tired as I sometimes do. Perhaps I'm still fairly ride fit after the Southern Cross?
Highlights for me were:
- Tiniroto Road - I hadn't been through there in years. A lot less critters on the road than I remember and I think the road was in better condition too.
- Waioeka Gorge - enough said!
- The Paras in the dark - 7 cars between Wanganui & Raetihi
- National Park to Turangi - 49km, no cars and rapid progress...
- Desert road - just me and the trucks!
- Rangiwahia/Apiti - a real challenge in the dark and three deer on the road!
- Av fuel consumption of 17.1km/l.
Lowlights (scratching to find any):
- Blowing low beam in left hand headlight just after dark...
- Twat in a hot car (with bright head lights) tail gating me all the way through the Awakino gorge and over Mount Messenger to Waitara. The idiot would not pass me and sat right on my butt even in the slow twisty stuff (I could here his engine sometimes he was that close). After 1,000km I did not need some clown trying to run me off the road!
Anyway that's enough for now - I've sent Lee copies of my fuel dockets and links to my photos for evidence so hopefully he'll be sending me a badge & a patch...
Pictures (mainly of gas stations) here.