I did get a rather dull picture of New Zealands longest bridge but had bluetooth issues so couldn’t use it. Instead here’s the map of todays ride.
I’ve had an awesome day on the bike today. Happy as a pig in shit as you might say. I was cranking along most of the day with the biggest smile on my face. So happy to be able to just spend all day out on bike. What a cracking route.
Started out at about 7:15am with Phil out on the normal gorges route. Very pleased not only to have company but also I knew that riding with Phil would establish a good early pace and I tend to find I can maintain this once established. The first 70km whizzed by as we chatted in the drizzle. Phil got the coffee and bacon & egg roll in whilst I nipped to the supermarket for snap for my bento box. I planned to test out nutrition for the race. Going back to my fell running days I’m thinking of trying jelly beans with some sort of salted nuts. I got jelly beans, roast almonds and abit of “Sproggin Mix” – if you come to New Zealand try it !
The coffee and sarnie went down a treat and got on our way. I needed to keep moving to complete the route. We split at Waddington and I continued on the Inland Scenic Route to Rakaia. This section of road must be the nicest section of road I’ve ridden round here.
The gorge was as good as I remembered from Saturday. Then down to Methven – a lovely long straight downhill road. 45km/h the whole way.
150km in and time for lunch. No holding back on food today with such a long ride so I had two pies, a lovely chocolate chip muffin and a banana (just to make it all healthy). Next section was along by the river to Rakaia and across New Zealands longest bridge. Slightly disappointing but it was 1.75km long – you can’t argue with that.
Now bank on roads I knew and really pushing it along as I was guessing the Blue Duck Cafe would be open till 4:30pm and if I could maintain 32km/h I’d make it. I’d always planned to tack on the Long Bays route as I felt it made the loop nicer but given the reaction to the route without this I just left this fact out. I got to the cafe at 4:30 … unfortunately it closes at “4ish”. At least the lady refilled my water bottles.
I felt that the hills should be done at the end of this ride. No point tiring myself out with doing them at the start. So with 250k on the clock I headed up Gebbies …. I kept it real easy and just spun it. I got in to the groove of climbing and felt stronger till heading up Evans pass I felt great. From then it was all downhill / flat home. Ride ended up 300.1km – well chuffed. 10h47 ride time.
In Sumner I bumped into Murray – he said to me “You’re allowed to taper you know” … there’s a thought. Best have a think about the taper I’m going to do. Actually that gives the wrong impression. Before Christmas when training had been going so poorly I’d decided to train up to a week for Taupo aiming for a good base and just seeing how the race would go. However, I’ve now managed to get some really good training in and I’m starting to feel longer taper is a good idea. So the thinking at the moment is to train solid till end of Sunday. Then ease off a little for the final 5 days in Christchurch and then once in Taupo have a real focus on recovery and sleep.