I completed the 75 kilometer challenge with my children (Candice and Vaughn) and brother (Ernst) on the 23 November 08.
Ernst started from Waikenae and we pulled off at Tawa to meet him at Pauhatunui inlet. We started at 8:30 am to give Ernst a chance to make up some ground to meet us at 9:00 am. After we met we went on past the golf course and up H. Hill. I was surprised to see Candice and Vaughn went ahead and waited for us two oldies at the top. Once up the hill we flew down to SH2 and on to Upper Hutt.
Half way to Upper Hutt another rider came past asking us if we were doing the loop. Half ashamed I informed him that I was doing only two thirds of the loop but that my brother was doing the complete loop. (He was also doing the whole loop - could be a KCC rider) This ghost rider was riding with us for a while but left us soon after as we were going a little slow. (We did not want to break records and kept the average on 25 km/h)
Once in Upper Hutt we stopped at the Petrol Station to fill up our water bottles. The ride up the Aka's was long and I was surprised to see how far up Staglands is. We took it slow and free wheeled all the small down hills. (A nice change) This went on till we reached Staglands. From there on we had to push all the way - no more down hills. I was again surprised when Candice and Vaughn broke away and left us two oldies on our own till we reached the top. While Ernst and I was struggling up another young rider came past us and he made it look so easy. I decided to follow him for a short while to see how fast he was going and was really surprised to see he was managing 25 to our 15/18 km/h. When we reached the top Candice and Vaughn had a good chuckle - their slow old man. The view from the top was awesome.
As we started our way down the hill we realized it was a bit cold and at the bottom our leg muscles were a bit stiff. Riding into Waikenae was a good feeling as we knew we were nearly finished and only needed to reach Paraparam to catch the train back. Ernst went home (approximately 100km) and we upped the pace to catch the 12:30pm train. I was swearing and moaning all the way from Waikanae to Paraparam as we had 15 minutes left to catch the train and my children was riding at a good pace of 30km/h. I just managed to keep up with them as I was riding on my last energy.
Finally we reached Paraparam at 12:30 and we were told that there is place for one more bicycle as only two are permitted on the train. (There was already another bicycle) Vaughn and myself waited for the next train while Candice went home. 80 km completed.
Vaughn and I completed two times up the Maungatuks on the 01/01/2009. Whilst we did our climb Stu did his 30 times (Wow, what an effort and determination. I take my hat off for him)
I took it slow from the start as I am not a hill climber. Half way up Stu came down and when I was nearly at the top Vaughn came down. My first climb was 11 minutes. Nearly a minute faster than my Hill climb challenge where I was out of breath half way up the hill as I started too fast.
The second climb was identical to the first but with one difference. My lower back muscles were pulling. This made me realize that I needed to exercise my core and lower back. Half way up the second time Stu came down and asked me how many times I was going to do the climb. I think he needed some company as he was riding by himself from 6 in the morning and still had to do a few more climbs. (I did not asked him how many more he had to do.)
Could you add Vaughn and Candice on the personal challenge list as well please. (75 km and two times up the hill) I will complete another two times up the hill with Candice at end of January 09.