It was to be an adventure like no other. Our team comprised 4 of us that often ride together on the Sunday rides and for us the Full Monty was always going to be a serious challenge - well for some of us anyway!
During the week we were sorry to lose our team mate Gerry to sickness but Gerry offered to become our Team Manager - which we gratefully accepted and after a few texts back & forward we managed to get Bria on board.
Our team was Gary Jones, Martin Penny, Bria Colbert & Lisa Forde. We eagerly waited on Friday night for the start & finish destinations and once we knew that Lembas was the starting point & Alfredton the finishing point we got together over Dutch Apple Pie, tea & coffee at Gerry's house on Friday night to decide the route. We decided that hills were not our strength so we should head north & hopefully enjoy the assistance of a decent tailwind.
Saturday morning was perfect riding conditions, if a little chilly and the coffee at Lembas was just what we needed to get us under way! Once we started riding we didn't have quite the wind assistance we had hoped for though we certainly felt the benefit of the wind. We headed north to just south of Levin where we took the back road to Palmerston North. We decided that Shannon would be a great place for our first café stop and so we enjoyed the gorgeous sun, coffee & some tasty morsels from the cafe.
Then back on the bike for the next part of the ride. Gerry stopped in Shannon to take some team photos & then said she would see us at the top of the hill. It took us a while to get to the top of that hill. There was a service station stop in Linton for us girls and removing layers & then onwards & upwards. We had a puncture just before we turned onto the Pahiatua Track and then we had the long grind up the hill. Gerry was waiting at the top & on the way up Howard & Jan Davies gave us lots of encouragement & took some photos of our struggle up the hill! We met another team at the top and then there was some awesome downhill riding for a while. Unfortunately we then experienced a bit of a headwind and those little undulations started to feel like hill climbs.
Gary had amazing local knowledge of the roads through to Alfredton & we were very fortunate to have him on our team not only for this but also for his lovely sister Vicky & brother-in-law Chris who welcomed us into their home for freshly baked date scones and coffee. There is a definite theme for our team & I think it centres round tea, coffee & eating!!
At this stage we had about 35km to ride and the last 10kms probably were the quietest for our team there was a stage where we were riding along 2 x2 and not a word was spoken - most unusual for both Bria and me.
We had a brilliant day, with a great team, a fantastic team manager and amazing weather.
A huge thank you to the organisers and helpers from Kapiti Cycling Club who hosted a fantastic fun cycling day that really did not feel like a race!.Look forward to next year!
(Click HERE for more reports on the Ride to Erehwon page)