Silver Hill Climb Ride Report 16 October 2010
I challenged myself, as one does, to ride up and over the Aka’s three times on Sunday 16 October 2010. While not strictly a designated Silver Challenge ride, I’ll submit the report anyway and hopefully the benevolent club judges will accredit me with the ride.
I left from home on a wet Sunday morning, thinking that a lie-in would be a more pleasant option. I passed the KCC 8.00am Sunday riders going North along Te Moana Road Waikanae. There was the obligatory nod as we went our separate ways.
I had been to a friend’s birthday party the night before and wasn’t feeling too flash, being an understatement. The freight train I thought was going through Waikanae station, was actually the one inside my head. My mouth was like a wrestler’s jockstrap, so I was fair guzzling my drinks, as I got into the first ascent of the Akas.
There were a few riders around, but all seemed to be doing their own thing and going the other way. I wasn’t interested in ascent times, but generally I climb the Waikanae side of the Akas at about 13km-15km per hour and I know the distance from the small bridge, just before Rangiora Road, is 7.1 km to the top. Once at the top for the first time, I rode down again passing some other KCC riders on the way up. Soon it was time for the second ascent which was a little quicker than the first time. Not surprisingly, it was the still the same distance to the top, before I turned around and headed down to the starting point again. On the third ascent I started to feel better and was climbing a bit quicker. When I reached the top of the Akas for the third time I had been riding for about three hours and it was time to challenge myself on the other side. From then on it was mind over matter.
I descended into the cold miserable valley on the other side, which takes about ten minutes to reach the 5km point over the first bridge, where I always I ask myself how can someone live at the bottom of the valley. I met a bloke called Bernie on the first ascent and we pedalled up together. There was a small group at the top including Lisa Forde and once there, we exchanged pleasantries, then parted ways and down I went again, for the 10 minute ride to the 5km mark. The other side is little bit easier and I generally can climb the 5km distance in under 20 minutes. Soon I was at the top again and without having negative thoughts, it was straight down for the third and last ascent. This seemed to go fairly quickly and once at the top for the final time, it was homeward bound and didn’t spare the horses.
It’s 18km from the top of the Akas to home and I got home in about 35 minutes. I arrived home after 5 hours and 3 minutes riding having climbed 21.3 km on the Waikanae side and 15km on the other side. My hangover was well and truly gone as I went inside. The family were disinterested about my Silver Challenge as I stood dripping in the kitchen. My feet had turned stone white and looked technically dead, while the surface skin on the soles of both feet had blistered with the cold and wet. The rest of the day was spent in bed with the electric blanket on getting the circulation back into my feet.
That was Sunday 16 October in the life of a KCC Silver Challenge participant.