Not so Gorgeous Rakaia

Well that did not turn out the way I planned.

We started out in fog at 6am and were 33km down the road before seeing sunlight. Three km later the fog closed in again for another 10km before the day cleared up.

I was paying the penalty for not riding anywhere in the last month and by the time we got to Hororata (76km) I was feeling shattered. I had just brought my bike back from Australia and put it together the day before. My knees were complaining and I decided to call it a day rather than push my luck.

I decided to take the shortest way home, straight down Bealy Road to Aylesbury where it joined the highway and see if I could put up with the traffic from there into Christchurch.

On the way I saw a sign to Coalgate and was reminded my wife wanted to look at a house there. Off I went, taking it easy and counting the elevation gain as I headed North,  wondering whether I should have stuck to my original plan to get home by the shortest route possible.

After Coalgate I followed the road to Darfield and got onto the highway where the traffic was not as bad as I had anticipated.

I started felling a little better and even managed to catch up with a touring couple who had come from Rakaia Gorge that morning.

When I came to the junction with Old West Coast Road there was a stream of cyclists heading into town and I remembered the annual Coast to Coast challenge was on that day. That is cycling, running and kayaking across the country from Kumara Beach on the West Coast to Christchurch on the East coast.

Riding with them gave me a boost and when we got to Christchurch there were police stationed at every set of traffic lights to wave us through and, shades of PBP, people camped along the roadside cheering us on. I felt a bit of a fraud not being part of the race but they were happy to cheer and the sight of a recumbent seemed to spark their interest.

I did not have to slow down all the way back to my place and it was a relief to give my legs a rest at last. Maybe keeping up with the Coast-to-Coasters was not such a good idea, but it did feel good.

I was intending to do a social ride next morning but after a fitful night’s sleep, did not wake up until 10:00 am and was glad to have missed it.

Two days later and my legs still feel they have had a work-out so I will have to do some serious training before our next ride.