Now it’s really serious…

General confusion confronted the team. We arrived at Cycle Journeys right on time chipper and chirpy ready for our adventure. Turns out the weather was not on our side. It was wet and windy. There would be no helicopter ride over the Tasman River… Buggar!! The aeronautical engineer was nonplussed… helicopters are dangerous.
So…what were we to do.

‘We could go to Tekapo’

‘I’ m not riding in the rain!’

‘Is that Mt Cook?’

‘Here’ s Herbie, let’s go!’

Bikes were loaded, Herbie our driver was ready and two more riders joined us. I boarded the bus completely confused. I had no idea where we were going. It didn’t matter the scenery was spectacular.

We arrived at Lake Tekapo about an hour later and the two strangers mounted their bikes and gingerly wobbled the first few meters, gained momentum and began their very first significant cycle ride in the rain fifty kilometers back to Twizel. Why do we do it? The mind boggles.

The conversations continued.

‘I’ m not riding in the rain.’

‘The wind is cyclonic!!’

‘It’ s way too big a ride to Bremer Station in these conditions!’

‘Is that Mt Cook?’

‘Let’ s get coffee!’

It was somehow decided that we would get back on the bus with our coffees and head to Jollie carpark and ride with a tailwind back to Bremer Station. Sounded good to me.

About half way into the trip Herbie hit a rock and after much inspecting and checking Herbie and the geriatrics decided the horrendous screaming alarm was the door. The jarring road must have done something to the alarm and we just had to put up with it for the next half hour.

We arrived at or near Jollie carpark. One of our company tried to discreetly use the ‘outdoor bathroom’ but was told in no uncertain terms by the farmer who seemed to magically appear, it was private property and to p… off which was of course exactly what she wanted to do but thankfully her bladder control was legendary.

Seriously we had not ridden 100m and yet another of our company had had a moment, falling ever so gracefully onto the gravel, sustaining impressive bruises and possibly even a broken rib or two. She soldiered on. Really what option was there? The brochure states that the ‘trail can be quite bumpy and rough’… Really? I would say more like corrugated and down right treacherous.
The road condition was one thing but the 50 knot winds another. Fortunately it was mainly a tailwind but every now and again we had to ride into it or across it. We were very please to finish our first day.

We arrived Braemar Station. Wow! Our cottage, the food, the vista!!!! OMG!! What a treat.