Bike Odyssey
New Zealand 2002

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Journal for 9-Feb-2002 : Arthurs Pass-35
Date: 09/02/2002 (Location=Arthurs Pass-35 (Flo, Dist=74km, Total=149km)
Woke nice and early at 8:50am. Major pigout for breakfast at the B&B and we finally got underway by11:00am. It was a beautiful sunny

After some spectacular views of the alps we made a quick stop at the Waimakariri gorge where the "Coast to Coast" multisport event has it's final transtion (from Kyacking to Cycling). The "Coast to Coast"is an incredible event that involves individuals and teams racing from the west coast of NZ to to the East Coast, by road bike, cross country running on foot (across the NZ alps), mountain bikes, kyacks and the road bikes again. It is a huge event, with thousands of keen competitors, and several times tha
t number of support vehicles and spectators. It is such a big event with competitors from all over the world that the locals couldn't believe we'd never heard of it.

After the george the climbing began. Gentle climbing up a nice river valley to Springfield.
Then the climbing really began. This grade was not quite as gentle but the surrounding mountain scenery still incredibly beautiful.
Then the climbing really began. We slowly pushed our was up the base of the Porter's Pass climb. Within sight of the summit, the hill kicked again, on a grade steeper than 1 in 8, and our legs turned to jelly. A muslie bar and a bannana later and we were off again.
Then the climbing really began, somewhat humilliatingly this time we were shortly on foot pushing the bikes uphill :-(.

We made multiple stops after that as we struggled over countless undulations and some savage jumpups, steadily devouring 3 days worth of our snack supply - as if not enough food was our problem ! We'd both well and truely cracked, and took everystopping opportunity - admiring the smagnificent rock formations exploding out of the sheep paddocks at Castle Hill. Only one panic/dummy spit when my rear brakes (which I'd freshly adjusted not to squeal like a dying pig) failed as a result of my not tightening th
em enough.

Totally smashed by the time we reached the Flock Hill backpackers. I'm going to cook dinner now.


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