Today was another repeat ride for me and some others in the group. No pain because the Motueka Valley is a lovely road parallel to the main highway. It follows the West bank of the river and has almost no traffic. In parts groves of trees create green tunnels and frame views of the surrounding hills. Once out of the valley we were back on the highway but even there traffic was sparse.
A roadside coffee stop fuelled the climb over a hill to Tapawera. On the way there we passed another Adventure South group heading in the other direction.
I also grabbed an iced coffee milk and the combination of sugar, caffeine and calcium boosted my legs to turbo mode. There is a fairly dull few km, scenery wise, as you pass through some pine plantations and a lot of logging had done little to enhance it. However the riding and road was great and it was easy to zip along at 25-30 km/h. Bas found a sheltered roadside spot for one of his legendary lunches. It had clouded over and I felt a few spots of rain but it was still dry when we started riding.
After lunch the terrain got more interesting again with a climb to a ridge, then descent into a valley before the last climb towards “Top House” junction. I had two roads to find; BIM Rd related to an old post on my CAD Blog and “Robins Road” (above right). After a quick photo stop at both I raced for the last twenty kilometres in hope of beating the rain evident on the surrounding hills.
I didn’t quite make it as the rain caught up with me on the last couple of kilometres into St Arnaud but it was warm and there was a motel shower waiting so no problems. We are here for the night, tomorrow is a ride towards Blenheim and a St Clair vineyard lunch. I’ve been there before and am looking forward to returning.