After a quick look at the lake, departure hastened by sand-fly attack, we got on the bikes. The morning started with a 30’ish kilometre run down the Wairau Valley. Although I have been to Saint Arnaud before this ride was new to me. It was a fast downhill run beside the river which made the kilometres slip past quickly. That said lazy legs, after yesterday, and photo stops meant I was far from front of the pack today!
We bussed through to Havelock, skipping some rather dull flat riding, and then it was a reprise of the lovely Queen Charlotte Sound ride. I have done this road twice by bicycle and once in the car.
It is one of my favourite rides so repeating was no chore. For us it started with a fast downhill, lazy bussed to the top of the first hill, before heading across to Linkwater. The letterbox collection at 1695 was worth stopping to photograph! Although the weather looks a bit gloomy in the photos it was warm and quite nice for riding.
From there you skirt the sound climbing around bluffs, descending into bays until a final climb to a rewarding twisty downhill towards Picton. Although it is a main road the traffic is pretty light as most, and all large trucks, take a more direct route towards Nelson. The ride finishes with a twisty downhill blast into Picton. Great fun!
It is a neat ride and for us led to a nice finish as we bussed to St Clair Vineyard for lunch and, since there was no more riding, a glass or two of very nice wine. The drive to Kaikoura can not be completed without stopping to visit these fellows, just a few steps from the main highway.