We left Christchurch to avoid drizzle and headed to Springfield. This avoided the dull cycle across the Canterbury Plains and meant we escaped the rain.
It was an easy start until things got serious with the ascent of Porters Pass. Mostly steep, apart from the bits which were steeper!, it was quite a climb. Something like 800m in a few kilometres (must check Google Earth when I get home).
The pay back came with an awesome descent which I got up to 75km/h. From there we headed to Arthurs Pass along part of a route I've ridden before. In addition to lovely scenery there was a constant stream of Vintage cars heading East to admire. The riding was eased by a , rare, easterly tailwind.
I didn't make it all the way to Arthurs Pass, some did, as time ran out. The last ten km is a bit narrow, gloomy bush overhung and I have ridden it the other way before so it was not great loss. Besides 74 km, with that climb, was enough for day one.
Spent the night at Arthurs Pass which meant tomorrows highlight, the Otira Viaduct was just a few km away over the hill. Christchurch, where we were initially going to be tonight, had quite a big 5.something aftershock. We didn’t feel anything at Arthurs Pass (which is on the Alpine Fault), not aware it happened until I got a text from my sister in Christchurch.