Today I rode Ruakaka to Wellsford for the Pedal For Plunket 2015 ride and it went well.
Although State Highway One is busy we had a support car & van following warning of cyclists ahead. The traffic was great, quite a few supportive toots and waves as they went past.
The climb up the Brynderwyn Hills, a first for me, was fine. Road works meant the passing lane most the way up the hill was closed to traffic but ok for me to ride. It was great having a lane to myself. I thought I knew this road but was rather surprised to see the old “Skyline Café”, which marks the top, appear sooner than expected.
I did the 53.1 km in 02:38:00 which was ok given there was 952 m climbing (about 300 m of it on one hill!). I haven’t ridden over the Brynderwyns before but had the gentler northern slope to climb. The downhill was fun, twisty with nice cambered curves so I still managed to max 71.8 km/h!
(Photos by the awesome Plunket & The Warehouse support crew)
The return ride
I decided to take the coastal route back to Ruakaka (and my car!). It is a bit longer but avoided having to climb the Brynderwyn Hills again, has some nice scenery and much less traffic than the main highway. That was the prime motive as I was riding solo for the return leg.
At one stage that stupid looking rear view mirror I wear proved its worth again. I was on a narrow slightly downhill section when a van caught me. There was no verge to ride on so I was maybe 0.5 m inside the white side line.
As I was doing about 50 km/h and thought they’d wait until past the approaching corner, no visibility to see if clear, before passing. I watched them start to overtake in the mirror and pulled over as close to the broken seal edge as possible.
Then another van came around the corner from the opposite direction. They both had to swerve quite violently, to their respective lefts, to miss each other.
About 5 minutes later a Police vehicle went flying past, lights ablaze.
Karma? What odds that the vehicle coming the other way would be a Police van.
Another couple of kilometres down the road I caught up to them talking to the eager overtaker. I stopped and the Policeman said “You’re brave, risking your life out here”. I should have mentioned I carry my Drivers license when cycling as I.D. and because it has the word “Donor” on it!
He said his colleague was “Having a chat” but it looked like a ticket was being issued to me.
About 10 km up the road, one of those share the road signs which I hope someone will pay more attention to in future.
The road joins the coast at Langs Beach (below) and it looked lovely. I did the 63.5 km in 4:00:00 as stopped at Langs Beach (munched a healthy apple and protein bar) and Waipu Cove (not so healthy Kapiti ice-cream!).
Bizarrely the route I took to avoid the big hill actually had 962 m (+10 more) climbing! Lots more smaller hills which added up.
Langs Beach towards Ruakaka (below)
Waipu Cove (below)
My part of the ride is over but you can still donate!
All donations greatly appreciated!