The start of the A2O Cycle Trip proper meant getting rid of AHBART for a week. I’d been offered a free secure park but it was on the opposite side of Christchurch from where I was staying so had an early start. Although Friday, workday for most, there was little traffic between Lincoln and New Brighton at 6:00am! A bonus was watching the dramatic sunrise and, ominous, clouds.
It’s a small group, mostly returning clients, former staff/founder and friends using the last advertised A2O trip slot on Adventure South’s calendar. After a couple of rendezvous, at the Adventure South Depot (to collect bikes & riders) and in town, we headed up to the top of the Port Hills for our first ride. I’ve ridden the Summit Road before but the views, road and (recently reopened after the Quakes) Gebbies Pass downhill at the end make this ride well worth a repeat visit.
The morning cloud had thinned out leaving a lovely sunny, if cool, day.
Stunning views over Diamond Harbour (below), the crater of an ancient volcano which formed the hills we are riding.
The downhill from here is awesome and we weren’t the only ones enjoying it. A rare sight was a KTM Crossbow sports car making the most of the fine weather.
YouTube compression isn’t kind to the Cycliq camera footage but this is the descent.
After that, and a coffee stop, we drove towards Tekapo and a ride near (aptly named) Beautiful Valley and Raincliff.
Below: John, Diane & me (photo by Buzz)
This pretty little country church was a good place to regroup.
After that we rode a bit further back to the main highway before loading up to drive to Tekapo for the evening.
The evening sunset from the bus window was pretty. Hopefully a sign the forecast rather grim weather might be better than hoped.
Dinner for me was a really nice spiced duck breast, I better ride a bit further tomorrow….
Kevin & I went out after dinner to look at, and photograph, the Tekapo night sky. It is a Dark Sky reserve and you can join official astrophotography tours. We were both surprised to find the lakefront and the fenced off ‘official tour area’ around the Church of the Good Shepard packed with people! My rather feeble unofficial attempt, without a tripod, just shows how much more practice I need to drive my SLR in pitch black darkness!
We cycled ~54km today on my bike speedo, Google estimated a bit more! Tomorrow the is the first day of the official Alps To Ocean Cycle Trail