Monday, March 16, 2009

Epic Sunday Ride

Rolling out the door at 8.10am, to ride into town and meet at the Tasting Room for the 8.30 start, I could tell Wellington had turned on a stunner of a day. No wind, not a cloud in sigh and just a slight chill in the air to keep things nice and fresh. 
The plan was to head north up to Korokoro and then drop back down into the Hutt Valley and take on the climb used at the elite nationals in '06 – Blue Mountains.  Then roll through the back of Whitemans Valley and down Wallaceville Hill. A short trip down the highway, turning off to negotiate the steep side of Moonshine, down the other side, through to Pauatahanui, Porirua, Tawa, Johnsonville. All up about a 100km ride with plenty of climbing.
Backy, Jono, Robbo and myself gathered at the Tasting room (numbers have been down lately at the GP rides, with injuries (Kirky), baby arrivals (Craig), travel (Davis, Silas), sickness (Tosh - reckons he had the man flu), wedding anniversary (Glenno). 

After 10km of flat we hit the first climb of the day Korokoro, which goes up to Belmont. The climb winds its way up through the bush, offering spectacular views of Wellington Harbour.

After the fast descent back into the Hutt Valley, we met up with fellow rider Dave Barnett (Barney), sporting his new pimped out BMC bike. Headed north along the Hutt motorway for approximately 15km before hitting the steep climb of Blue Mountains, near Silverstream. As the pace went on, the breathing started to get heavier, the chatter amongst the group stopped. The guys were scattered all over the climb, but I managed to get to the top in time to take some action photos of them as they crested the last corner to the top.

We regrouped at the top and rode a steady tempo through Whitemans Valley, Barney picking up almost all the White horses on offer to get the 30 seconds time bonuses on offer, must have been near on 8 that he managed to call. Next weekend the Welly individual time trial champs will be held out here – looks to be a nice final 10km so there should be some fast times.

Davis Meo would not have been happy with Robbo. He had mismatched socks on. I noticed this and took some photos – not adhering to the code of conduct. Ha, ha.

As we neared the start of the Moonshine climb we parted ways with Barney, as he headed back into Lower Hutt and we turned off the highway to start the climb. I had the camera at the ready in movie mode, starting it at the bottom of climb. Riding one-handed while seated and trying to hold the camera steady was hard work, as the climb reaches steep sections of about 13% in places. Managed to get most of the climb on camera before it must of switched itself off with about 800 meters to go.
Waiting at the top, Jono was in full flight and didn't notice us waiting on the side of the road. He was riding hard down the descent and through Moonshine Valley, thinking he was behind and needed to catch back up! Eventually stopping at the Haywards turn-off we caught up and started the homeward leg of the ride.
Heading north towards Pauatahanui, around the inlet was very pleasant – the water like a mirror. Trading turns on the front we made it through Porirua, Tawa and then up Glenside into Johnsonville (where i started my ride 3 hours earlier). Down Ngauranga Gorge and back into town, stopping at Deluxe cafe for a round or two of coffees and the main reason of the ride – to get the oatie apricot slice!  

After the much needed coffee and food we split up, each heading our different ways home.  

A very good days riding done and dusted. Until the next time,

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