After going into the 2010 brevet in some of the better fitness of my life, and, one might say, having some issues, I went into the 2012 brevet with a different plan: do significantly less training and hope for a better result! It's possible that I've never been too clever with my race plans. After doing some consideration of my previous experience, I had four main goals for 2012
- No vomiting
- Make it to the top of Taylor's Pass with Team Voodoo Lounge
- Make it through the Molesworth on Day 1
- I absolutely cannot remember what it was, but I do recall I was determined to let goal one trump everything else
|Somewhere near Hurunui|
|Top of Porters Pass|
Unfortunately, by this point it was clear that my replacement seat for my recently broken Arione Twin-Flex was a poor choice. Ouch. I have never had such bad chaffing (since Day one). I was also starting to get pins and needles in my glutes and lower back whenever I would sit down. So I did a lot of standing for the last 3 days. My left knee gave me a fair bit of grief in the first three days too. I was a bit concerned I might not be able to go on early on Day three, but it mostly went away later in the day. I have no idea why.
|Heading for Ikamatua|
|Stillwater to Waiuta|
Day 5: Murchison to Pelorus Bridge. Uh oh. I had some concerns about this day. I think Jefe must have sensed that and he announced that he planned to smash it into the finish. Ah well, it had been good riding with them to this point. I was happy to go it alone. They intended to make it to the Pelorus Bridge campground and hopefully I would meet up with them there. Somewhere up the Braeburn I lost them and I would not see them again; I would just hear rumors of their presence in certain locations. The heat also started picking up again and my nausea was coming back strongly. So, after a short lunch stop at St. Arnaud I realised there was no sense in pushing it. I decided to take it easy and make sure I did not overheat. That meant a few stops under shady trees! Fortunately, that was the right decision. I think I made it to Nelson about 2 hours after the rest of TVL but my guts were in good shape. After a series of navigational disasters (@$%@$ Charlotte Lane!!) and a colossal amount of time wasting trying to find Subway, I did a serious amount of eating. It must have been just past 8 when I started heading up toward the Mangatapu and I was somehow looking forward to going over it alone and in the dark, but with a full moon. After freaking out the local publican with my shaking, while she kindly refilled my bottles, I was down the road.
|Riding in the Waiuta|
The temperatures continued to climb as I headed into the Port Underwood hills. At this point the “take it easy” theme really got the best of me. I almost regretted it when the David and Stephen the singlespeeders passed me about 1/2 way through – how'd I get ahead of them?! As expected, there were a few more hills than I remembered and I had really had enough by the time I hit the tar seal. Too bad the road kept going up. Once down on the flat I was helped along by what was mostly a strong tail wind and with much easier navigation than the previous finish!! Finally I was at the Square in 5 days and 9 hours – very relieved to be finished, but mostly just glad to not have to sit on that saddle.