Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Big Coast - loaded

Last saturday was a chance for us to check out our rigs with a bunch of other like minded Brevet riders and a random sprinkling of adventure racers. The "Big Coast" ride is about 120kms and takes in quite a variety of terrain including about 4 abandoned railway tunnels on the Rimutaka Incline. Unbeknown to myself and Mister Cleetus, we were the only ones riding with full brevet kit! DOH!

We started at Trevs place where we hooked up with Jill, Jerry, Colin, Paul, Dave and Barryn, I think that was it, and headed off into a damp and stiff southerly. Trev has the most elegant stainless steel aero-bar in the world, and it came in handy as we hunkered into the teeth of the southerly near Pencarrow. You are kind of committed to the aeros though... theres no taking your hands off to grab the flats when it gets a bit sideways!

We ground along in our hi-zoot Ground Effect tops, on state of the art full suspension 29er wheeled cad designed machines, sipping on hi-energy Gu's and electrolyte replacement bars, paragons of hi-tech. Then, around the corner came a young guy on a warehouse bike with a pink helmet. Then a few minutes later was a young girl, then another. What were these kids doing out on a day like this in their t-shirts? After about 10 minutes the queue dried up the last one came through. I said hello. And he said "Hi Jeff". It was Leon! Leon is our painter (I fully recommend him) Hes a staunch member of the Mormon church and this little ride was one they did from Ocean Beach each year during the holidays. Awesome.

The bit across the river beds was a bit gnarly and a couple of the guys got punctures. By the time we had got off the coast it had started to rain in earnest. The good news was, it wasnt cold unless you stopped pedalling, so Cleetus on his wagon wheels went to the front and we sat on 40 plus kmh for a very long time along the side of the Lake to Cross Creek. A firm tail wind helped.

After another short food stop at Cross Creek we headed off to the summit. There was a cold wait there for a while as Cleetus had punctured right back at Cross Creek. Watching how these adventure racing guys keep warm was worth seeing first hand and duly noted.

After regrouping we headed back to the Hutt, which was a lot warmer than the other side of the tukkas! Down the Hutt River trail to town, and my brakes exploded about 2kms from home. Well timed. A good ride with lots of really good tips picked up.

The photos are from Paul Chaplow. Thanks Paul.