Thursday, February 06, 2014

Days 4 and a half - Kiwi Brevet

I snuck out of Hanmer on day 4 in the evening and stumbled upon Brian and Steve also heading up Jacks pass. I had moved my sser to hill climb mode, 24/34 so had no problems with the gradient. Riding the 1 km from the fast food shop to the start of the trail was pretty funny though. At the top I was able to move it back to a more usable 36/23 with the sliding drop outs to take up my chain slack, and we got stuck into about 20kms of headwind and corrugations. Joy. The relief at finding the hut was intense as the trail was completely hammering our trail worn butts. There was more of the same when we rolled out at 5.45 am the next morning but eventually the corrugations ceased and the Rainbow Valley was all good. I did elect to walk Island Pass! I got myself a bit confused as I neared the end of the Rainbow as the trail split into gravel and tarseal, and knowing the K-bros predilection for gravel I started down the gravel choice, then changed, then went back... then re-read the instructions and went back to my normal route. Twit.

I had lost the other guys when I pulled my rear wheel on a small riser, and it was all downhill at speed after that so it I didn't really expect to see them again with my limited gearing. The manic spinning, then standing up, in an inappropriate gear was having a bad effect on my right achillies. The North Bank section was particularly brutal. I'm not sure what I was expecting, the older trails were good enough, it was just this newly laid base course gravel, for logging trucks that was real nasty. I walked most of the Northbank climbs as my gear was just too tall. I passed aussie Troy who had changed over to the Brevette option, through the Northbank as he recovered from a double puncture. I soon had one myself that was to prove quite critical. The Stans goo failed to seal the tiny cut in the sidewall so I put in a tube.

Some time later Troy caught and passed me and I felt terrible. I was pedalling hard but going no-where into a head wind along the now more exposed North Bank. I stopped to look down at my drive chain. I think that when I reset it after my puncture it must have jumped up into a larger cog. There was so much tension on the chain It wouldn't go backwards and I couldn't even move it forward by hand. Twit. I reset the tension and it was like I was on turbo! I had been down abut 40% in power for the last 2 hours not knowing why. The things you do when your are tired : )

After a quick stop in Renwick for an icecream and drink it was head down for the final stretch home. The remnants of my team had only been there for an hour or so, so they must have been as blown as I was! It was great to be met by my family and have my first wash in 4 days and sleep in a real bed at the Voodoo Lounge. Will be heading down to Seymour Square soon to check up on the guys. Go Team Voodoo Lounge. Simon Morton is having a blinder ! Thanks to the Kennett bros and Mondo and Pat and everyone who lent a hand in putting it on yet again.

See below a few of the things that got me through my hardest Brevet so far.

The phone number of Ian at Arthurs pass Cafe who lent me a new toe-clip pedal

The sliding drop-out on the Surly Karate Monkey

Lezyne multi-tool for adjusting rear wheel tension and position.

A lovely note from my oldest daughter Ash, which I found on the front of my bike about 30 mins before we started at Seymour Square :)