Russell picked me up at about 8:30ish to introduce me to the other rider on the Milford Wilderness tour - A nice Danish lady whose name may appear once I can work out how to spell it. Natasha, one of the Adventure South office staff, is also joining us for a day or so. We went to the Adventure South depot to sort out the bikes, load the minibus/trailer etc.
After that we drove up to the Port hills for a ride along Summit Road but in the opposite direction to the first day of the Beach to Beech. There were a few ascents on this short (~20Ks) ride but the mostly steep and twisty downhill across many cattle grates was the major feature. Note to anyone interested in riding in NZ (or country Australia for that matter): cattle grates shake stuff loose so be prepared with a set of allen keys for the need to re-adjust and tighten mirrors, mudguards, etc. Some flat riding followed before a picnic lunch at Bentwood Winery in very pretty surroundings.
After lunch we drove for a couple of hours to Geraldine for a quick coffee stop and then to the start point of the next ride. Basically a loop through back roads to see the pretty scenery. :) The road is mostly sealed but there was one medium length hill on fairly smooth gravel that wasn't too bad and allowed me to play a bit on the descent. There was also some light rain at the beginning and at the end of this ride, but the new shell seemed to be handling it fairly well. I haven't needed to pull out the actual rain jacket yet. Then again I got into the bus before the rain became heavy enough to need it.
After that we drove to the Fairlie Farmstay which has been exceedingly pleasant.
And now for the stats
Oh, and apparently the hills eating my flags was seen as a challenge. Adventure South have provided a replacement flag, clipped it to the pole, and supplied three spares. :)