Some spectacular scenery today, and weather which only got clearer and brighter as the day went on.
In a sense this was the high point (literally) of the tour: 1000M above sea level on NZ's highest sealed road.
I rode the the 1st 36Ks from Wanaka to Cardrona and then to the chain fitting bay before Justin ferried me to the top of the Crown range. I'm confident I could have made the climb, but it was already 10 past 12 and I would have taken an hour or two to do it.
The descent down through the switchbacks and around the side of the Crown range was exciting, made more so by really
strong winds. The winds meant that I was more cautious than I would have been normally - any wind that can kill 20+KPH of downwards velocity when it is a headwind needs to be handled carefully as a crosswind.
Fortunately everything was stable all the way down and I enjoyed the descent immensely. No photos. I very carefully packed the camera away to avoid temptation. :)
The rest of the ride to Queenstown was through territory that Justin calls undulating and that I call hilly with a few nasty (but thankfully fairly short) climbs.
The approach to Queenstown was mostly down and curvy (yay!) until we got to the hotel. It was somewhere here that I hit 800 Ks for the tour. Yay!
The last K was solid steep climb and I took the dare to do it. Having just
racked up 800Ks for the tour I was sure I could handle 1 more.
I made it and I'm now into a couple of rest days before the next leg kicks off.
So, final stats for the 1st leg of the tour:
|Tour Distance||803.93||Distance Today||76.37|
|Tour Ride Time||49:10||Ride Time Today||5:12:21|
|Max Speed||63.3||Max Today||61.0|
|Odometer||8739|| || |
I may be able to get some photos posted while I'm in Queenstown so stay posted!