Long bike Sunday: sunshine and wind wind wind!

20140413-184022.jpgI was actually expecting today to be a rowing day, but it didn’t turn out like that, rowing was off. So, I decided to go for the long bike ride instead. I have been adding time on gradually,  so all was under control, or so I thought. 

I have been meaning to ride to Riverton for, well, as long as we have lived in this house, but just haven’t plucked up the courage, or found the time. It is about 65km return – a straight road, but a main road. No easy detour to avoid it that guarantees tar sealed roads.

So main road it was. Simply turn left out of my gate and go, till I get there. It’s a lovely coastal town, with a huge estuary, some lovely rocky shores, and is also the top end of the famous Oreti beach, the other end of that straight sandy beach is on the other side of Invercargill.

It was a beautiful sunny day today, but a wee bit chilly. Will to wall blue  sky so I opted for bib and fleece over layer over the t shirt. I stocked myself with Gatorade and bars, and the credit card (so I could stop for coffee at a lovely cafe I have been to many times, on the high street).

hardly any traffic and only one group of cyclists going the other way, shortly after I left. They looked like they were working hard, but they still waved. That should have been my signal of what was to come. There isn’t actually much on the long straight road through farmland to Riverton. I looked at the houses dotted about the rivers and streams, but in no time at all, I seemed to arrive at my destination. 55 minutes, 32kmph average. I will pay for this later, I discovered.

I stopped to sit and look at the estuary, beautiful clear water – wonderful scenery.


The cafe had Harley’s parked outside, it seemed funny to park my bicycle outside the door, so close to much cooler classier transport! These bikes had passed me some time ago out on the road, I think, it was a perfect day for bikers, sporty, speedy and cruise, they were all out today.

The lunch stop was definitely worth the ride, delicious French toast and a smoothie.

The ride home would pop by beautiful bubble though, but for now it was a great ride out and a lovely day.

On the return leg I was into a tough assed strong headwind. The thing about Southland is the weather can change moment by moment. On the way out, the wind was a crosswind. How it was against me for a whole 30km or more. Wonderful!

I disregarded the speedo and tucked into the drop handle position. This bike is not a comfortable as my TT bike, I don’t think it ever will be. I had to work my butt off, the whole way. Several times I felt like I might grind to a halt, and at one stage actually considered calling for a lift, but NO, I will win this wee battle.

Overall my 32kmph average plummeted to a 24kmph average by the time I got home.

That’s the beauty of a long bike ride, you never know what it is going to throw at you!

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