Day 13 The Rimutakas

After a fantastic breakfast thanks to our hosts Manni and Claire we made for Wellington. Cold southerly still operating

Coffee in Martinborough and next to the start of the Rimutaka incline track. Great riding. Steady gradient and good conditions

No chance of making the 4pm ferry, but we went hard down the Hutt Valley just in case.

Bikes in the hold

We managed to sweet talk or way onto the 8:30pm ferry and arrived in Picton late. I think I slept the whole trip as I only remember the first and last 5 min of the sailing.

Day 11 home

No riding today

I took the bike in to be serviced. No problem, just some adjustment and new brake pads.

I didn’t expect a rest day… But I got one

Day 10 Riding home

Weird to be heading home 10 days into a 30 day event. My home is on the course so I get 1 night at home (or maybe 2)!

Leaving at dawn

Home roads through to Hunterville and on to Rangiwahia.  This country is so dry

Thanks for coming to ride with us Thomo

When we arrived in Apiti I decided to eat some food and then push on home. Hard to pass up that opportunity

Apiti Pub

Solo and under lights I completed a big day and made it home. Thanks to my neighbours who made food and drink for me.

Day 9 The Whanganui River

117.22km 5:35:46 1,024m

After a short ride to the bridge to nowhere and then to the landing the Jet boat arrived just as I did.

Bikes on the bridge

Great to see that bridge again… my 4th visit.

30min later we were in Pipiriki and enjoying a complementary hot breakfast, bike wash and new batteries for the spot tracker.

The river road is all sealed now and a pretty easy ride. Grate to see Soren ride out to meet us and ride back to Whanganui!

Big Butter Chicken Curry for dinner and a night at the top10 campground

Day 8 The bridge to nowhere

121.50km 8:46:49 1,503m

After a shortish ride to Taumaranui and a Big Breakfast we started a long climb up to Whakahoro in showers and patchy rain.

At Whakahoro the Blue Duck Cafe provided cold drinks and a big Lasagne which we hoovered up. it was also the last bit of civilisation till Pipiriki

Steep bluffs

We had booked the 8am Jet boat so we had to push on even though it was already after 4pm. The next 4 hours were intense with difficult single track meaning a lot of pushing the bike, followed by 4wd tracks made of papa mud that encased the tires.

Taking a risk we kept going at the second to last campsite so we could be as close to the boat as possible. Under lights we arrived at our campsite in the dark.

We setup camp knowing that we had made our goal and I slept soundly. First actual night in the tent.

Day 7 – The Timber Trail

134.16km 9:36:45 2,135m

A big day on single trail. The climb up to the start of the Timber Trail was long and relentless

Dawn at Mangakino

Once we were on the Timber Trail, there was a bit more climb and then huge amounts of descending. Fantastic trails, beautiful bush. Surely one of the best highlights of the trip so far.

Scott does single-track
Big gullies
The spiral

Exhausted we arrived at Ongarue, where the locals had a (cold) shower, hot meal and a hall floor to sleep on for $20

Day 5, Hauraki rail trails

122km, 225m climbing, 6:15 ride time

Can you believe we’ve covered over 600 km already!

Almost all gravel riding today on trail trails. The day started foggy

After an hour of riding we stopped at a cafe for an excellent breakfast… Then on to Te Aroha and finally Matamata. The trails were a change from anything we’ve done so far, but essentially boring. Nice to be away from the traffic tho.

Control point photo 6

Day 4, Auckland

114km, 1200m climbing, 6:20 ride time.

I met the boys at Mt Eden Cycles and we did the tough climb to the to of Mt Eden

Photo checkpoint 5

Through South Auckland and on to the Hunua ranges. Some big climbs in there…

The goal was Maranda on the Firth of Thames and a swim in the hot pools… Even though it was only a bit over 100km, the heat and the fatigue from the big day yesterday made it hard work.

The campground was packed with TA riders. A shower, a beer, fish and chips and a long soak in the hot pools… The end of a great day.