Saturday, March 12, 2016

March 13, 2016 Mossburn to Queenstown

I titled the blog based on wher we started the ride, not where we got up which was at Te Anau.  So we were up at 7:00 Am to leave at 8:00 AM and shuttle back to where we got off the bikes on March 11.  We arrived at Mossburn at 9:00 Am and unloaded the bikes and prepared to ride.

It was a heavy gray sky with low hanging fog banks along the sides of the valley.  There was a steady drizzle of rain falling.  Not a big down pour but a steady drizzle just enough to call for full rain kit.  Well not quite as I passed on the shower cap.  It was about 12 C so a shower cap would have been a bit too warm.  

We had a 20 km side road from Mossburn before we turned north on highway 6.  Most of it was a long steady uphill grade with a fresh wind coming in at the 10:30 position.  The Garmin found the route and even though there were no turns having a map in front of you rather than an odometer means you are not counting down the miles.   

At the  corner there was a little café and Agnes and Amy were having coffee so we stopped and had a 15 minute break.  The rain had abated so I gave up the heavy duty rain jacket which was really nice.  There is nothing worse than being wet on both sides. 

After we turned north we hit a long rolling climb which was around 35 kms long and probably averaged about 2-3 %.  Not much but after a while it let you know that it was there and the wind had stiffened considerably.  I had also shifted around so that it was coming directly into our faces.  The last few kms before lunch which was at the 67 kms mark were brutal. 

We stopped at Kingston for lunch which is just a crossroads but at one time was the center for a famous train called the Kingston Flyer. 

After lunch we followed along Lake Wakatipu into Queenstown.  Like all rides following lakes it was a real roller coaster of steep climbs and steep descents back to the lake.  About 15 kms out of lunch the wind died right off which was great. The sun kind of peaked through the clouds and riding in a long sleeved jersey and a set of knicker bibs was downright hot.   

Before we knew it we were in Queenstown and turned off the highway and followed a gravel bike and walking path along the lake shore into downtown. Queenstown is a total tourist trap of the first order.  Downtown is lined with pubs, pizza joints and tour sales offices.  You can do any kind of tour you can think of here.  They have it all.  Para sailing,  jet boats, zip line tours, antique  steam boat sailings,  bus tours of every description.  Tomorrow is a day off.  Maybe we will try something. 

Check the route and all the geek facts here;  It was a total 112 kms and 695 m climbing.

Another great day of riding on the wrong side of the road.



Anonymous said...

Sorry the Kingston Flyer doesn't run anymore, you would have loved it. Hope you take the opportunity to ride the Earnslaw to Walters Peak Station. Keep having fun and remember; riding in the rain and with a headwind still counts as riding your bike!

Anonymous said...

Great trip report Terry! I read it and I feel like I'm almost there too.

Milly Johnson said...

Strong riding - look forward to your Queenstown stories!

Cynthia Bergland said...

I am going to need all your tips about riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road for Ireland this summer....!