Today was day two of the reverse ride which we started to ride with the wind rather into it. It was a very clever maneuver which worked very well. The wind today was supposed to be 15-20 kms out of the NE which would have been right into out face but being we had sagged ahead we could now ride with the wind. A great plan however the wind failed to show up today and so we rode up hill to the glacier rather than down with almost no wind.
The morning dawned with heavy dark clouds and a drizzle of rain falling. It was forecast to die off later in the morning so we took our time loading and getting ready. By 9:30 the rain had stopped and we were anxious to get rolling. It was at least 22 C but 100% humidity so what to wear was a good question. I opted for bib knickers, jersey and booties over my bike shoes. It was a good choose as within 5 kms we were climbing a 3 kms hill which was at least 10%. The down hill on the other side was pretty scary as it was also about 3 kms long and 10% however the road was wet, rough and had grooves cut into the asphalt which tended to grab at your tire.
All of the rivers are totally full because of all of the rain. Prior to the big rain storm these were all big empty dry washes. It is an amazing transformation.
I was feeling very good today an powered up all of the hills and rolled into Franz Josph feeling great. A great ride and despite the threatening clouds it never rained on us. We weren’t there 5 minutes before the skies opened up and huge deluge ensued. After Jos and Tom arrived we had lunch in an excellent restaurant. I tried the goat pie which kind of meat pie. It wasn’t Baaaad.
After lunch we loaded bikes and drove up to Hokitika where we are having a rest day. We are staying in house called “The Villa” . It is a totally restored and renovated historic home from 1914. The place is absolutely magnificent. Two nights in this beautiful place. WOW.
When we were planning this trip Jos had offered me the use of his Avanti bike. This is the bike Jos rode across America with so I knew it was a great machine. Jos had warned me that the rear brake is on the left rather than on the right as you use your right hand to signal with since the left hand side is on the ditch side. It has taken a little getting use to especially as I use my left hand to manage my camera. However there was always something different about the bike which I have not been able to put my finger on. As I was grinding up this long hill I was looking down to see what gear I was in and I realized that the gearing was on the wrong side (see picture above). Lots to get a custom to in New Zealand.
A great ride today and lots of fun.