I found my way back to New Zealand on Friday morning and Katie, Simon, and I drove up to Lake Tennyson on Friday night. We arrived late in strong wind and a bit of rain and scurried into tents before they blew away. On Saturday we rode into Lake Guyon on the St James Cycleway. As we had left reasonably late we arrived after around 3 hours riding about 3 pm. We had lunch and decided not to try going any further. We didn’t really have much in the way of lights. I also seem to have contracted some sort of American energy sucking lurgi. Instead we snoozed in the funky little hut for the entire afternoon waking around 10:30 pm. Katie cooked us some dinner and it was back to sleep… Very lazy.
We rode out the way we had come in over Mailing Pass on Sunday with spots of rain and lots of wind. We then drove back to Hanmer for some thermal pool goodness. Dinner in Hanmer before driving back home to Christchurch.
Above left: In front of Lake Tennyson. Above right: Katie and Simon setting off towards Mailing Pass.
Above left: The track is nice and friendly into Lake Guyon. The descent from Mailing Pass is quite steep but ridable. Above right: Lake Guyon is a 2.5 km detour from the main St James Cycleway route but well worth a look. Katie rides towards Lake Guyon. The hut is situated behind a patch of bush on the left side of the lake.
Above left: Lake Guyon hut. A cosy four bunk affair. Cosy as it’s got a fire… Above right: View from Lake Guyon hut.
Above left: Laziness overcame us and we snoozed the afternoon away. Above right: Heading out back over Mailing Pass on Sunday.
Above left: Katie and Simon are victorious after pushing their bikes back up the steep side of Mailing pass. Simon demonstrates his victory with his yoga power-drink pose. Above right: Coffee at the Powerhouse Cafe in Hanmer after finishing riding. IMHO nobody does cafe culture like New Zealanders. Of course the clientele leaves a little to be desired.
Above: Photoshop required to get one good photo…
Michael and I were banished to the US to play with high magnetic fields for a couple of weeks. After a work marathon in Minneapolis with the head spinning fun of clambering around in a 7T magnet we flew off to San Francisco. We saw a bit of the city over the weekend before doing some more work antics on Monday and Tuesday. Michael’s lady flew into visit when we arrived too.
Above left: Michael and Cris near the Golden Gate Bridge. Above right: Cris, Michael, and Tammy in our plush(?) hotel.
Above: Hotel pictures.
Above left: Trams in San Francisco. Above right: The Golden Gate Bridge.
Above left: Yacht sailing in front of Alcatraz. Above right: The Harbour Bridge at night.
I went and stretched my legs in the Vogesen mountains in France today. I left Freiburg at the suitably lazy time of 11 am-ish and rode the 20 km or so to the French border. I crossed the Rhine there and headed North-West towards Colmar. Instead of riding into Colmar I headed West into a valley leading into the Vogesen mountains. At Munster I headed South towards a pass, Col du Platzerwasel (1183 m). At the bottom of the ascent there were ominous closure signs but I decided to ride a little bit of the climb and see what was what. It was already something like 3:30 pm. I told myself I should turn around soon in order to get back before it got dark but kept riding a little further. I reached the pass and was curious to go jusssttt a little further. I ended up at Le Breitfirst (1280 m), another pass close to the first one. I only had my cell phone to navigate with and there wasn’t any height profile on the map so I wasn’t sure that continuing onwards was such a sensible idea. Therefore I continued onwards. It got quite snowy on either side of the road and began to snow lightly. I met some people and asked about the road and we flagged down a car and consulted their real map. It looked like I’d be able to continue without having to climb again. It was now getting quite late and I had to ride hard to get back to Freiburg before dark. I did some premium descending and then battled back across the plains to Germany racing the clock and arriving around 9 pm as it was getting dark. A good day in the saddle.
Above left: Storks in Munster, France. Above right: Arriving at Col du Platzerwasel. I got there a little late which meant I had to scurry quickly back to Freiburg as fast as my tired legs would take me.
Above: As the snow beside the road increased and it got later I wondered whether I wasn’t being a bit foolish. I navigated using my cell phone with a little map without contour lines.
Above left: Crossing the border back to Germany at Fessenheim. Above right: The long haul back across the plains.
Freiburg -> Vogesens (Col du Platzerwasel) Time: 07:35:21 Dst: 186.03 km Avg: 24.51 km/h Max: 68.42 km/h Avg Cad 70
As I am rather incompetent in some areas I didn’t go cycle touring. Instead I went for a misty mountain bike in the Black Forest. I headed up over Kybfelson and towards Schauinsland before heading around above Horben towards St Ulrich. I descended by random forestry tracks to Au.
Above: Me in the mist.
Above: Some more mist for good measure plus trees on jaunty angles. Jeremy take note.
Biking Black Forest (April 2012)_web
Above: And of course a map of the route.
Time: 03:14:05 Dst: 37.95 km Avg: 11.73 km/h Max: 48.48 km/h