Loop into the Marlborough Sounds

I did a nice road cycling loop out into the Marlborough Sounds today.

I drove to the Rai Valley mid morning and parked near the turn off to the roads that head North to the bays. The Nelson weather had been playing a nasty trick on me again. It was delicious, blue and sunny as I left but in the Rai Valley it was grey and cloudy. Still I set off towards Okiwi Bay. The climb was quite nice and I soon got into it. The descent into the bay was also nice. The weather wasn’t so bad. It was reasonably warm. There was native bush on each side of the road so it was quite pretty. I rode up the next climb continuing along French Pass road and then rolled along the windy road. At the turn off to Elaine Bay I left the road.

I took my shoes off and began pushing my bike up a very stony steep track that climbed for a couple of hundred metres up near the power lines. It then sidled around the hill climbing and dropping before descending steeply. It turns out this was all wrong and the track Georgia had meant heads around the bays and is much more ridable and happy. My track took about 2 hours and left me in Tuna Bay at the head of Tennyson Inlet. I came out by the World’s End street sign, which was funny. I was there 6 weeks earlier with Ari.

From there I followed the pretty road around near the sea that winds and climbs and drops to Harvey Bay. Then I stomped up the hill feeling good to Opouri Saddle. The descent from there is steep, narrow, and winding. I time trialled back to the car and drove back to Nelson.

At Okiwi Bay (Cycling Marlborough Sounds)Offroad (Cycling Marlborough Sounds)

Above left: I did a nice road cycling loop that started in the Rai Valley and headed towards Okiwi Bay. Above right: There was a section from Elaine Bay to Tennyson Inlet that was definitely not ridable. Unfortunately I took the less optimal route up along a random stony track instead of heading around by the seashore.

View down towards Elaine Bay (Cycling Marlborough Sounds)More off road (Cycling Marlborough Sounds)

Above left: I could see down into Elaine Bay. Above right: A bit too technical for road cycling.

At Worlds End (Cycling Marlborough Sounds)

Above: I was here very recently with Ari!

Above: The route.

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