On Saturday I rode a two stage Tasman Wheelers race. The first stage was a 30km graded scratch race that headed out over Rai Saddle. I started in B grade and along with some of the older guys got dropped on the hilly bits. I just don’t have the legs to keep up with the young guys. We had a nice descent from the saddle. I tried to mash the pedals as I used to do quite well on the flat. It wasn’t awful but I didn’t feel like I was producing the power I’d have liked to. Before the finish line an A grader, Mike, caught up with a young B grader in tow (the only one I managed to drop). I sat on and sprinted at the finish.
I started with the young B grader for the return race. It was a handicap race back. We worked together well but I couldn’t keep up with him going up the saddle and dropped off the pace as he rode away with some others. A few more passed me until Mike caught up again riding like a mad thing. I jumped on and to my surprise managed to stay on his wheel. I was working hard to keep up. He got away a few times in the descent but I managed to get back on even taking some turns at the front.
Near the end it suddenly began to pour with rain and sweat and sunblock ran into my eyes making them sting. I could hardly see where I was going having to close my eyes every few seconds. There was water everywhere but I followed. Another turn at the front I think. Then we could see the front bunch before us. Mike caught them up and then sprinted past. I stayed on his wheel for a bit but then a gap opened up. Still we were in front of the bunch and I sprinted across the line behind him and another guy who had managed to get on Mike’s wheel. It was good fun.
Two stage Tasman Wheelers race
I headed back to Nelson, got sorted and drove to the Rai Valley where I met Finnish Annu. We left her car there and drove with mine to French Pass. We pitched our tents just before it started raining heavily. It cleared later and we made a simple pasta meal before heading down to the beach to chat and look at the sky, now full of stars.
The following day we had a nosey around French Bay before driving back to Elaine Bay. It was warm and sunny and by chance we found a guy renting out a double kayak. We took the opportunity and rolled the kayak down to the shore. We spent about 3 hours kayaking in the beautiful sounds with blue sky and mostly flat water. We stopped briefly at Deep Bay and then kayaked across to the Matai Bay hut. It looks like a nice little place to stay. We then battled into a head wind until we had shelter behind and island. It was a cruisy paddle back to Elaine Bay.
Then it was home to Nelson.
Above: Kayaking in the sounds from Elaine Bay.
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.
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.
Above left: I could see down into Elaine Bay. Above right: A bit too technical for road cycling.
Above: I was here very recently with Ari!
Above: The route.
Markus and I entered the Pfänder Time Trial. Like the name suggests it’s a time trial that goes up pfaender. It was mid week and after work. It was a meltingly hot day and after registering we found some shade to sit in. I poured water over my head and we waited for the crowds to clear a bit so we could start. Markus started one place in front of me so was 30 seconds before me.
I had a good ascent cracking the 30 minutes mark and getting my heart rate up high. I overtook Markus and a few others. It was a little cooler at the top and we waited there for a bit before heading back down via the tops and Eichenberg.
A nice midweek race. Pity they don’t have them more often.
Pfaender Rennen 2019 – ErgebnislistenErgebnislisteAK
Pfaender Rennen 2019 – ErgebnislistenErgebnislisteMW