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.

Pfänder TT

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.

 

 

 

Results:

Pfaender Rennen 2019 – ErgebnislistenErgebnislisteAK

Pfaender Rennen 2019 – ErgebnislistenErgebnislisteMW

Rund um Vorarlberg 2019

Josh stayed the night and on Saturday evening we cycled to Hohenems to pick up our race packs.

Today we got up slightly before 4 am and cycled to the start of the race. The ride there was quite nice. It was a clear morning and the race started just before sunrise, at 6am.

We arrived 20 minutes before the start and it looked like most people were already lined up. I went to the back whereas Josh did the smart thing and snuck in somewhere further towards the front. The start was supposed to be neutralised but as usual it wasn’t really. I spent the first 10km to the Bödele climb cycling past people. The climb to Bödele was ok and I passed many people there too. The descent was nice and fast and fun.

I had a good group on the flat to the Hochtannberg Pass climb. I started to slow down on the climb and many people passed me. I just felt like I didn’t have any energy. Oh well. Another fun descent from the pass to Warth where I stopped at the refreshment station. I felt a little better after that and rode at the front of a group to Lech along the enjoyable winding road.

I was a bit slow on the climb up to Flexenpass and a fair few people passed me again. The descent from Flexenpass was neutralised. We had to take at least 18 minutes to descend. I stopped just after crossing the line in the neutralised zone and ate a bit thinking that would free up some time for the descent. The descent was a nice roll. I was worried I was a bit too fast and might be disqualified but apparently I wasn’t.

Once back in the race I chased onto a bigger bunch with some guys and stuck with the bunch until the end. They were good. There were some strong guys who seemed to be ok with doing all the work! I sat on and did very little. I wasn’t feeling that great. I had been sick during the week and perhaps I wasn’t completely ok. As we passed the turn off to the Highlander I was happy that I’d made the right decision. A lot of the rest of the Rund um Vorarlberg course is flat and we had a good pace. There were two more small climbs and I made sure I rode to the front of the bunch so as not to fall off the back. I was happy that my legs were ok, maybe from the long rest during the descent.

We neared the finish line and I tried to position myself in a good place in the bunch for a sprint. One guy tried to ride off the front too early and I sat on his wheel for a bit until he ran out of steam. It wasn’t far before the finish so I changed down twice and gave it everything. I put a good distance back to the bunch except for one guy who crossed the line possibly before me. Not that it matters as the whole race is on transponder time and none of us were going to win. It’s nice to put in a good finish sprint though.

 

Rund um Vorarlberg 2019

Rund um Vorarlberg 2019 Time: 4:52:51 Place overall men: 107/367 Place Category: 61/226