Saturday, January 10, 2009

A fun if somewhat abbreviated ride!

Julia, Hannah and I met at Freyberg this morning for another ride. The forecast was for a Southern change and drizzle turning to rain but at 8.30 it was still only overcast and humid with that reliably gusty Northerly.

Both Hannah and Julia ended up running nearly half an hour late so I hung around the car and chatted to Dave Creamer, who suggested that I join a group of triathletes who were also heading off to do Makara. I looked at these lanky, athletic guys with their gorgeous Cervelo and Scott tri bikes and politely declined!

Eventually the three of us were underway, riding into a Northerly that was just strong enough to keep things interesting. We kept an easy pace and also kept up a steady stream of conversation the whole way around the Bays. Hannah led at first and I took over the lead around Scorching Bay. I sat behind another cyclist for a while then picked him off on the Pass of Branda, losing both Julia and Hannah in the process. We regrouped and picked up Darren, a friend of Julia's.

I dropped Julia and Hannah again on the way up Happy Valley then Darren came up alongside me and we rode two abreast for a while before the road narowed and I dropped in behind him. So he obviously didn't pull me the whole way up but with company to keep me honest I certainly got up there at a faster pace than usual.

Darren turned off at the Caltex to head home and we women regrouped again at Brooklyn. We were less than completely committed to Makara but I wanted to do some hills so we agreed we'd ride to Karori Park, meet up again and then decide.

I was surprised by how easy the climb up to the top of Aro Valley felt and thoroughly enjoyed myself the whole way. I had to wait for several minutes at the top for the others and by the time they got there I was totally fired up and keen to keep going around Makara. Wellington, however, had other ideas.

Setting off again I remarked that the weather appeared to be turning. It had suddenly gone vey still. A few seconds later it was spitting with rain. The decision not to continue on to Makara was instant and unanimous! Calling over my shoulder to the others I proposed turning left and heading down Glemore and Tinakori Rds and back to the city via Thorndon Quay.

From that point it was a fast sprint back down the hill, during which time I apparently hit over 50kmph. We rode back along the waterfront as quickly as traffic would allow. When we got back to Freyberg we'd only done just over 40km and the weather, while looking forboding, was holding. Looking South the clouds were bruised and gathering in a manner reminiscent of the scene in the Ghostbusters movie when the portal opened over the city. We figured, however, that we probably had enough time to get out to the naval base and back before it hit.

Whereas Oriental Bay had been choppy when we left it was now completely still, a good indicator that the wind had gone South. This was confirmed as we rounded Pt Jerningham and into a building wind. The air was thick with the approaching storm, the harbour was looking extremely dramatic, and I found myself feeling quite exhilerated. In the end we made it not quite as far as Greta Point before it finally started pelting down. Julia was in the lead and, behind her, I told her she could feel free to turn around any time she wanted. We did a u-turn and then opened up the throttle to sprint with a tailwind behind us back to Freyberg. The rain was driving against our backs the whole way. Crazy fun!

All up we did only 50km, but we all felt fresh and could easily have kept going. I really enjoyed myself! We're going to try again on Monday, so touch wood this weather will blow through in time.

1 comment:

Frayed Laces said...

sounds like a great ride!