Eric and I had a good ride on Saturday. Over 2.5 hours in the saddle (in Xterra tri shorts, no less) and not much discomfort at all. Oh Eric, it's good to have you back.
Phil and I drove out to Maraetai (Half IM swim start and T1), where I started doing some of the Half-IM bike course (after the competitors had left). I met Phil briefly in Clevedon and had a drink, then stopped again in Kawakawa Bay (T2 and finish). There were still some competitors on the course when I continued past Kawakawa Bay. No-one on my side of the road, so I wasn't in the way, but enough that I got a lot of positive encouragement as I pushed away up the hills. I would have been coming last by a country mile!
The hills on the second half of the course felt pretty brutal, especially since it was hard to pick up much speed on the downhills. They weren't technical by Welly standards, but they were pretty twisty, and the roadworks meant I rode pretty cautiously (of course, the fact that I was not racing, and had not been on a bike since 30 January had something to do with it).
All in all did between 55 and 60k in between 2:30 and 2:35. Slow, but I'm happy with it. Hit the mini-bike-wall at about 1:45, so I've probably lost about 45 minutes of comfortable riding time since last year. Not too bad at all, really!
Eric went back to Cambridge with Phil for the week, but we will be reunited tonight, and exploring the 'Naki this weekend. It's a big riding weekend, followed by a big running week (and by "big", I really do mean comparatively big, not objectively big!)