Monday, October 19, 2009

How to tell you're riding in New Zealand in spring

Lots to say, no time to write an epic, so here's the copout version!

1: You get drenched every 20 minutes (...ok.. maybe that's just Auckland...)
2:... but the sun dries you out before the next soaking... much so that you get sunburnt THROUGH THE HOLES IN YOUR GARMIN STRAP, and you end up with a hairtie tan-line on your wrist.

4: There are wee baby sheeps* and cows in all the paddocks...
5:...and a higher than average number of dead pukekos on the road.

6: There are headwinds...
7:...and cross winds...
8:...and winds from everywhich way all at the same time**...
9:...and when the winds stop swooping around your head, the magpies start.

and last but not least...

10: There's a sausage sizzle at your planned rest point (and they were perfect)

*For my facebook friends: On our way out, we were riding along and heard a poor wee bleating its little heart out. I made Phil stop and investigate, and we found it stuck in a ditch on the road side of a fence. We tried to rescue it for about 5 to 10 minutes, but it was a bit too far down the bank to get to it, so we reluctantly left. On the way back, the poor wee thing was still crying when I rode past (we were riding separately), which nearly broke my little heart in two. Fortunately, not much later I ran into a farmer and told him about it. And then a few minutes later Phil did the same thing...I think he might have thought we were crazy, but I couldn't bear the thought of the lamb crying for another few hours!

** I'm from Wellington, and I thought I knew wind. But I have never ridden in wind like this before! It wasn't quite as strong as Welly's gusts, but it was consistent, and it was EVERYWHERE. In Welly, you generally lose the worst of the wind when you're climbing, but on Sunday we were battling headwinds the whole way back. The not too awful climbs became some of the toughest, most soul destroying I've done, and on one descent (which I normally do at 40km/h+) I had to actually go down a gear so I could actually move my legs around!

***Here's some charts- cos we all love charts!


Britt said...

What are pukekos?

And lambs on the side of the road? I need to go to New Zealand! I don't think I've ever seen a lamb outside of the zoo in my life. :)

Sounds like you pushed through, despite the wind. Well done :)

Pip said...

You're almost making me want to move to Auckland again. I said almost!

I don't think I ever blogged about my crazy 22k run in rural South Auckland where I got terribly lost and had to call a cab to get back to my friends' house, but during that run I witnessed a pukekohe being hit by a car. As I ran past it was flopping about on the road still alive and I still feel terrible I never did anything. Though what I could have done I don't know. I certainly wasn't going to kill it, and I couldn't have carried it anywhere!