Editorial note: This posting and the next few days are a reconstruction after the event, I had no net access during this time.
I Really don't want to do this
It all seemed so simple when I went to bed last night. The bike was all loaded, all I had to do was take the drink bottles out of the freezer, put them in the panniers; take the unfrozen bottle out of the fridge and put it on the drink clip then leave.
The reality was different. I kept finding all types of things that I "must do before leaving". I'm planning to ride 120 km, when the longest strip I've ever done before is 30 km, and that only a few times while I was seeing Maria.
Eventually at around 11 AM I decided it was now or never; so it was on the bike, out the driveway and up to the end of the street. Up to now I hadn't made up my mind whoever to take the shorter, but busier State Highway 1 route, or highway 16. I now needed to turn either left or right. I stopped and thought. Eventually I turned left. Still not completely committed, but I was now heading towards highway 16.
Moving BackwardsBefore setting out I'd found a list of NZ waypoints including Uretiti at Uniquely NZ. I had set my GPS to Uretiti and as I cycled along it was telling me something I already knew intellectually; I was actually getting further away from my target. The psychological impact of seeing this while on a ride that was to be 4 times as long as my previous longest was pretty devastating.
So it was down Balmoral Rd to Great North Rd, then to Point Chevalier and up the cycle way alongside the motorway. I had my first ride at Henderson and pumped my tyres up as hard as I could. Then after 10 minutes I was moving again. Lunch was chicken and chips from the fish and chip shop in Kumeu and back on the road again. By now the kilometres on the GPS were ticking down and I just kept riding along. Another brief break at Helensville and back on the road again.
Night 1 Kaukapakapa
Around 5 PM I rode into Kaukapakapa, pretty exhausted, so I decided I needed to find a place to sleep soon. The only place to sleep there seems to be the local pub. Problem, there was a sign on the door saying they were closed for the public holidays! I wandered around the back and found the live-in custodian. She confirmed that they were closed, but seeing how tired I was took pity on me and opened a room for me. "I'll let the owner know and you can pay in the morning" she said. How trusting. The room was basic and dinner was a couple of pies & sandwiches from the Caltex station, but it was all I needed. Sleep came easily.