Monday, December 27, 2004

Kaukapakapa to Wellsford

Getting going

In the morning I wanted to get going, but neither the custodian nor the owners were anywhere to be seen, so I loaded up the bike and sat down to have a cigarette and a coffee. While I was doing that the owner turned up and I was able to settle my bill.

The muscles are a bit sore, but soon loosened up.

Nightmare on wheels

Ourshop describes the road to Wellsford as "Wellsford, Provincial Highway 16 meanders its way to Helensville." and helpfully adds "Watch out for the logging trucks using this stretch of road." Add monster hills and killer heat to that description and it's pretty good. Yesterday was overcast and while cycling could never be described as a pleasure at my level of fitness, at least it wasn't too bad. Today I was bleeding sweat and needed lots of breaks, but I decided that even when I needed an extra break I'd keep going. 5 km per hour isn't getting me anywhere fast, but at least it's getting me somewhere. Rabbit, tortoise, that kind of thing. About the 5th time I saw her, a policewoman that had been patrolling the road stopped her car and asked me if I was OK. I assured her I was & had plenty of water. I think she was afraid I was near to collapse.

On the other hand, I did allow myself my scheduled breaks. Originally the idea was ride for 90 minutes and then rest for 10. I decided that this was too much, so revised it to ride / walk for 60 minutes then rest for 20, but every time I was due for a rest I kept going until I found a place with shade and somewhere to sit or lie, so probably closer to 70 minutes.

About half an hour out of Wellsford a very nice young lady in the front paddock of her farm said she'd seen me coming in the distance and that I looked completely knackered. She asked if I'd like a dip in their pool. I would have loved to, but as I said to her, if I stopped I didn't think I'd have the strength to get going again. And so I got to Wellsford, turned left to get onto State Highway 1 and headed north. Wellsford is built on a hill and at the top of the hill I looked out over the countryside and decided that although it was only 3 PM I really didn't want to go any further today. There was accommodation up that end of town, but I thought about a tidy little motel I'd see at the end of highway 16, so I turned around and went back.


This was the right move. I was in a reasonably modern motel, with friendly host and after a swim in their pool and a hot shower I walked down to the shops for some fruit for tomorrow, then to the local bistro bar for a take-away pizza.

Again I slept well

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