03 February 2014

The Drama Unfolds

Day 3 of the Kiwi Brevet cycle touring challenge

Just over 100 riders left Blenheim at noon on Saturday and most are making good progress around the top of the South Island.
You can see them starting at this Utube clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtB8vVwWzl0
You can check out the progress of two thirds of the riders at http://trackleaders.com/kiwibrevet14
About one third of the riders don't have trackers, but all riders must call in at the seven call in locations.

Some riders found Port Underwood hillier than expected, with Steve MacLeod stating upon his arrival at Picton that he would be "moving to Holland where it is flat". Most seem to be really enjoying their ride, and many are travelling in groups, enjoying big meals together and staying at comfortable lodgings. Early starts also seem to be popular, especially as the afternoons have been hot.

Dave Sharpe is many miles out in front, as he is testing himself to see if he wants to do the Great Divide later this year. He is past Arthurs Pass now.

Nathan was not to far behind him until his bike fell apart last night (freewheel bearings gone, BB bearings on the way out and buckled wheel). His spot tracker has been off since then. But he rode off to Greymouth, had a huge cooked breakfast, got his bike fixed at a bike shop and is now back on the road. The rest will have been good for him.

Thomas Lindup, David Drake and a few others have also had serious bike problems. I guess riding lightweight racing bikes loaded up with gear can do that - or it's just bad luck. Thomas has somehow recovered and is making incredibly good time.

Peter Maindonald went off course at 158mph. No, he wasn't in a private jet, he just suffered from what TrackerHQ call a 'rough point'

Nathan has just turned his tracker back on.

Some riders don't have trackers because, like Simon, they are just riding for pure fun. He and several Brevetteers are riding an average of 100 km a day, and are really connecting with the places they see along the way.

A few riders have got themselves a little lost, and have ridden off the course. This morning, a group missed the turn-off at Wakefield and continued south on the main highway, missing some lovely riding up 88 Valley. Navigation is all part of the brevet challenge.

Thank to Jo Wynn-Williams for the following photos.