>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009
HISTORY: John Randal and Simon Kennett had organised a 350km ride around the block starting from Upper Hutt and through the Wairarapa via Martinbourgh , Gladstone up to Pahiatua and over the Pahiatua track to Palmerston North, then back down via Shannon and over the Akatarawas to Upper Hutt then down the Motorway to Wellington, all up 350kms. This was to support the 350.org organisation which was having a rally in Wellington on Saturday afternoon, this ride was timing to finish at the same time as the march.
All week I had been mulling this ride over, half of me thinking that’s a stupid idea and the other half, my competitive half thinking woot. So friday evening rolls around and I decided to have a go so dropped Sifter an email secretly hoping he wouldn’t get it, DAMM he replied within 5 minutes so couldn’t pull out now. The ride was scheduled to start from Upper Hutt at Midnight, being the last train in from Wellington, now I have a dislike for public transport so found the other Bushlover with crazy endurance Mono and we decided to go for 400kms instead, firstly as; 350 just wasn’t a round number and also the target for 350 parts of carbons per whatever just didnt fit with our plans, however it is also the 400 year celebration of Galileo so this fits nicely as I like stars and we where going to see a lots of them.
So I underprepared by fitted my lights, stuck on 2 bottles of water and grabbed 2 bananas from the fruit bowl and took off to meet Mono at 10:30
We arrived in Upper Hutt bang on time to meet Sifter and another Vorber Brian, so without much ado we set off for the Rimutakas and soon realised it was going to be damm cold, like damm cold, and Mono without a jacket, FAIL, no hat FAIL, no Money MORE FAIL puts in an emergency call to Keryn who being pretty amazing came out from Wellington with some supplies.
Climbing the Rimutakas as was never quite sure how hard to push it with a good 350kms to go I didn’t want to blow up to early on so settled into a good climbing pace and just stuck behind monochops.
Riding down the Rimutakas at night with lights was 0 for Awesome, cold, but awesome, from Featherston we diverted off to Martinbourgh with Mono putting in a few attacks off the front I managed to secure the sprint finish to Martinbourgh, from there it
was a big of a cold slog through to Gladstone then finally Masterton at about 4am to watch the local yoofs hanging at McDonalds. As a reward for the first 6 hours I ate 1/2 a Banana and had a mouthful of water.
From there it was a real mind game I battled several times with just stopping on the side of the road and choose death by freezing or putting in a couple of attacks off the front to liven things up, so chose the later as dying wasn’t my style.
Into Eketahuna at about 5ish couple of shouts from the locals hooning past, couldn’t quite make it out but would imagine something like, hey Fagz hu hu hu..
From there the sun started to rise and we found an open servo in Pahiatua which had warm pies, Mono stuffed one on his Junk to warm it up and I stuck my gloves in the pie warmer to thaw them out, the lady serving was somewhat surprised to see 4 lycra clad frozen cyclists at that time in the morning, suspect she thought it was some sort of hold up as she didn’t complain about Mono warming his pits with yet more pies, expect to see us on Police 10-7 next week.
From there it was up to the Pahiatua track through to Palmerston North, everyone was still riding pretty strong, Sifter and Brian with Diesel engines, Mono with his V8 Supercharger, and myself more a V6 Turbo, came across a couple of South Africans climbing up the hill who after Sifter told them we had ridden for 250kms so far proceeded to try and smash us up the hill, however Supercharger boy pulled them back in and made them look shameful.
Down the road into Shannon Monos wife Keryan once again popped up with some V Shots and more supplies for Mono and the rest of us ransacked the local store looking for food, Sifter came out with Bananas woot!.. so I went to hunt for those couldn’t find any and was about to kill Sifter for his when I found some next to the Potatoes, was a close thing.
On towards Waikanae myself and Mono where cruising up ahead of Sifter and Brian and Mono puts in a little spurt, WTF I called out , are you putting in an attack after 300kms?.. Ha.. he couldn’t shake me on the flat, although he put in a full out of the pedals sprint just before Waikanae which I responded to, he may have got me if the lights hadn’t turned Red, I said may..
We met Simon Kennett at the bottom of the Aka’s who had come out to ride the last bit with us, he had been unable to ride the full distance as he had come down with a bad cold, but some extra company was always nice.
Into the Aka's I goaded Mono into racing up he was of course non committal as I was more like a poodle humping a Alsatians leg, but we "casually" rode up, I wasn’t sure where the summit was so started to climb a bit faster when I thought it was getting close, but FAIL I went too early so sat back down, Mono took this as his chance to attack and he sprinted to the top to claim the KOM points.
From there we rode back down the Aka’s and along the rollers putting in more big ring attacks against each other I think I won a couple when I caught Mono recovering, but he’s been keeping up with the EPO so was pretty strong.
Back along the motorway Simon led and pretty much towed as all the way back to Wellington as I wondered at the sense of smashing my legs to bits on the Aka's, damm competitive streak. Both myself and Mono crawled up the hills to karori I opted out of climbing up Birdwood and went up though the main route to get home with still a couple of kms short of 400, so put in a couple of laps of the streets to get to 400, then headed home feeling pretty broken and tired, I was slurring my words when I regaled my triumph to Trudi and promptly crashed out for about an hour before having some breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time.
All in all, extremely mentally tough ride, but enjoyable apart from the 2am to 6am ride though the Wairarapa.
Would I do it again.... Maybe..
Would I start at 10:30 pm again... Definitely NOT.
Thanks to Sifter and Brian for the company and Mono for the Competition, and also special thanks to Simon for the tow back to
Wellington and for jointly conceiving this madness with Sifter.