29 January 2008

Epic NZ '08 Day 3 Tekapo - Wanaka

Sorry if I've been a little "dry" in my updates thusfar. That won't change tonight! but perhaps tomorrow I can manage more than a blow-by-blow update.
Tomorrow has an optional ride scheduled and perhaps it will be less than 6 hours so I may have some energy.
After yesterday I was so worn out I really did start to re-think this whole idea of Epic Camp. This is how it went from my perspective. Keep in mind that G-Man will gie his version of reality at some point.
We woke to a brilliant calm morning in Tekapo. As I pulled the curtains back to check the weather at 6am I saw a few folks wandering out for a run. I returned to bed to do my blog!
We had breakfast at 6:45 - 7:30 and then rolled out to Wanaka at 7:45.
Beautiful clear, calm day and not hot which was nice. I've went through approx 20 bottles in total the first 2 days.
We cruised along the canal roads which have no traffic at all. As the support crew passed a salmon farm they popped in there to get some for tonights dinner. So at least I had that to look forward to! :-)
We took a great photo in front of Lake Pukaki with Mt. Cook in the background and rolled on to lunch in Omarama. All very cordial and leisurely as we rolled along.
After lunch it was 34km to the KOM at Lindis Pass and it didnt' take long for things to heat up. Approx 20km out from the top it starts to go gradually up and Brandon strung us out for a solid 10km + into the wind. I was at my limit and there were still about 14 people hanging on! Then Mark P put the hammer down for another 6km and shattered the group. I was one of the first to go. Luckily John Newsom came by sensible-like to pull Tara and I right to the top and we pulled in a few who had cratered near the top. I almost got Mark P and Brandon (a few measly seconds!) as they were able to cruise the last couple of km up.
Beven took the KOM quite handily again and G-Man managed 2nd this time ahead of the "Rotorua Guy" Paul Westwood who is always right there on every climb.

After the top I was able to hop on the "Love Train" down the other side and all the way to Tarras 35km away (and into the wind) Mark P and Brandon continued to take massive pulls into the wind at 40-45kph so we got to the drink stop quite a ways in front and promptly rolled out just as some others arrived (sorry guys!) but at this point it was time to get the damn ride done already!!!
Our little group kept things pretty mellow most of the way until Brandon decided he'd been riding "too damn long already!" and motored us to our lodge. I had to tack on a6km to get 210 and that all important bonus point! as I knew the others were going to do the same.

There were some casualties today. Rob felt like s..t right from the start and decided to hitch a ride in the van which is never easy to do when everyone else is riding. Ron hit the shingle on the side of the road just over the top of Lindis Pass and went down pretty hard. Nothing broken but he's got some nice scrapes.

After the obligatory post-ride beer (??? was that only me??) and a snack we headed down to the Lake to take part in an Aquathon (swim/run) series event. We made it a points race as far as the camp points are concerned. It was supposed to be 600m swim/4km run but eyeing it up at the start the swim looked to be at least twice that long. And it was.
Very tough conditions too. Albert led the way followed closely by John Newsom and I. We had a big gap to Gordo who was in the water for just over 20 minutes. Johnny ran away with it with Albert 2nd and me 3rd just holding off G-Man.
Tara was out with Mark P and ran into 4th and the others were really strung out by such a tough swim. Special kudos go to Paul who did it with no wetsuit and managed to not only finish but ran like a bloody deer. I would have been a popsicle with no wetsuit.

We're staying at a really nice Lodge a few km outside of Wanaka called the Lookout Lodge. Very nice. I'm sure the guys who came to last year's camp recognize this as quite a step up from the Haast Motor Camp which was quite the sand-fly breeding ground for the South Pacific I think.

I'll be happy to stay put for a few nights. I know the support crew will be too as its really hard on them to move on consecutive days packing and unpacking everything after supporing us on the road all day.
Its 9:42pm as I finish this. More tomorrow..............