12 January 2010

EC NZ '10 Day 10 Blenheim - Kaikoura

EC NZ ’10 Day 10 Blenheim – Kaikoura

We had about a 10 minute walk to the pool for a 6am-ish start today.
3 lanes booked as that was all they would give us and it was pretty tight once again.
Mostly it was just about getting it done but G-Man gave our lane a challenging set that included quite a bit of IM which was nice for a change today.

I do like the walks to and from the pool as it gives me some time to reflect on things and clear my head. Today I was remembering when Pete and another buddy Dave ran along the river here back in April the day after a 200km bike race the day before. That race is coming up again this April and we’re already committed to putting in a team effort there again.

We rolled out just before 9am towards Kaikoura knowing we’d likely have a headwind the whole way as well as some rain. The rain never really came until the very end but it was damn tough day to do this ride in this direction today. Some days on point-point rides you just get hammered and we did sure today
We had a KOM on the schedule with the climb starting about the 12km point and at about 4km into the ride Nick hit it hard and got the ball rolling.
From there it was a bike race to the bottom and I just missed the first bunch which included Steven and Clas. I knew I wasn’t going to beat them up the climb anyway, and although Petro made it into that bunch I guessed he wasn't going to be all that snappy on the ride today. In the pool in the mornign he wasn't looking good at all, and at breakfast he must've ate about 10,000 Calories.
So just had to mark Newsom and G-Man for the most part. I had Daniel with my group and he seemed keen to get up there but after towing us for a couple of km decided to not be quite so generous as to tow us all the way to the base. So some of us had to do a little work! :-)
G-Man missed the train so I tried to sit on Newsom and did OK until he hit the gas again with about 600m to go and spat me off his wheel.
Down the other side I knew it wasn’t going to take long for Daniel to come past so just had a drink and a snack and waited.
Then David Craig and Daniel proceeded to rip it up until Daniel’s aero bar bolt broke and he chose to sit on as to not knock anyone over.
It was pretty sweet sitting in the Bigger Sexier’s vortex for a while though and I was more than a little bummed to see he wasn’t going to tow me for the next 100km. David Craig stepped in and took over and pulled the whole damn way to Kaikoura. No shit!!
The guy is looking stronger as the camp goes on and he’s been running a ton too. I’ve barely been running at all yet I could barely hold his wheel.
Following David Craig today reminded me of riding behind one of my early training partner in Dan Diego around ’83 – ’84. His name is Ron Smith. He would have been around David’s current age when I was about 23-24. His nickname was “King”. He was built like David but a little thicker in the upper body from throwing around the big steel for years.
When he was training for the Spenco 500-mile ride he has these cushy hand rest grips on his drops and he would stay on them for hours without budging. We did a lot of 120-150 mile rides together on the coast and I often had to stop in and see my chiropractor Barbara Stewart in Carlsbad on the way home because I was so f…d from holding onto Ron’s wheel all day.
I don't know how he put up with this pesky young punk wheelsucer for so long but I'm eternally grateful he did as he was a tremendous role model and helped me make the transition from a kid into a man.
If anyone out there has news of how Ron’s doing these days please send me a private e-mail – scott.molina@xtra.co.nz

When we arrived in Kaikoura I had a quick snack, beer and shower and was asleep within 20 minutes of arrival. I’m rooming with Charlsey and he was passed out too. He ended up sleeping for 3.5 hours this afternoon!
I slept for 90 minutes before wandering out to find the sun was out, Nick was just heading out for his run so I tagged along with him. Caught some good rays too.
I still never know if I’m going to have to walk it in from a run so it was a nice surprised to only be a little sore and tight and to run the whole 10km.
Just as as Iwas finishing my run Super support Dave came over to my unit to bring me a special treat and that cheered me up no end. These guys are damn good to me.

Dinner was here at the motel, plentiful as always and people are generally in good spirits.
Fun to catch up with the others tonight to hear how it went out there.
Pete O’Brien had a good dose of personal time today. He was pretty shattered and spotted in town at the end of the ride trying to re-group by wolfing down a big mince pie and shake prior to rolling into the motel.
Good to hear that Big E (Eric Van Moorlehm) was back to his ol’ self pulling a train along today for most of the way. He wasn’t very fit coming into the camp so has struggled with all the hills we’ve had to climb. He should like the next 2 days because a total of 190km of it is flat.

We jog to the pool here and back, swim in wetsuits as the pool here is so cold, then on the ride we have another KOM right out of town and I’m sure it’s the absolute worst way to start another long ride. Its just the way the terrain worked out this year but for future camps I’m going to try my best not to let it happen so often.
It’s a very hilly 70km to start with to get to Cheviot, then gently rolling for 30km or so and then flat to Christchurch. 185km.