10 January 2010

EC NZ '10 Day 8 Masterton - Wellington

EC NZ ’10 Day 8 Masterton – Wellington

Compared to most days on this camp today looked to be one of the easier days and that proved to be the case.
We re-jigged the day so we could get the ride done prior to the forecast gale force Norwesters kicking in. When they say “gale force” in the Wellington forecast you have to take that seriously. It means un-rideable conditions.

So after breakfast we had a nice social ride for 65km to Featherston where we had a mandatory re-group and drink stop.
We parked right in front of David Craig’s favorite bakery and he came out with a rugby ball sized scone to show us why. Quite a few coffees also went down and mine was sweeeeet!
From there we had a big KOM over into Upper Hutt and the wind was picking up and it looked like it was going to be one humdinger of a mission to get over that climb. I guessed it would be about 20 minutes difference from the front of the group to the back and it turned out to be just over that.

I cranked up my R & B playlist on my iPod and got things off to a decent start with Al Green for company.
When John Legend, then Barry White and Marvin Gaye came on in quick succession we were well into the main climb and I was in a great groove and good headspace calling in all the thoughts and memories that give me strength and power. I _do_ know where to go for energy when I need to and now was one of those times. That music has a strong association with so many of the good times in my life
Lee Wingate from the UK made an early move for glory at the base of the climb and as we went by him it looked t me like he had a bit of a puzzled look on his face. I’m not sure he realized just how long the climb actually was.

By this time it was down to Clas, Newsom, G-Man and I and I was determined to make sure they had to work for their points today.
The wind was phenomenal, it was spitting rain and it’s a steep motha’ of a climb. Good Epic stuff and it was like ol’ times. Windy Wellington was giving us a taste of home cookin’.
With less than a km to go Clas hit the gas hard and he was gone and G-Man was spat. Newsom put in a good surge to gap me and held onto about a 10-second lead to the top.
That was it and it was all I had.
So it was a good effort by the old guy and I’m looking forward to seeing the footage of the ride.

Turns out Lord twisted his chain right at the bottom and had to borrow film crew Annette’s bike which is pretty tiny! All credit to him for riding over that climb on that bike. He then had to ride it another 45+km to our accom. in downtown Wellington and the sight of him on that bike will stay with me for a long time.

After lunch the wind was mostly favorable to get to the hotel. We’re staying downtown and for those who want to celebrate getting across one island we’re in a good spot to have a fun night. Tomorrow is a cruisy day so plenty of time to recover.

At 3pm we met in the lobby and most jogged the 1.9km to the Frieberg pool. I managed 3km and hopped out and quite a few stayed in to do 6km. Pete O’Brien did his 1km with a band only and it must’ve taken him about 25 minutes. What a crack-up.

As I helped super support crew member Mair park the vans we had a little chat and she said the support crew are holding up OK. With all the shifting every day they have a hell of a job to get everything packed and unpacked and making sure everything is in place for the next few days. I hope they have a relaxing evening tonight. They sure deserve it.
But “What goes on Tour, stays on Tour” as they say in NZ so what-ever happens you won’t read about it in this blog.

Tomorrow could be a very easy recovery day for those who choose to make it that way as the ride is only 25km from the Ferry terminal in Picton to Blenheim which is where we’re staying. I have a hunch a lot of folks will take the opportunity to get in a little more swimming and running………………….