Sun 9 Feb – Sat 15 Feb
The Hynds Pipes Corporate team are heading off! Up the Rimutakas for the first leg of the challenge.
TOP OF THE RIMUTAKAS
Wet & windy start to stage 1, Lower Hutt to top of Rimutakas, possibly the biggest climb with gusty southerlies, at least they were from behind. The team is possibly mid field but not last!
Next leg through the martinborough wine region to Masterton. Looking forward to getting out of the cold wet cycling gear, evening massage and warm-up!
ONWARDS TO PALMERSTON NORTH
Masterton to Pahiatua stage 3. Wet, with southerly wind. Fast times all round
Lunch at Pahiatua Bush multi sports club, before the start of Stage 4 to Palmerston Nth. A chance to refresh and recuperate. Rain has stopped, just a southerly breeze which will start to affect the riders.
Everyone in the Hynds team are feeling strong and ready to take on all challenges
AND THE TEAM ARE IN HUNTERVILLE!
Arrived safely in Hunterville through amazing 80kms of Rangitikei countryside, hills and valleys. Our new ring-ins were up with the leaders in light winds and fine conditions.
Pete punctured about halfway and was ‘rescued’ within seconds by the support van who had a new tyre and tube fitted within minutes, back on the road and caught up with the leading group 3 riders through to Hunterville and lunch.
The sun is trying to show itself and the temperatures are decidedly warmer than the last 2x days This afternoon has a tough 60kms through back roads to Wanganui -we’re now going backwards!
See you in Wanganui!
Hardest ride of all today, stages 7&8, leaving Wanganui in the rain and northerly wind, along the picturesque river and valleys before starting the first of many tortuous climbs of the Paraparas. If it wasn’t the hills, the wind certainly knocked us all about! The day cleared and sun snuck through. Lunch at The 50km mark (Kakatahi Rural school) wa…s looked forward to and the start of the second 50kms started again in rain but the sun came through. Even more hills, longer and steeper thAn the morning quickly sorted the groups out, many still recovering! Big up hills followed by big down hills, strong head winds made for tough slow going and most teams suffered. It was a relief to get to the main Waiouru Ohakune Rd with the last 10 km of head winds knowing the finish was close! Results are similar -Hynds about 8-9th but hanging in well together. Tomorrow’s efforts will take us to Turangi for lunch (86kms) then Taupo (50kms). We haven’t checked the weather, but now over the half way mark heading to day 5! Sleep well, we will!
STAGE 9 & 10 – OHAKUNE, TURANGI, TAUPO
After another ‘big day at the office’ we made it into Taupo; stage 9 starting in light rain and westerly winds at 8am going through National Park & finishing at Turangi for an early lunch. The ride was very quick once the peleton got onto SH4 (road from New Plymouth) capitalizing on what was almost a tail wind to National PK, gradual climb to the turnoff to The Chateau before the gradual drop towards Lake Rotoaira. The road surface is very heavy chip so felt every stone through our over-inflated race tyres which contributed to toughening up (bruising) our backsides! Cameron and Richie from our team were part of our peleton receiving encouragement and help from another team member -Richie & I crossing the line together as ‘third
An extremely fast – and exhilarating downhill took us into Turangi for a well deserved break after 87kms.
The Taupo leg Stage 10 of 52kms started at 1pm -again just as a shower started, with many ‘sore’ riders. The rain disappeared quickly and the sun emerged overheating many riders now overdressed. Our Peleton stayed together for a while gradually dropping off tail-enders, then eventually me for a solo effort around the lake. I could see Cameron from our team 100-200m ahead but I could not bridge the gap and we both rode solo. The westerly created head winds on the final straight to Taupo finish. I managed to get on the tail end of a passing Peleton towards the end.
It was a full-on ride today ahead of our biggest stage tomorrow of 123kms to Te Awamutu. The smell of the finish in Pukekohe is getting very close -2x more days.
We’ve met many of the 160 riders from all over NZ, some serious pro’s and others out there achieving personal goals!
Prize giving at Ohakune included a charity auction for MS charity the beneficiary of the main race. 2x tickets to Bruce Springsteen concert in a corporate box sold for $2300 and other prizes contributed huge $$$ into their kitty.
Here’s hoping the sore muscles are just a show of the build-up of strength for the next 2x days…
Personally, while there have been moments of pushing a few boundaries -sore muscles and limbs, combating all weather conditions, the experience, exhilaration and sharing the ride with so many others has been well worth the effort.
So here’s to Friday, day 6.
Photo: the Taupo finish line
THEY MADE IT HOME
We made it! In tact and fully functioning.
Leaving Hamilton @ 8:15 for a 75km ride to Glen Murray (a small rural community in Counties District near Tuakau) we had a sunny day, small head wind initially and then slightly on the tail for a fast flat ride, with a few hills at the end. It was a great start for all, before a break and much shorter 37.5km ride to the ultimate finish at Pukekohe. This time we had more hills and head wind, the day heating up in stark contrast to the rain wind and cool of the Wellington start last Sunday!
It was a relief and thrill to reach the end of the ultimate NZ endurance ride, slightly weary but definitely a memorable experience for all.
Thanks for all your support and well wishes.
Multiple sclerosis were the beneficiaries of around $20,000 raised and to date our Hynds Pipes charity (Heart Foundation) have received over $2000.
If anyone would still like to put something into the fund, go to Hynds Pipes website for the Heart Foundation link which will be left open for another week.