Leaving Greymouth on a weather threatening day but good for cycling to Reefton and then onto Lyell campsite, a beautiful place but many sandflies. Doc camping sites are a good and reliable place to stay even though they have put the prices up just recently making the almost double what they use to be. I Talked to some people in Murchison about my ride and put up fliers. People are usually quite receptive about what I-pledge ride is about but look at the list of suggestions on the back side of the card and see flying as a challenging one. As a NZer I understand this as we are so far from many places in the world we feel we need, many times, to do a flight to get somewhere more interesting or luxurious. Although many who come to see this country see it as the very height of luxury here!
The rain has started and there is news that because of the Kaikoura earthquakes there is a much greater use of the road, I’ll be going on, by trucks but also most other traffic. The warning is out that bikes stay away from the St Arnaud /Blenheim route. But to keep with my planning i decided for right or wrong reasons to do it. So well lit up with clothing and leaving 6am I started. And yes the weather was wet the trucks very large and road quite narrow in places. The trucks sometimes would hook well back in advance others would wait until they were speeding by inches away before giving a good blast. I guess it just reflects how we all are in society, the patience and the haste. But eventually made it through the mad road and then through wine country of Marlborough and the last wet leg to Picton ferry and to my nephew and his family in Wellington 10 o’clock that night.
Thoughts along the last section of road were in line of calling this a south island ride only for a number of reasons: I was feeling the animosity towards me as cyclist, the effect that this ride would have anyway, myself feelings of stress riding in wet, uncomfortable and unwelcome. But also realising it is easy to talk ones self out of these challenges. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they criticise and fight you then you win” Gandhi
So onwards…and maybe not to much upwards!