A fair weather rider. That’s something you can’t be when you want to ride the length of New Zealand in the middle of winter. Day 10 was planned to be 220 km but was cut short by poor weather and an accident that cost a lot of time. Check it out below.
Today it rained. Rain, rain and more bloody rain (I’m a little over rain right now, if you can’t tell). I woke up to pour, and I started my ride in it. It didn’t stop. In Melbourne it will rain hard, then pitter patter, and then it will stop. It might come and go but it’s not relentless!
I rolled into Greymouth, 80 km in my journey, with a shiver. I met Alice at a cafe and got changed. I was cold and fatigued. I’ve done Wim Hof cold exposure training but saturated clothes and cold air is a lethal combo. We sat in the cafe until the heavy rain and dark clouds turned into something lighter.
I left the cafe but just up the road I came off my bike. I’m surprised it’s taken me this long given the roads and conditions but an old Industry train line that runs along the side of the road near Greymouth got me, in fatigued and slippery conditions. Alice was just behind me as we’d only just left town. I’ve torn my leg warmers to pieces and ripped a hole in my Specialized rain jacket but my 2XU SteelX bibs survived the fall without a tear – not even in the skin on my hip. That’s what they’re designed for! I’m a little bruised and sore but ok.
The bike however was a different story. Nothing major, but I’d bent the rear hanger so I needed a bike shop. Alice took me back into town and we learned that two bikes shops exist in Greymouth. One was closed and at the other “the mechanic left 10 minutes ago to head to Christchurch for a conference. He’s trying to beat the snow”. Aaargh!
For 10 minutes we were lost and not sure what to do. Then some magic happened: Scott the mechanic (pictured) walked back into the store. He had left something behind. We told him what’s happened and where we’re going. He fixes my bike on the spot and insists we don’t pay given that we’re fundraising for CanTeen New Zealand and CanTeen Australia.
I went back out into more rain. As I met Alice another 50 km down the road for a check-in we assessed the logistics. It was now too late in the day to get to Whataroa. “Ok, what about this town” I asked? “Population 2 people, no accom”, Alice replied. We end up at Ross, 145 km into what was supposed to be a 220 km day. Despite the rain, I was ok to keep going today but the distance between towns was the conundrum. Tomorrow we aim for Paringa or Haast, pending weather conditions.
That fundraising thing
Please don’t forget to check out the Ride the Long White Cloud campaign page for more info on Cam’s ride. Please make a donation to CanTeen New Zealand and Australia as you see fit. Any amount is greatly appreciated!
Follow Cam through New Zealand – check out our other ride updates below: