Saturday, 25 April 2009

Cycle: 2009 R4 - Rotorua to Whakatane

Ride Data:
Distance:90km3812 Calories
Time:3:14:3927.3 km/h
Elevation:Ascent: 369mDescent: 705m
Ride Data:Garmin Connect PlayerMapMyRide
Location:Rotorua, NZ25 April 2009

As the cycle event season came to end, the R4 seemed a great event to finish on. Predominantly downhill, a scenic route, taking the lakes of Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu and Rotoma (hence the event name R4). Enjoy the sunny Whakatane weather and return to Rotorua to soak in the hot pools.

Such a great plan was hatched. Unplanned were the stiff north-easterly direct headwinds and rain. Added to the woe was a broken spoke. My first mechanical issue for some 3000km. Unfortunately due to the rain I could not disconnect the rear brakes to allow the wheel to freely turn so I just had a dig in as I rode the last 50km with my brakes on.

I could have done without some of the aggressive drivers on the road, in mostly V8 engined cars whom were obviously agitated at the thought of being briefly slowed down from bunches of cyclists in front of them. Even as a motorist myself, I have never worked out why many motorists will stop for a dog, but cannot even consider slowing for a moment for a cyclist.

In the wet, and into the weather I finished in 3:14, which leaves plenty of room for improvement. I was talking a few riders afterwards whom were an hour behind the previous years times in this event. Obviously, the atrocious weather was an statistical anomaly, so I am looking forward to coming back in sunnier weather, with a headwind and no broken spokes and finishing sub 3-hours. I am convinced that next year, Whakatane will be proving it really is the sunniest place in country :).

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