Day 11: Timber Trail to Taumaranui
I was so happy to sleep in until the sunrise this morning. Even so, it's the first day so far I've started out with a sigh at what was to come. It's so hard to cover distance on mountain biking trails. Luckily, a lot of this was downhill but also downhill for that long requires a lot of concentration. This is hard when you are tired and your body has been seized in isometric poses for hours. We covered 45km of trail today. The entire trail is 84km long! It really was a beautiful though.
Now if you are mom or inclined to worry, skip down to after the next photo. You won't like this part.
You see the mud all over me, well I took a little tumble. I luckily just have some minor bruises but there are these mud pits that became especially prolific towards the end. They just came up so quickly! I hit an especially big one before I could stop completely. I took a kind of a slo-mo Kung-fu Panda rolling plop into the mud. Jess came up behind and we tipped my bike right side up again. In the words of Jack Black in School of Rock: "You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore." But um this is definitely as "hardcore" as I want to get.
We were so happy for sealed road at the end of the trail and made great time to Ongarue where we were hoping for a cafe. It was an almost soul crushing disappointment to have to go another 26km into the next town to eat something other than a granola bar. But oh, was this a moment of joy:
We made an executive decision to take the highway around the next few sections. They look especially disheartening on paper and we are ready for some faster km on sealed road. All accommodation was booked in the next town but we were prepared to search for another field. In that spirit we set off... then Conrad's tire popped. We took it as omen to stick around where we were.
Now we are enjoying a cabin as the rain is thundering down outside. We are dry, tents and clothing dried. Best decision of the day and looking forward to covering some serious distance tomorrow. And maybe more pizza since writing this post and looking at that photo made hungry again.