Day 19: In Which The Rain Doesn't End...Nelson to Murchison
I think today is a proof of Murphy's law. We set out to do a challenging 125km section today but we booked a cabin and though as long as we have that to look forward to, we can handle this.
Then my bike wheel issue took about two hours this morning at the bike shop. With the axle replaced and no more wobbling back tire, we left the shop. Side note: I need to work on my RBF face so people stop targeting me for asinine and unsolicited cycling advice. The guy at the shop kept making suggestions about my set up-- how I should change my handlebars this way, my seat was too far back, if I used a fugly mustard shower cap over my helmet in the rain, it would change my life and keep my glasses dry (um what the kelp?) so I should buy this, etc. I almost flipped a gasket when he moved toward my saddle. Tailbone is happy so leave that alone! I've ridden across an island and nearly 2000km, but please, tell me again how to ride my bike. Why aren't you offering Conrad the mustard cap?! Or Toby or John! I'll keep my construction vest and oddly angled hand grips the way they are thank you very much!
It was a drizzly morning and supposed to rain more later on today. About 30 min after the shop, my back tire went flat. Conrad and Jess were ahead of me and Conrad came back to help me change it. A Kiwi guy even stopped and asked if we needed help. I was really grateful for kindness since this was especially frustrating to me and it's hard to use the handpump without someone else holding it in place.
Once that was taken care of, we caught up with Jess and cruised until we hit a cafe for lunch where my hot chocolate was served in this adorable Where's Waldo cup.
At the cafe there was this girl who apparently was sponsored by Bike Barn (the rude store who wouldn't take back my shoddy bike computer). She went on and on about how far she's ridden around NZ and how we should follow her Facebook page. She normally has a support driver, she says, but she's been through like 5 people because they keep falling in love with her and that's just not going to work for her. I was like, yeah me too. 🙄 So now she has to carry her own stuff in this backpack. #sadface. Even Conrad's English politeness was tested as we kept moving towards the road and she kept talking. We just started laughing the minute we hit the road. Bless her heart.
More riding and and due to intermittent and at times torrential downpour of rain, I have few pics from today. But I climbed two pretty intense sections today without stopping and was SO proud of myself. One of them was so steep towards the end but I made it to this welcome downhill!
And then, you guys, the rain just would not stop. And Murchison felt like it was getting further away instead of closer. I was soaked and cold and when I looked at the map, I was certain I had only 5km left. Nope. 15km. Another hour-ish. And though some truck drivers were nice, many did not give a flying eff that we were there. I was splashed and wind blown and did I mention how wet and cold I was? I should have taken a photo of my hopeless state at the end but when we arrived at the holiday park, I headed straight for a hot shower asap.
Jess is super hardcore. She was wet but seemingly not as bothered as Conrad and I by the cold. She was amazeballs and went to the store and cooked us dinner, a deliciously magical soup. And we had hot choclate with sporks and available cups.
I am so happy for a sunny forecast tomorrow and for a warm bed and a dryer that helps me forget the unpleasant attack of moisture on my person. May the sun shine upon you and may your clothes be ever dry.
Distance today: 135km