Our mechanical magician Ilya recently went on a functional adventure to a close friend's wedding in Nelson, which he decided to ride to and from since he didn't really want to drag a car along. Here's a brief write up of the day to day breakdown, as well as some of the best moments from his mission.
Where did you go?
On Sunday morning I caught the 2:30am ferry from Wellington and arrived in Picton at 6:30am, as the sun was rising over the sounds. It was a glorious day for biking - sunny, not too hot, not too cold. I biked through the Queen Charlotte Drive to Havelock then via State Highway 6 to Pelorus Bridge. I had an early lunch consisting of delicious pie and coffee at the Pelorus Bridge Cafe followed by a refreshing swim in the cold river. I then turned off the State Highway to ride up the valley along Pelorus River, then up the Maungatapu track. I met several Tour Aotearoa riders along the way. After a big climb, I got over the summit and coasted down the Maitai Valley into Nelson for pre-wedding-day beers at 4pm, 120kms later.
Here's the route of the first day, minus the section from home in Wellington:
The wedding was on Monday, which was heaps of fun as you would expect! I took a much needed rest from riding for the day, except for some missions around town.
On Tuesday morning I headed home, leaving at 9am from Nelson. I decided to ride back via State Highway 6 over the Whangamoa Pass. I stopped for another obligatory swim in Pelorus and an enormous lunch at the cafe, then headed back to Havelock. From there I headed back via Queen Charlotte track to Picton for an early dinner, followed by a 6:30pm ferry back to Wellington, after a 115km day.
Here's the route for the final day:
What were your highlights?
My highlights were:
The sunrise over the sounds.
Swimming in the Pelorus River, which was a great break for a long day on the bike.
The wedding itself was great, watching a good friend of mine get married.
The rush of coasting down from the top of the Whangamoas and getting some excellent pace.
What did you ride?
I rode my Niner, which is a steel-framed MTB with rigid fork and slick tires - pretty basic and a bit dated, but much loved. Great bike for this sort of ride, as it's capable of handling itself well both on and off road.
Any advice for someone wanting to do a similar ride?
Yes. Take lots of water, and if you are riding over the Maungatapu track, steel yourself for a long but rewarding climb. It all pays off in the end.