Our epic ride began seemingly smoothly for us three 60+ year old tigers with 51km of main road riding from Picton to Pelorus Bridge, which took just 3-hours 10 minutes plus breaks (good timing). It began with a long slow climb out of Picton with gorgeous bush/sounds scenery and we were greeted up close and personal by a Weka bird. The first 34km to Havelock was on a secondary sealed road and traffic was light so we felt quite safe. Havelock to Pelorus Bridge was on the main highway and we were frequently passed by huge truck and trailers and the wind rush was pretty strong. We had lunch at Pelorus Bridge and a local guy came up to us at the café and gave us $20 and wished us the best for a great cause, nice guy.
We departed from there at 1.20pm and were predicting our remaining 45km to Nelson via the mountainous Maungatapu track (45km with a 7.5km long trail climb through a 750 metre elevation) would take about 4 hours… wrong!!! It was so rocky and steep we had to walk 50% of it up and walk 50% down the other side as the descent was too steep and rocky to stay on your bike (no heroes, we're all about making Bluff together). It was brutal, however we all rode and pushed our bikes every step of the way and arrived in Nelson at 8.30pm. We asked instruction from a local who also gave us a donation. The word is getting out there, who knows we may have an entourage of support and welcoming committees by the time we get to the end. Rene and Denise (our support team) were at the driveway of the motel to grab our bikes and gear to prepare for the next day… brilliant having such amazing support. After a big steak (protein dinner) and one glass of Pinot Noir we got straight into bed to rest our weary bones.
Tomorrow the 90km ride to Tapawera is more forgiving so good planning Virginia and Tony I say. They do all the planning and I do what I'm best at… getting the word out there and making all the fundraising approaches plus write the daily blog.
Thanks again to all the people making those great donations, over $50,000 on Give a little page and $50,000 in ticket sales for the Prime Minister hosted dinner so we're north of $100,000 and closing in on the halfway mark with only one days riding completed. Please keep spreading the word everyone and thanks a bunch from Jeff/Virginia/Tony, we love you all!!!!!!!