|South Island Road Trip|
|Bannockburn / Alexandra|
|Otago Rail Trail|
|Mt Cook - Hanmer|
|Hanmer part 2|
|End of the trip|
The ride up Thompson Gorge was great, in hindsight I stayed too long in the middle chainring so I got poked very quickly. It was around 13 km of uphill, I ended up pushing the bike up a fair bit and riding the rest. The Dunstan Range is great - behind me open views of the Wanaka region appeared. Ahead of me was yet another section of gravel heading up into the hills.
Near the saddle I could see the snowline a couple of hundred meters higher up on the flanks of Mt Moka. I can do that! I thought. I pushed the bike up for about an hour or so - I found the snowline was just a bit off the track so pushed my bike through the speargrass to reach the snow (yeah it was first time in speargrass... more later...)
As I dropped the bike onto the snow I could hear a puncture hissing. Oh well. I topped up my camelbak with some fresh snow and left some eco-friendly graffiti.
After a while I carried my bike back to the track through the speargrass, found a rock to sit on and set about fixing the puncture. I had only one tyre lever and a spoon so had a bit of a mission getting the tyre off the rim - at least I had great views and a fine day.
The ride back down was great, 13km of downhill. I had to keep the bike speed fairly low as the back brake pads were really hot and protesting loudly.
About half way down I lost pressure in my back tyre again - strike another victory to the speargrass. I managed to brand myself with the brake disc - making a nice mark on my leg and filing the air with loud swearing. I stuffed another tube in, inflated and continued down. Got back to the car in the late afternoon. What a great day!