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South Island Road Trip - Thompson Gorge

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Article Index
South Island Road Trip
Nelson Lakes
Fox Glacier
Thompson Gorge
Bannockburn / Alexandra
Chinamans Bluff
Otago Rail Trail
Mt Cook
Mt Cook - Hanmer
Hanmer part 2
Heading north
End of the trip
All Pages
The next day was another cracker day - the first day of the duck shooting season, so while I was putting my bike together at the bottom of the Thompson Gorge Road the boom of shotguns echoed around.

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!

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 April 2009 03:00