I have to say it was worth it because not only was the pace just that bit uncomfortable to start with but the course included some reasonable hilly sections. Imagine my surprise also when it was decided we should do a couple of gravel sections. My mtb/hybrid would have been in its element here if I had actually had wider tyres on. Unfortunately I'd put my sports wheels on and suffered as much as everyone else, riding road bikes.
Latter on in the ride when I'd recovered a bit from the pace, and before I got my legs ripped off on yet another climb, I took a couple of pictures.
The first shows me getting uncomfortably close to the front of the bunch. And there's another hill coming up. Hurting as my legs were I was happy to still be in the picture so to speak. One of my friends (Gethyn) on the ride asked me if I was going to do the annual Around Lake Taupo Cycle Race this year.
The Lake Taupo Race is one of the biggest mass rides in the world now apparently, with 1000's of riders competing at different levels. The circuit is 160kms around the volcanic lake and is pretty hilly.
I did the two lap option last year but decided this year to give it a miss. Last year was a mission enough taking my Vespa up with bike on the back and then doing the 320km race. But the seed had been planted in my brain by Gethyn and maybe I had discounted this event a bit prematurely. Especially as this year I would have the time to cycle the 450kms to the event. I could then race once around and ride home in the following week.
That thought was growing in 'Niel the Wheel's' head as I rode along. Maybe Gethyn would like to tour up to Taupo on the bikes, do the Race, where we get our legs ripped off and then tour back to good old Nelson. (All good training for the Global Bike Race).
Also a good chance for me to practise riding with low riders and panniers. Something I haven't done for a long time since discovering BOB trailers. I will do my best to not only encourage Gethyn but maybe two others since I have two spare BOB trailers in the garage and roadies don't usually have access to carriers and panniers. (In fact the mere mention of panniers sends them into a vacant stare much like the stare they usually get when gravel road is mentioned.)
The race is in one month so time will tell whether I'm alone or with company.