The final days ride home dawned clear and sunny. A picture perfect day in the Marlborough Sounds. After sleeping in a bit I packed the’ Gay Girls’ away.
After a bit of entertainment watching a couple back their campervan into the campground service building I was on my way. Actually a better description of their van would be holiday home on wheels. You could probably pilot it across Nevada ok but in New Zealand on poorly designed roads with impatient drivers why would you bother.
Talking of impatient drivers one must not forget that’ Niel the Wheel’ was born and bred in this country and has like most NZers passed all Kiwi driving tests and can thus foot it with the best of them.
The first 22kms of my ride was along very picturesque but twisty roads and I was focused on getting to my morning tea stop at Havelock not really enjoying the view. So imagine my annoyance when all the tourists wanted not only to enjoy the view along this road but also take their motel rooms on wheels with them and thus HOLD ME UP. No sooner had a diesel burner past me by they then would decide to stop, take pictures from the dining room window, and then want to pass me again so they could stop further up the road.
I have to say Dad taught me the way of the road well. The challenge was on because all kiwi drivers know that driving is a competition in this country. I could take control of this situation by riding hard and fast and sticking well out in the road. They just couldn’t get past. I had in no time formed a campervan convoy behind me and was in full control of the situation. That will teach them for trying to bring their apartment on holiday with them.
Another little ploy I have found mildly amusing with campervan owners is to pull off the road somewhere where they can’t stop due to lack of room and then point into the landscape as if something amazing is happening (works best if you’ve got another cyclist to point with you). They look really miffed because they think they’re missing something. I used this little game along the cliff edges of the Nullabor in Aussie when there were often whales in the ocean. And more often there weren’t any. But it didn’t stop me from pointing.
From then on it was head down and over the two hills homewards. My roadie mate Brian had come out to meet me and it was good to chat to him for the last 50kms or so. I’ve given Brian a hard time over the years due to the fact that he’s an American. But I have to say I admire his drive and interest in everything. I was going to say everything cycling but I think Brian is just interested in anything. I can always count on him to be a goer on long rides or other adventures. And I’m sure if it was not for his desire to help his partner Jeannie’s cycle racing dreams come true and a lack of finances he’d be joining me around the world.
By this stage Adi had met me also on her Vespa and told me I was to stop in 10kms to talk to a local reporter about my training. Which I did.
Josh from the Nelson Evening Mail wrote a nice article about me shown below;
The day was great with my only regret being that I missed the bunch ride which apparently had also gone out to meet me. But due to a pretty good tail wind and a can or two, or three of energy drinks I had missed them due to being too early.
But thanks everyone for making the effort to meet me.