2017 Kiwi Brevette - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

While I had some pretty good fitness leading into the Kiwi Brevet - it was only a couple of weeks after the GSB, after all - I was keen to roll around somewhere new. I've done the KB twice, once in each direction, and don't really feel there is much taking me back around that course.

Thankfully, the Kiwi Brevette is a thing - it's about half the distance, but a completely different course from what I've ridden previously, bar a couple of shared sections (The Wairau, and Queen Charlotte Drive, both of which are lovely in their own right). The 2017 edition was a clockwise loop from Blenheim, including the Wairau Valley, Tasman cycleways, Tennyson Inlet, and back around Port Underwood to Benheim. Well, that was the plan, at least...

My KB started in Picton - I'd ferried over from Wellington on Friday, after finishing work for the week, and made my accommodation at around 11:30. The short trip from Picton to Blenheim was over pretty quickly, a…

GSB17 - Day 4, Tekapo or Bust!

The Great Southern Brevet 2017 - Day 4Statz Czech:
Distance: 278km Metres climbed: 3,400 Ride time: 17:33 Elapsed time:22:05 Skids ripped: The other half packet of wet wipes

The blaring of my alarm was made more acceptable at this ungodly hour, only because I knew I wasn't going to have to do the same tomorrow.

04:00, and Middlemarch is a pretty sleepy little place. I'd wager it's pretty sleepy during rush hour, too, but at 04:00 it was deathly quiet. And cold - the heavy dew from the previous evening had fronzen, leaving the grass surrounding our relatively luxurious campsite white and crunchy underfoot.

Stuffing some food into my gob, and putting on every stitch of clothing I had (which in fairness was more than I've taken on similar jaunts in the years gone by), we packed up, saddled up, and sacked up for the day which lay ahead. We thought maybe, if things went well, we'd be done by midnight.

The rail trail to Ranfurly was cruisy - almost no gradient to speak …

GSB17 - Day 3 - Cromwell to Middlemarch

The Great Southern Brevet 2017 - Day 3Statz Czech:
Distance: 195.3km Metres climbed: 3,835 Ride time: 12:43 Elapsed time:15:37 Skids ripped: Half a packet of wet wipes worth

Day three started late, for Cliff and me - we'd basically hot boxed the hotel room, a result of the disturbed bowels brought about by the irregular dietary requirements brevet riding brings, with infrequent, but massive meals. After faffing about in the motel, packing gear and making phones calls to respective SOs, we rolled out at about 09:00 - a seriously late start!

Prior to our departure, Bryan popped by to let us know he was pulling the pin, as were the others we'd been riding with - the previous days' conditions hadn't been easy, and aside from a small window of fine weather over the next 24 hours, gale Northerlies were forecast, which is a block headwind for the drag from the bottom of the Old Dunstan Track to Tekapo (around 300km). Cliff and I were keen to break the back of the remaining d…