Day 05: Riding Wellington to Masterton (cyclist version)

My first ride out of the eleven I have planned for New Zealand. I’m currently doing the Mount Everest challenge, where I aim to climb 8848m in June and it looks like I’m on track.

Strava snippet


I followed the Rimutaka Trail from Kaitoke to the intersection of Cross Creek and Featherston Creek, and it was a lot more challenging than I had expected (although I should have probably guessed from the squiggliness of the lines). After Summit Tunnel, my hybrid bike didn’t really cut it any more, so I had to walk on parts of it. I probably looked really casual walking my bike as mountain bikers zoomed past. I may as well have been walking a poodle… But my guns did get a work out, hauling my bike and panniers up and down steep tracks, including a gully.

Slightly scared of dropping my bike all the way down the stream

Slightly scared of dropping my bike all the way down the stream

After two hours or so of beautiful surrounds, I was beginning to miss the luxury of sealed road. I eventually made it back to the road, but I was extremely behind schedule, with 50km to go and around two hours until sunset. But at least I had made it out of the “wilderness” in time. The next stop was Featherston, for some well needed refueling.

As requested, I’ve included a picture of exhausted and carb-deprived Jenny. This was taken by some cheeky kids in Featherston, about 40km from my Masterton. I may have ruined the photo by smiling and looking too happy, but keep in mind that I had just purchased a pile of treats. The One Square Meal was recommended to me by Conrad (my friend who I met in Tonga, who is also in my first post) and it’s big in NZ but never really took off in Australia. It tasted alright, but a word of warning though, they’re really dense, so I only ate one and had to save my chocolate bar for another day.

In Carterton (16km away from Masterton) I lost my race against the sun, as it set behind the mountains. I put my lights on and kept going anyway, trying to ignore all the urban legends I’ve heard about backpackers, hitchhikers or anything else remotely scary. I was thankful when I made it to Masterton, I had a mild tailwind and the super smooth cycle lane took me all the way to my hostel in a the cruisiest way possible.


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