This was a tricky one, I was riding against the wind and towards a potential thunderstorm (according to my overly pessimistic weather app), so I had to put my head down and get a wriggle on. I managed to get a few photos and arrived on schedule, which was a huge improvement on yesterday’s effort.
The first stop was Eketahuna, about 40km away, where I came across some giant Kiwis. I chatted to the the lady at the local store and when I told her I was going to Palmerston North, she wished me good luck for “the hill”. I hoped it was going to be an average hill, and not as bad as it sounded, but deep down I knew it was going to be rough.
Soon enough it started drizzling, but I found this big bike along the side of the road, which was really encouraging.
With 19km to go, I felt myself slowly reaching the wall, that point when your mind and body feel like lying down and staying down. So I told myself I would be allowed to have a break at the next convenient place. Then I saw the hill… It’s a bit hard to see and I think my hands were shaking at the time, so it looks pretty crummy. But that’s about a quarter of the true height of the hill. Hopefully you can see the wind farm at the top, because that’s how high it went.
So I called for an early afternoon tea, sitting on my raincoat and enjoying the peanut butter chocolate bar I had saved from yesterday. Then I got back on the bike, reminding myself that after the climb there would be an insane downhill part. It was well worth it, it felt like I was on my motorcycle again, as I banked around corners and ripped through one of the hairpin turns. I even managed to clock 60km/hr at one point.
Once I conquered the hill, I was on easy street, and with a slight tail wind and super smooth cycle lane, I coasted into Palmerston North. I happily settled into my accommodation, ready for one last ride before my day off.