Greeting from Down Under…
After over 24 hours of travel, I am finally in paradise…at least paradise for anyone who likes the out doors. We arrived at the hotel around 9 am. All my luggage found its way including my bike much to the dismay of the bell boys. The only real hold up on the traveling end was having to unpack the bike in Christchurch so they could check to see if the tires were muddy…they didn’t want me bringing in some non-native plant life.
Upon arrival, the temp was around 70 degrees and it has stayed there all day with mostly sunny skies. Here is the view from my hotel room..
The first order of business was assembling the fuel and getting dressed to ride. I then cruised down to a local bike shop, chatted for a while about where I should ride and started to ride. Basically from downtown you can take a Gondola up 1800 feet to a scenic overlook. I took the easy way out and rode up a service road=) Needless to say, the granny gear on the fuel had never been employed until today. Holy Crap! This was one STEEP service road. A half an hour later, I was at the outlook…I was really suffering on the way up, but encouragement from hikers kept me going. When I reached the top, I explored some single track and proceeded to do several hundred feet more of climbing. Call me crazy, but check out the pictures from this overlook (the mountains in the background called the Remarkables are tomorrows project).
The way down was not as taxing for my heart and lungs, but it was for my body…I descended on a previous World Cup downhill course. The only part I skipped had a 8 foot drop which neither my bike or body are made for. After 2000 feet of basically sitting on my back wheel, I took a two-wheel tour of the town. I found a café and took in the sites. I would describe Queenstown as a miniature Madison…liberal, hippy, granola, etc.
Tomorrow evening, we start the program with a kick-off dinner. I am looking forward to it. Check out all the gear we got. Top Notch!
Hopefully I can get one more entry after tomorrows activities. It will be difficult to update during the week, as they will keep us busy from 6 am to 10 pm.Peace…