Saturday, February 18, 2006
If there is heaven on earth, it is Queenstown New Zealand in the summer….
Seriously, there is not one summer out door activity that I can think of that cannot be done here. Today, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, the temps are around 75-80 F, and there is a nice breeze.
As I mentioned yesterday, today’s project was “The Remarkables,” a mountain range to the East of Queenstown (see pic on left).
I ate a huge breakfast at the Seagate buffet…eggs, yogurt, cereal, muffins, lots of coffee, a little bacon…I could go on. About an hour after eating, I headed out on the ride. It took me about a half an hour to get to the base of the mountain range. The first section of road was called the “Zig Zag.” No explanation necessary here…the only signs at the foot of the mountain said that the ski resort was 13.5 km away (up a gravel road), and the road is not maintained from November through April. Needless to say, the lack of maintenance was apparent and made pedaling all the tougher. I kept it in the middle ring as long as I could, but the pitch in many spots was at least 20 percent. For the second day in a row I was reduced to using the granny gear=( After less than 2 hours, I was at the Ski resort…from there you can bike/hike up to the overlook. I biked as far as I could and then walked the last several hundred vertical feet through a jagged rock garden (my new shimano shoes took a beating, but that is why I bought them….
Check out these views from the top. In the lower left is Queenstown.
On the way down, still above the ski resort, a nice Kiwi took an action shot of me (you can see his pack on the left…just to give you an idea of the stuff I had to walk up (I rode down as much of it as I could with no carbon fiber casualties.
Once below the ski resort, the gravel road descent was loose, rocky, bump, fast and has sheer cliffs off much of the road. I went as quickly as was sensible. Here is a view of the road.
After getting back to town, I found some friends sitting by the town park, and we went to hammer down some ‘za…
Tonite, the program starts with a dinner buffet from the same lookout I was at yesterday. They have an option to bungy jump. I don’t know if I will or not…I get butterflies just thinking about it. Anyway, a day that starts and ends with a buffet and has a good ride sandwiched in between is a one great day!Until next time…stay happy.