Monday, January 19, 2009

1/19/2009 - Downhills and Tailwinds

Weather report was right two days in a row. It's a perfect day for me - broken clouds and sun peering through the cracks. Camp is put up and I am on the road by 9:00AM. I even get a tailwind today.

The first twenty-five miles are up and down to a max elevation of 1200 feet above sea level. Suddenly, not only do I have a tailwind, but I have a downhill, too.

IMGP1351.JPG The wind was gusting and even the gulls were staying down. They gave me a series of baleful glares when I got too close.

IMGP1352.JPGLakes just before starting the downward hill toward Whakatane.

IMGP1353.JPG"The Rig" at 600ft elevation with pine trees.

IMGP1354.JPGAnd the landscape changes again at 100ft elevation.

The last 15 miles are mostly flat, and I roll into Whakatane around 2:30PM. Not bad, except that I kept hearing a funny sound while rolling for the last few miles. I check my rear wheel, and, sure enough, broken spoke. Not only that, but the wheel itself is bent, rubbing the left brake shoe with every revolution. Well, damn.

Set up camp, and the camp hostess kindly showed me where two bike shops are located. A quick ride in and, luckily, the Avanti shop was open. They will have it fixed by 9AM tomorrow. Excellent.

Wander through town and through some of the parks.

IMGP1355.JPGDowntown Whakatane. It is much more charming than this picture turned out to be.

IMGP1356.JPGMomentary cloud cover - 15 minutes later, all blue sky.

IMGP1361.JPGSee? Also, this park had a miniature train (that was not active, just the track was out.)

Showered, dinnered, and working on the blog at this point as light is fading. By the way, interesting little point about Whakatane - you always feel a little dirty saying it as it is pronounced "fuk-a-tani".

Picture 8I've made it this far. Going to be a long couple of days.


  1. Hey there, Dr. McWilliams, just a note to say that I am incredibly impressed with your undying dedication to this blog, but more so with your epic biking routes and determination to make it up yet another hill (not to mention all the photographs that you include). I have been reading your blog a few times a week in order to live vicariously through you. Rock on!!! --your favorite hated pharma rep, Stephanie


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