Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The Leg

West of Raglan there's this mountain called Karioi. It's one of those mountains that looks more like a hill. Anyway, I was staying in Raglan over Queen's Birthday weekend, and cos I had nothing better to do (ha! get it?!) I decided to cycle around the mountain.

This is the west side of Karioi from the first major junction. Raglan is 10km (about 40min ride) back that way. 10km or so this way you arrive here - the second major junction.

Looking around you find this sign telling you the road is closed for the Waikato Fiat Club rally or something. I liked all the empty Waikato cans lying around. I've never tried the beer so I can't comment on whether I'd like that or not.

I'd stolen a couple of topo maps from the people I was staying with, but it was a hard road to get lost on so I never really looked at them. If I had I may have changed my mind about the ride. Once you pass Ruapuke Beach, there's a bit of a climb, then a downhill.

On the downhill I raced past a guy and his boys on a quadbike heading off fishing. A couple of hundred metres further on I hit a very muddy road and an uphill. AS the guy rode past me he said "only five more k of this, then it's four k downhill". I said "cheers, sounds great". Naturally I thought he was joking.

Sadly he wasn't. It was the hardest ride I've done for ages. Damned good but hard. Somewhere on the way up, loathed as I was to get off the bike, I saw this and felt I just had to photograph it. So I did.

What the quadbike guy neglected to tell me was after the 4km downhill, there's another nasty uphill. So I got to Whale Bay and celebrated. Only to get to Manu Bay and swear. I made it home in one piece, and my legs didn't complain for long. And it only took about 4 hours to do the 40km or so. I did get some very strange looks from people though- like they'd never seen a mountain biker before. Bloody surfers.

The was one of my legs after the ride. I didn't realise it was so dirty until I got my socks off - love that line. Mind you they have been dirtier on occasion. And that's the heroic bike in the background.

The next day I drove some of the same road. With the overnight rain, it was much muddier, and less fun. Next time I'm in Raglan I'll be doing the ride again if I have time. Just cos I'm a sucker for punishment.


Anonymous said...

It's really interesting seeing someone else's photographs of an area that I feel I have almost photographed to death... It's great to see the different shots you've taken to mine, but then, I've never been stuiped enough to bike around Karioi!

microphen said...

well that's what you get for being lazy eh!!