Best ride ever

Last Saturday was probably the best experience I’ve had on my road bike.

It was an overcast day, not too hot, not too cold — armwarmers but no need for leg warmers and only one pair of socks.

I even had the fingerless gloves on for the first time in a while.

Graham and Julie Irvine do a great job of taking rookies out for their first tentative pedal strokes around the roads of Southland.

Over the past few weeks there’s been a graduate class stretching their legs on the Saturday, leaving from the velodrome at 9am.

The planned ride to Mataura had to be cancelled due to the weather, which I was gutted about missing because I was in Dunedin covering the All Black test.

After another false start, I was really looking forward to the ride to Hedgehope, back through Springhills and up the Rakahouka hill climb, a trip of about 80km.

The tail wind through Springhills turned the lumpy road into a rollercoaster, but we’d earned that tailwind on the way out to Hedgehope.

Coasting over the rises with only a handful of pedal strokes was some of the best fun I’ve had a bike and even being attacked by another bloody magpie couldn’t take the shine off it.

I’m finding cycling has a very good way of bringing you back to earth just when you think your legs are taking you somewhere.

As we turned for home we were joined by a mountainbiker who sat in the bunch for a while to rest his legs.

Not long after, and we were doing north of 30kmh at the time, he pulled out and rode off into the sunset.


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