Bike the Bays

14 12 2009

It was blowing a gale on Sunday morning. I won’t start ranting about the wind here in Wellington anymore though, I think you all get the picture already. Anyway, it was blowing a gale on the morning of the annual Bike the Bays fun ride.

The 26km ride we did started at Waitangi Park, near Te Papa, and meandered out through Oriental Parade following the coastline around to Scorching Bay, at which point we made a u-turn and came all the way back the same way. There was also a 4km and a 10km option available.

Here is the course:

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

The most nerve-racking part of the whole thing was clipping into the pedals at the start. Lining up in a big group of about 1,000 cyclists I was quite concerned that upon embarkation I would get into an uncontrollable wobble and end up taking out all the riders in the near vicinity. Fortunately it was my imagination getting the best of me and I set forth with an initial slight wobble which I recovered beautifully.

The pace was quite slow throughout the first half of the course, and even slower in the second half. Those famous Wellington winds got stronger and stronger throughout the ride and by the time we were cycling along Evans Bay Parade on the return leg of the journey there were many cyclists who had given up and taken to walking their bikes along into the strong headwinds. I saw a father pushing his son along on a bike, pity the son did a wild steering maneuver and ended up doing a face plant into the dirt bank on the side of the road! I also had a close call biking past another kid on his trike who also did a wild steering maneuver. We were biking along with a strong tailwind at that stage along Oriental Parade so I had built up a bit of speed. I was about to pass this kid on his trike when he decided to very suddenly pull out right into my path forcing me to take an extreme evasive action to avoid a nasty collision. Thankfully the organisers had closed the roads so I didn’t have to worry about pulling in front of a car or some such.

It was a really great event and a great chance for me to gain some confidence riding in a group situation.

Quite a cool group of people that I met were those of the New Zealand Green Bike Trust who have been exploring various cycling initiatives like distributing free recycled bikes to disadvantaged groups and families. Check out their website: www.nzgreenbikes.co.nz and donate them a bike or give them a hand in their workshop restoring unwanted bikes!

Finally, I won a prize! A water bottle! Yay!

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