BAC New Zealand - 2015

February 8 - Waipukurau to Dannevirke

We had a group breakfast in Angkor Wat this morning. This was the café, not the temple. We were served a full breakfast with coffee, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, hash brown potatoes and tomatoes. It was very good and very filling. Then it was a short walk back to Fergusson Motor Lodge. Some of our group sat in front of the library to connect to its free wifi. A strange spandex sight in the early morning in downtown Waipukurau.


I left the motel with the French Connection (John Gradwell, Andrea Kneeland and Germain Berube - all from the provence of Quebec) and the Judge (Michael Blake, a retired judge from New Jersey who now lives in San Diego). We rode together for several kms until I decided to take my off my jacket. The temperature was rising and there were no clouds in the bright blue sky to filter the sun. I soon caught up to and passed them when the severity of the

rollers picked up. My legs felt strong and I wanted to stretch them out. I paired off with Jane Wicher and Katherine Scott. They are very strong riders. Katherine is especially tough on the hills.The rollers were steep and the countryside was beautiful - fields of brown grass with grazing cows, horses and sheep.


At 40km I decided to stop and eat my banana. I was getting hungry and there was a big hill ahead of me. Jane and Katherine charged ahead of me and Michael soon followed. I rode solo the rest of the way passing or being passed by other riders.


The entire ride was on narrow country roads. There was hardly any traffic. Of the dozen cars that passed me in the first 60km, one was our van and the other was a Pedaltours van.


I thought that yesterday's was my favorite, but today's route surpassed it.

I arrived at the Viking Lodge/Motel in Dannevirke before 1:00. Our room is very basic with a queen bed and a bathroom. Ann got here shortly after I arrived. She had been down the street having coffee with her shopping and driving buddy, Asbjorn. The town has only one main street with a few stores and cafes.


I might have mentioned that Asbjorn is our driver. He is a friend of David Williams our co-leader. He is an Aussie who flew here specifically for this tour. We hear some friendly banter between the two: Aussie vrs Kiwi. David owns and leases out a sheep farm a few kilometers form this town. This is his home town and his brother still lives here. David currently lives in Germany where his wife is a principal of an English-speaking school there.


Our ride director, John Gradwell, was born in England, educated in the US and has lived in Canada for many years. He is a retired professor at McGill University in Montreal. This is the first ride that he has organized for BAC.


Ann and Asbjorn went shopping at 3:30 for social hour. We met as usual at 5:00 for our social hour. As a rule, for about 45 minutes we drink, eat and socialize. Then John makes announcements and David goes over the route for the next day's route. People pitch in to help Ann with the setup and cleanup. Because there are very few places on the road to stop for lunch, most of us prepare PB&J sandwiches and grab a banana. The sandwiches get a little soggy and stale overnight, but cyclists will eat anything when they are hungry.


A bunch of us went to the local service club for dinner. It was in a large building. As we walked in, the meeting room was in front of us. The bar and pool tables were behind that. The dining room was to the right. We set up a long table so we would be together. Dinners included pork chops, chicken schnitzel, fish and chips, steak and steak sandwiches and mixed fried fish. It was an average meal with good portions. We were happy to support the community.


Although we rode the van to dinner, some of us decided to walk the few blocks back to the motel.

© 2016 Robert N Lynn

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