Riding from Kaikoura to Pedaler’s Rest

80 km

The next morning, Friday, December 19th, we headed north on Highway 1, leaving Kaikoura behind us and with Picton a couple hundred kms and couple days ride ahead of us.  I’ll let Mike write about the details of the day, which included some hills, a fair amount of rain, and a little wind (luckily, we left early in the morning to try to avoid as much as possible), a couple of broken spokes, and a slog through gravel and a strong cross wind to a beautiful little protected enclave, designed specifically to satisfy the needs of weary bikers (including one GREAT shower), called Peddler’s’ Rest.

m!ke’s notes on the day:

We took off under a threateningly cloudy grey sky with forecast of “severely heavy rain.”  I had set up this part of our riding with short days in case Chandra was jet-lagged (she was not!) so we were prepared for a potential grunt-fest up the coast.  Besides, we had been warned by many people (but tellingly not Brian whose advice I trust above pretty much anyone else on matters bicycle in NZ) that the wind would be howling and the Kaikoura range would provide little or no shelter.

Our reward for braving the potential storms? A totally gorgeous day along the coast (like RIGHT along the water!) all day seeing and hearing seals, passing crayfish (really rock lobster) shacks along the way, and a generally allaround blissful ride.  No wind.  No rain.

Toward the end of the day, I hit a pothole and broke two rear spokes (more on spoke issues later) on the drive side.  It was a bit of a drag to pull off the cassette and change two more spokes on the roadside, but with kind weather we were making good time and the break was nice anyway.

Soon after the spoke repairs, we reached the end of the shelter of the Kaikoura range from the Northwesterlies that were ripping through and I felt like I hit a wall going downhill as I was cruising at around 40 kph and was slowed to 10 kph in an instant as I hit the wall of wind.  It only lasted for 10 km or so, but as Chandra said, at Pedaler’s rest, it continued to howl like a gale and the sky kept darkening provided foreshadow for the next day.  but….Pedaler’s rest was a blissful retreat.  It’s not run by cyclists – just an entrepreneurial farming couple with a smart use of the old shearer’s shed on their land.  They are located at the perfect place to stop for cyclists on the coast, 1.5 km off the main road (so quiet and secure) and the shed is utilitarian and absolutely perfect for what touring cyclists need right then.

So, a restful night was met by rain in the morning….

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