Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bike Review #2 - the wild west

This time around I ventured on a bunch ride by the city Avanti cycle shop ride. I've riden this bunch intermitently for the last 2 seasons and some of the guys are training mates on the Monday runs, so I knew what I was getting into.
Today was a min. 100km and doing two thirds with a bunch sounded OK to me as the forecast was for rains and the shop was using a brand new ride called "the butter chicken" , I called my mate Gordon and we met at the shop riding from home, it's all about clocking miles on the saddle.
The bunch itself is the same I rode many times before, people is very sure of themselves and the guys from the bike shop have little to worry about, there's a briefing at the begining and then three different groups go out at 2m intervals (it is a very popular spot, indeed). These groups are great options for people with different training needs, the fast guys are real fast, and the slow group is nowhere near slow, just steady, so there's no excuses not to work out. I like to keep the options open. We sat in the group.
Being such a big bunch, it is not as friendly, due to the fact that people like me come and go, but the diehards are great riders (roadies, all of them). The riding was a bit frisky to start with and then settled to a more gentle pace, however the slower group cought up and the bunch became too big for my liking.
The ride is hilly/ondulating and the roads were wet, and to be fair, I wasn't feeling the most comfortable guy to ride in the wet among 30 other riders, so I checked with Gordo and went for plan B, keep riding solo to get to bethells beach a nice surf beach on the west coast about 45km out of Auckland. I'll give the bunch a 4/5, the only downside being the size and the pacing being a bit on the fast/competitive side at times. (I know they make an effort to keep the testosterone levels down, but sometimes people that comes to the ride is just on a different frame of mind).
Out we went to the wild west, hoping not to get the rain, on an intersection I saw a sign advertising a coffee shop, which wasn't there the last time I went. Unfortunately, to get to the coffee shop you have to walt 1km to the beach (black wet sand and no spare socks) so we just ate a couple of kick ass bars and headed back home, I ended up doing the last 35ish km by myself, hitting the waterfront hard on tired legs. If you wonder why I said wild west, I hope these photos illustrate a bit more.

(find the ostrich)


(the sign is on a 60km/h downhill section. Scary, aye?)

Date 16 May
Sport: Cycling
Time: 5hr (approx)
Dist: 110km (give or take)
Comment: I think I found a great way west


  1. wow following your blog every day and it amazes me every time, as well as inspired me....keep it up!! barbarah

  2. cheers!, nice photos from America!