Wednesday 15th March 2017 – Mossburn -> Bluff (75 miles)
Well. The final day of my ride had arrived. It all seemed rather surreal that it was nearly over, but there was one last day and I was going to enjoy it. Before getting ready for cycling I was on a mission to find the entrace to the hotel so that I could get stuck into the complimentary breakfast. I tried the front door, side door and had to eventually ask 2 different people before I found the room. Cereal and peanut butter on toast. To be a little more clearer, 2 bowls of cereal and 4 rounds of peanut butter on toast. I haven’t stopped eating on this trip, but then again I am burning 4000/5000 extra calories/day. Suitably filled it was ready to pack up and head off.
Sunrise & view of the hotel.
I didn’t really take many photos today as I made my way through the towns of Winton, Wallacetown, Invercargill on my way to the final destination of Bluff.
It was just before I reached Winton when a red car travelling the opposite direction did a u-turn and then came back down the road and stopped next to me. The window was wound down and the man shouts “You doing the Tour Aotearoa?” yes, I replied. To which he shouts “That’s awesome man!” Cut a long story short the young guy was from the US and had spent 4 months cycling down from Cape Reinga to Bluff and was now working on a farm.
Although the Tour Aotearoa race is unofficial with no prizes it does have a following in New Zealand and I was quite surprised at just how many ordinary folk I met knew about it.
I cycled into my final destination of Bluff at ~ 1700 hrs.
Before I road to the end point at Sterling Point I popped into a local shop for some water. The sign on the window made me chuckle. They do say that honesty, is the best policy.
I slowly rolled up to the final photo control point at Sterling Point with a tear in my eye and really mixed emotions about the whole thing. “What a journey!” I thought, “It’s done, finished, over, no more”. I reflected on all of the winter cycling and gym training that I had worked on for months prior to the trip … I had ridden an average of 75 miles/day for the last 25 days without a rest day. My body was tired, my legs ached and I had been tested both physically and mentally throughout the trip. There had been numerous times when I had questioned the whole thing and whether I should quit. But I hade made it and I was ecstatic. I had raced the 3000km Tour Aotearoa 2017 and finished 4th out of the 14 starters and finished in 25 days. 5 days under the 30 day cut off.
So as I lifted my bike to the sky for my final photo of my 2017 Tour Aotearoa cycle race I thought to myself “Yes! I’ve done it”.
I now, just had the logistical headache of getting back to Queenstown tomorrow in readiness for the long journey back to the UK on Friday. That can wait until tomorrow though as I had other things to do. Namely.