In a post COVID-19 world (or covert 19 if you’re Garry), we were hoping for all the postponed events from earlier this year to take place this spring – as well as the date marked on every cyclist’s calendar – Taupo, which it seems is now off too.
Luckily Garry Buys from EVO cycles had planned another one of his popular 3 day big easy’s for early September. This time it was a trip to the Wairarapa with a promised wine tour on day 2 – we’ll get to the wine tour bit later
Saturday saw us depart in 2 groups from the EVO Cycles car park nice and early and travel over to Alfredton via the Pahiatua track, Mangamaire and Rongomai. Group 1 had a support vehicle driven by local cyclist Gavin York and group 2 were supported by Adrienne Portch’s partner Craig – both did an amazing job all weekend, and we really appreciate their support.
We were met in the Alfredton hall car park by Jenny Bull in Bullie’s campervan with piping hot tea, coffee and morning tea with cakes from Carol Webb, Alice Bailey, Adrienne Portch and other cyclists wives/partners etc
From there we travelled on at a much faster pace to our lunch stop in Masterton where we were again met by Jenny in the campervan – and both groups met for a brief catch up before departing to Martinborough via the scenic route – this, I have to say was spectacular – personally, I have ridden and raced on a lot of roads throughout NZ, including a lot of racing in the Wairarapa – but this one is up there among the best – if you get the chance to ride it – do so – everyone in our group loved it – it’s a truly stunning piece of road with amazing views
Once we arrived at our accommodation we showered, got washing done and enjoyed a drink or 2 before heading off to our evening meal
It was at the evening meal that Garry revealed the 2 routes for Sunday – route 1 was a spirited ride around the lake Wairarapa circuit before joining everyone at Columbo
vineyard – route 2 was a 50 km ride joining group 1 at Columbo – somehow Garry forgot about the promised wine tour – but luckily Alice hadn’t – and came up with a route for those that wanted a more leisurely ride. both drivers had the day off – Gavin rode in garry’s 50 km group, and Craig did the shorter wine trail ride
Day 3, we all knew the forecast wasn’t fantastic – but one of the things you can’t plan for is the weather – there were high winds and rain forecast. We set off for home, after no mechanicals all weekend in group 1, we had a puncture coming in to Masterton – after a quick wheel change we were back on the road, but not before Garry’s ‘desert camel’s’ overtook us. Both groups met up at Mount Bruce for an early lunch and as we arrived later, group 1 got roped in to being a part of a challenge for Te Wiki o te Reo Maori which was a lot of fun. Once we left mount Bruce, the wind had really made its presence known.
The ride back to palmy was definitely very challenging, so challenging that Colin Anderson managed to destroy his rear derailleur between Eketahuna and the Mangamaire turn off. Luckily, with the support van there, he could jump in and finish the trip off with some heating – as well as left over cake.
All riders met at the coachman in Palmerston North for a post ride drink, and chips – it was here that Garry announced the new branding for group 2 – no longer the turtles, they are just the desert camels and unbeknown to group 1, day 3 was an unofficial race – which the desert camels won, as they had managed to get 2 rounds in before group 1 arrived
Garry’s big easy’s are always a great experience – the riding, the routes, the company and the food and drink – his next one is going to be 4 days, and is planned for 26th February -1st March – Garry’s 4 day Euro style big easy is heading to Napier, then across to Taupo, then via National Park to Ohakune then back to palmy on the final day.
Supported by Evo Cycles for only $389 if you want to be a part of it, make sure you contact Garry at Evo Cycles.