The recreational rides organisers had the idea to add some variety to our Sunday rides by planning a trip starting a bit further away from home and on roads not regularly used by our club members. Thus the ride from Mangaweka was conceived.
To make the logistics easier, a bus was hired which picked up the approximately 40 riders for just over an hour journey to Mangaweka.
And on time at 8:15 the group set off up the (rather nice climb) towards Rangiwahia. The previous days of heavy rain had brought down a large number of slips and the soft Papa Rock (that muddy greyish sandstone) covered the road. Pretty soon both bikes and riders were were evenly plastered with the stuff.
There were multiple climbs and descents on the way to Rangi and with a mix of riders in the group, the front riders stopped multiple times to regroup. It seemed that we hit Rangi in no time at all, and soon after passed the turnaround point of the FFoC 90km ride. Great roads with almost no traffic and good conversation made up for the stiff westerly winds.
The group stayed together till the last big climb before Kimbolton where a longer break gave Warren Mumby a chance to demonstrate his puncture repair skills.
Once you reach Kimbolton psychologically you know that the hard work is over and that a long descent awaits. However on this day the rising westerly made the ride down to Feilding more challenging. At the front a large group pushed hard to speed down to Cheltenham shedding some of it’s members on the way, but achieving a 39km/h average in the process. Smaller groups formed as riders found their own pace and as Steve Loversuch pointed out not everyone was happy with the results.
The final re-group was a Soskeys Cafe where tales of the ride were retold over coffee, muffins and eggs.
Overall it was a great success and many positive comments were shared about the route and the organisation. Thanks especially to Mike Christie and also to Ken Young and Mike Keenan for a sterling job organising what I hope will become a more regular style of Sunday Ride for the club.