The Country Road Cycle Ride
Selwyn Brown, the organiser of the Country Road Classic gets to ride the course. This is what he thought…
I’ve been looking forward to this ride for quite some time and desperately wanted to get fit enough to ride the course before Sat 16 April the day of the inaugural Manawatu Cycle Classic. I’ve only been back on the bike regularly for about a month so there was a small degree of apprehension as a couple of good mates and some locals headed out of the square and down Fitzherbert Av. The first climb of the day came quickly just as you are leaving town and after crossing the Manawatu River you head up Summerhill Drive. As I reflect it is not that dissimilar to Taupo but much shorter in duration.
By the time you reach Valley Road which is about 10km east of Ashhurst you are well into your trip and ready for the rigours that lie ahead. Travelling up through the Pohangina Valley was a real treat and you are right in the middle of “The Country Road”
You are treated with some fantastic scenery and after Highland Home Transition about 30km of some great climbs and technical descents. What springs to mind right from the outskirts of Ashhurst is the lack of vehicles on the road and as you climb up through the valley the absolute peacefulness of the area. I can really picture the whirr and hum of chains and cassettes invading the valley like a swarm of locusts in a few weeks time.
The section from Highlands Home to the highest point going out is approx 30 km if you are a Solo rider climb at your own pace and have something in the tank for the 2 hills just out of Apiti.
At this point you will have travelled about 90km and will then be treated to a gradual descent to Palmerston apart from a short sharp climb just before Ashhurst.
All in all a great ride with lots of interesting climbs and descents great new cycle challenge for solos or teams. Certainly looking forward to doing the ride again…