Graperide 2013 completed - Forrest Vineyards, Blenheim to Picton, Queen Charlotte Sounds to Havelock back to Blenheim (Forrest Vineyards) = 101km lap. This year I rode the magnum (2 laps = 202km).
It was a 4.15am wakeup call, so had time for porridge and coffee, shower, get into my cycling gear, double check food for ride, make up 4 bottles of drink, check all lights on bike working etc... 20min drive to Forrest Vineyards, then to be on start line for 5.45am briefing - freezing cold - have been told it was 4deg. Gun start at 6am... lights on bikes blazing and 50 riders ( 11 Women and 39 Men) took off.
Riding in the dark, in a bunch - scary, exhilarating stuff - got spat out the back of the fast bunch just before Spring Creek, so riding on my own until Koromiko where the second bunch picked me up, until they then spat me out just before the last hill into Picton, so on my own again. My fantastic riding buddy, Roger, from Gearshifters decided to soft peddle through Queen Charlotte Sounds until I caught up with him, then we rode the rest of the ride together :) What a trooper, sacrificed his own ride (ie., beating his previous years time) to ride with me and to ensure I completed my ride.
The whole ride was awesome, no punctures, no bike failures, had plenty of food and drink - no stopping at all for 202km. My time was 7hrs 46min 29 sec. Not a record breaker as I was 45th out of 50; 10th woman home out of 11 women; though get this FIRST for my age group (and that was because I was the only one LOL!).
Was a little tearful once I crossed the timing mat, and when I got around the corner lots of GearShifters (my training squad) and Valley Cranks (my Sunday riding group) were there cheering me through - amazing feeling :) I don't have many photo's yet though here's me (hand on hip) just off the bike - not looking too shabby after 202km!
Today, body is feeling surprisingly good, calves are a little tight and behind the knees a little achy - though overall feel not much different than if I'd ridden only 1 lap.
Will load more photo's once they get sent to me.