Date: 2008-02-26 19:51:00
long bays
I've been doing more and more cycling over the past few weeks. My new route to work is twice as far (12 km one way) as my old one, so I've got to get used to doing longer runs daily. I've done the work route as a round trip, as well as various other longer runs to get myself ready.

Today, a local community paper showed up which had a story about a couple of guys who are raising money to improve signage along some popular cycle routes. One of the important ones is called the Long Bays route, and is featured in the Festival of Cycling in early December. It's a 75 km (45 mi) loop around some hills south of Christchurch. It's got two major hill climbs and innumerable smaller ones.

Out of curiosity more than anything else, I decided to do the Long Bays route today. I'd never done anything quite so long or with so many hills, but there's always a first time, right? My route [] almost exactly follows the route taken by the Festival of Cycling event (it's run anticlockwise). I did 76 km in 3:25 for an average speed of 22 km/h. I can do 30 on the flat, so those hills really killed me. And today, as soon as I rounded the bend at Motukarara, I was hit with a relentless headwind that just didn't let up until I reached the top of the hill just before Sumner.

Nevertheless, having completed this, I'm pretty stoked! I'm nowhere near [info]_fool territory, but this just shows that nothing is really out of reach.
[info] hasn't ridden that far (in one go) in weeks, sadly. [info] needs to fix that up as soon as he's done moving this weekend, oh yes!

yay for funcycling, keep up the good work and pick some routes for us to play on when i come visit =)
What is that circular mountainous region that juts out from Christchurch? Is it a volcano or something?
Yeah, there are two extinct volcanoes - the craters became Lyttelton Harbour (facing east) and Akaroa Harbour (facing south). Some time later, sediment built up the Canterbury plains which connected the volcanoes to the rest of New Zealand.

It's collectively known as the Banks Peninsula and is very rugged and rural. Each of the little bays around the edge has some kind of settlement, now connected by roads but for a long time only accessible by boat. There's a route along the central ridge which forms part of the Le Race route, which is a 100 km cycle ride from Christchurch to Akaroa.
Greg Hewgill <>