NZ Challenge 2014 - North Island
Dargaville to Kaitaia
Day Six of the NZ Challenge for 2014 and fatigue is starting to set in. Today was cold and wet. There were some very big hills. Energy was sapped. moral was low. People were tired. No one gave in.
Each morning Ba Lackson has been talking about the plight of the children in Zambia. Not just orphans but vulnerable children. Children who’s family do not have money to buy food. Children who do not go to school because of their poverty. Children who’s future is bleak. Our Challenge for Changers are riding for these children. Even though our riders are suffering from todays riding, they did not give up. Did I mention the fatigue? It right across the board. Our ground crew and drivers are feeling it too. How important are our drivers in keeping the riders safe. However, after long days driving at slow speeds, not just concentrating on the road ahead, they are constantly watching the boys and girls riding their bikes behind them. In both teams, driver fatigue has set in and care has to be taken.
We rolled out of town once again with an early start. 180kms to be ridden today. Our last big day of the ride. That 1000km target is beckoning. We have some big hills ahead of us early in the day. As we progressed the rain began and the temperature dropped. We started to climb and as we got higher we were ascending into cloud. The farmlands soon changed to forrest. This is the home of the kauri pine. The trees were poking through the cloud cover. As we approached the summit the views showed signs of promise, however, by then visibility was done to two meters. Team 27 paused at the top and Andrew F gave us a safety briefing for riding down the big hill in the wet. At the bottom of the hill was the promise of hot coffee. Some of the riders changed into dry clothes and enjoyed a respite from the cold.
Team 20 also stopped at the same coffee shop. There ride through the big hills was also tough. The only difference was that these guys are not experienced riders as in Team 27. Andrew H said they were suffering , however, each one pushed through. Andrew H wants people to know that while they are seeing photos of riders relaxing and drinking coffee, these are only short snippets of the long tough days they put into the saddle.
Our days ride also included some adventure in a ferry ride across a river. Team 27 also had to wait for 15 minutes when they found several trucks blocking the road trying to extract one very large semi trailer that had got stuck in a ditch.
As usual Team 27 arrived at our destination first. Hot showers and then on hand to cheer Team 20 home. The closer Team 20 got to their destination brighter they became and the more determined to finish well. The last 10kms found them singing as they wound there way through the pastoral countryside and into the outskirts of town.
Tomorrow is our last day. We will all ride into Cape Reinga together and will celebrate 1000kms riding form one end of the north island of New Zealand to the very tip. 1000kms of hard slog so that orphans and vulnerable children are able to reach their God given potential. Sleep well tonight my riders, tomorrow will be your day.