Wanaka to Queenstown
70km | 1050 climbing meters
Today's ride headed out from Wanaka (what an awesome spot that is!) across Crown Range, which is from what I understand the highest sealed road in New Zealand at around 1070 meters. It's not the easiest of climbs, again a category two climb, which for the non-rider basically means it's really, really hard. Both teams are hurting and I think on the edge as they try and manage their injuries - physically and mentally! But we have one last big day to Te Anau (170km away) before our last day down to Milford Sound.
I was with Team 20 today, so I got to experience Crown Range with them. Honestly I don't know how some of them make it up? I know how much I hurt and cannot comprehend how a team of cycling hacks (I mean that respectfully as many have only just picked up a bike for the first time this year) make it? Some attack it until they drop and then start again, others just roll one leg over at a time at walking pace until they finally summit. Either way it really hurts.
In one sense it's not good that people are hurting and in pain, but in reality this is what it is about. If people came on these events and cruised through it would seem pretty pointless. Pointless in the sense that our purpose is to raise funds and awareness for vulnerable children; kids that hurt every day. It would almost be dishonouring to laugh and giggle our way through. It would not make any sense. So when we see participants push their limits, it lines up with our mission to run Challenging Events to Change lives.
So Team 27 has been given the challenge tonight by their team leader to push through and finish well. To make sure at the end of the 170km day they know they have nothing left. Then our last day will be a cruise ... maybe?