Like the building of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, my efforts at riding it in it’s entirety has taken a while.
With the weather forecast looking promising, I suggested to Ruth that she and her 93 year old mum have a little ‘girl time’ and I would go off and ride the 62km from Okaihau to Opua, this would cover the 37km that I had not yet completed on this local trail.
The sky was predominantly blue when I looked out the window this morning so I hustled Ruth out of bed so that she could drive me to Okaihau, some 24 km from Kerikeri. As we drove from town that blue sky suddenly changed to a disturbing shade of grey and with a fairly serious hint that a bit of precipitation may be ‘on the cards’.
I unloaded the bike off the car telling Ruth that the gloom was temporary and that I would be soon basking in equatorial temperatures. She drove off looking very pleased that she had a solid reason for not joining me. About 50 metres down the trail I had to stop and drag the wet weather gear out of the pannier as the first touch of moisture started to render the sunglasses as optimistic extras.
I went through a protracted sequence of rain jacket adjustments (on / off/ on) during the first 22km although every time it started to drizzle it would end as abruptly as it started. 30km into the ride the blue sky started to finally win the battle and promised to deliver the weather that I had been promised.
The section of trail that I had not previously ridden was not particularly inspiring. It was peaceful riding through the rural surroundings but it was devoid of anything particularly interesting until I came upon a flock of around 40 highly stressed wild peacocks. As I rounded the bend they all scattered into the nearby trees screeching. As I pedalled on they started blasting out of the foliage. I did not realise that Peacocks could fly. Suddenly I had them buzzing noisily around my head like mini B52 bombers. I was pleased to have had my helmet on.
I have to admit that I missed not having Ruth along for the ride. I suspect that she did not feel the same way. She certainly did not appear to be racked by jealousy when she collected me at Opua.