Feb 27 Wednesday – Cardrona
I didn’t stab Frenchie while she slept but she was no longer on my Christmas card list after yesterday. However, my mind was once again focused on the weather. The rain had started last night and down it poured. Temperatures haven’t left the teens all week and today we are back in the single digit figures. We loaded the bikes onto the trailer and a very dejected group of riders clambered on to the bus. As the bus made its way over the mountain pass, the weather was significantly worse on this side. The bus turned off onto the dirt road and chugged us up the dirt road to Cardrona ski resort. We couldn’t help but notice the gushing rivers of water pouring down the side of the mountain, the road and the so-called trails we are meant to be racing. We climbed out of the bus and was meet by a blast of icy rain/sleet. We huddled under the roof of the Cardrona base lodge. The weather was so bad that not even I could overthink it. It was freaking terrible no matter how you looked at it. No one was in hurry to go anywhere. We were all stalling. Then we got the news, race today was cancelled. I have never been so happy not to ride my bike. The Cardrona staff made the call, the conditions were simply treacherous with minus 10 at the top of the mountain, high winds and ice rain falling. It also wasn’t fair to the volunteers that have stand around at the start and finish of each stage. There was a huge sigh of relief. I found it interesting that despite the terrible conditions, I was ready to go. My mindset was so prepared to ride in this abymissal conditions, it took a while to let go. We huddled inside the lodge and ordered a coffee while the race organisers made the arrangements.
Loaded back into the bus and headed back home. Once we were home, showered, dry and warm. I realised I was tired. I was so in the mental zone of preparing myself to ride in those conditions that I wasn’t aware that three days of racing (and an epic luge battle) had taken its toll on me. I laid down on my bed and passed out solidly for two hours. Not bad for a morning’s effort.
One of my unexpected major learning curves of the week was knee pad rash. This is not something I have ever experienced before but then I guess I haven’t worm my knee pads for some many days in a row. Or maybe there is a new species of bacteria living in them?? Don’t worry I do wash the somewhat regularly. Sometimes. I now had large sections of skin missing off from around my knees and it was painful. Chaffing points from sweat and the inner fabric. My knees and butt were very happy about taking a break from all the rubbing. Yep, even though the temperature have on the cooler side and just above freezing, my butt still manages to produce sweat. I had some good cycling shorts rash going on and my sensational butt cheeks are covered in a million little red dots of pain (okay the sensational bit might be a glorified a little more than needed but hey, its my version haha).
The highlight for the day was Ferg Burger. The famous NZ burger place that is open 20 hours a day and the queue up for a burger never has a wait time less than 30 minutes. It was worth it.
It was Shantel’s birthday so we ventured out for celebration and soon ended up with roaring crowd of people. We learnt a new drinking game called Buffalo. If you get caught drinking with your dominate hand and someone calls Buffalo, you have to down your drink. I slipped away early as I wasn’t going to get caught in that craziness. I’ve already consumed more alcohol on this trip then I have in the last 6 months.