The Romans did make it as far as NZ!

NZ warm down – day 13

Fairlie to Mt Somers

94km, 610m ascent



When I woke up this morning, my shin seemed no sorer than yesterday, so I figured that meant ‘green for go’ and I set off pedalling again.  I was a bit apprehensive about the route today, as the first section to Geraldine is all along a major highway route between Queenstown and Christchurch, and yesterday I’d seen and heard all the trucks thundering up and down it!  The detour to avoid it however was too long, so a figured I’d get an early start and keep an eye out in my little mirror for the trucks approaching!

The start was a bit tough, with a short but steep climb up Mount Michael, just outside Fairlie.  There was a bit of a view from the top, but the clouds were still hanging around to stop you seeing too far.

From there it was mainly a downhill or flat ride (with a few nasty ups) into Geraldine.  The road started off up in the steeper valleys but soon became much more English looking, with rolling green hills.

Heading down the valley to Geraldine
English looking, rolling green hills approaching Geraldine

A quick stop in Geraldine to use the library’s free wi-fi and then I headed off the highway to follow the ‘inland scenic route’ towards Mt Somers.  This definitely had less traffic (a bonus), but I am not sure what qualifies it as a scenic route!  It was flat farmland and quite boring!  The roads were dead straight for kilometres on end, which makes me think the Romans must have been here!  One stretch went for 23km without a bend or undulation!  But at least it wasn’t raining and the head wind wasn’t too bad!

With not much to look at and the long straight roads making it seem like you were making little progress, I passed the time calculating with a good degree of accuracy how long it would take me to reach certain points and trying to work out how far into the horizon you could see, by using the passing cars as markers!  When that was done and there was nothing more to think about, I put on my spin playlist!  Nothing like a bit of Avicii or Darude to get your legs turning a bit faster!

The long, straight roads of the Canterbury plains

I did eventually arrive in Mayfield, where I refueled with a cappuccino, before the last straight section to Mt Somers.  Every Kiwi village has a tag line on its welcome sign, and Mayfield’s was ‘blink and you’ll miss out’ which I thought was one of the better ones I’ve seen.  It’s true that if you blink whilst passing them, you will miss many Kiwi towns!  Although I am not entirely sure what there was to miss out on in Mayfield!

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