Thursday, 17 April 2014

NZ - Bike Tour Day 1 - Christchurch to Hanmer Springs

Christchurch - Hanmer Springs
144 km






I awoke to a grey overcast morning but dry. Rain was predicted with a top of 13.

We were being taken to the bike shop at 0900 to pick up the bikes so we all met up for breakfast at the hotel at 0800.

Trish & Gordon outside the hotel.

The weather wasn't looking promising


We were then bused out to the shop with Malcolm following on the bike.

Once at the shop we were shown our bikes. I have a BMW F700GS I was told it was lowered but with the normal seat but it I wanted they could put a low seat on for me. I sat on it to check but all was good I was actually flat foot. It's been a long time since I have been able to flat foot on a bike.



I then proceeded to start the installations. I added to the handle bars: blue tooth headset remote control, heat controller, camera mount and gps mount.  I have to much gear to fit in the panniers so I strapped my bag to the back.

My bike for the next 11 days.



Once all the paperwork was done we mounted up took and took the bikes outside for a group photo.

From Left: Michael, Malcolm, Me, Brian, Trish & Gordon.

Just as we were ready to leave I thought oh no I haven't checked my heated gear works. And of course guess what it didn't. There was no power to the heat controller, lucky the bike has heated grips.


We then headed off it wasn't the best departure as there were road works and lots of traffic and we had to get across 2 lanes as we needed to head the other way. Finally there was a break in traffic for me to shoot across but oh no of course I stalled. I quickly got it started at scooted across. 

We were off so good so far with no rain but that changed very soon starting with a drizzle and then getting heavier.

There was talk of taking a longer route but with the rain it was decided that we would go directly to Hanmer Springs, I was glad of this as I was wet and cold and could only think about getting there.

It rained about 99% of the way. 

Some of the scenery would have been spectacular if we could have seen it.

We headed towards Belfast




There must be an Irish influence around this part of the Island.









This is why you don't venture off the bitumen.



















We arrived in Hanmer Springs at about 1200. We parked our bikes around the back of Cheltenham House and were shown to our rooms. Our room awesome, with a fake log fire place and a couple of lounges, our bathroom is just a little bit down the hall (but is just for us) which has a heated floor and is currently being used as our drying room (lucky it is really big).

The room. 




The bathroom/drying room

After we had everything sorted we headed into town (a few minutes walk) to have some lunch. We found a lovely Irish pub and decided to have lunch there. Along with a pint of Murphy's. I had the pork and black pudding sausages which were beautiful.



My favourite drink which in Ireland is called Jameson Ginger & Lime.

Sláinte


After lunch we went for a wander around town. I bought myself a pair of possum and merino wool socks, they feel so nice and soft.









The owners of the B&B do wine in the Billiards room at 1830 so we joined them for a drink and a chat. They are lovely people. I would definitely recommend this place.


That one is a real fire.



We ended back at O'Flynns for dinner. I had the lamb shank (delicious) and a Jameson Dry and Lime.



Hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow.