Today’s ride had everything: Brilliant sunshine, biting winds, stinging hail, torrential rain, rolling hills, beautiful beaches, an element of danger and more.
As I was apprehensive leaving Tiabunna this morning the howling south westerly brought intense rain squalls- should I stay or should I go? I decided that waiting around for the weather to clear wasn’t making a decision.
Cycling through gourmet farm country, walnut plantations, berry farms, boutique wineries, chocolate and cheese shops, I was loving the ride despite the atrocious wind that cut right across me.
The weather followed what was to become a patten for the day; clear cold winds blues skies, half hour or so then the wind would pick up even more the sky would darken and a torrential downpour would follow. At times the wind was so vicious it was all I could do to keep upright and I was literally blown across the road . The noise and fury that accompanied these intense squalls was frightening but somehow in the centre of this maelstrom I became energised, as if I was plugged in to the energy around me. I felt powerful, enlivened and truth be told a little scared riding along the ranges.
Not far out of Swansea I was caught in the open country in the midst of a fierce squall. I thought to myself what are those white things bouncing off the road? It was hail and it pinged off my helmet, my body and Mr Surly. Once again that malevolent wind pushed me across the road. We wrestled all the way into Swansea where we both took a rest.
The blustery wind and rain seemed less intense as the afternoon wore on, spitting at me occasionally but it was now more regular and predictable. Pushing on to Bicheno, I found a relatively sheltered spot at the caravan park where even after a shower, dry clothes and a hot cup of tea I feel slightly battered and bruised after today’s epic ride.
Tomorrow apparently the forecast is for more benign conditions of the road to St Mary’s and St Helens.