Early start this morning for my penultimate New Zealand bus ride from Christchurch to Dunedin.
Interesting fact of the day Dunedin is gaelic for Edinburgh and is the 6th largest town in New Zealand with just over 100,000 people
The first ride I planned (after I struggled up the steep climb to the b&b) is known as the High Road and is described in the book Classic New Zealand Road Rides as one of the best rides you will ever do. I can’t really put it as my number one ride, the traffic out of Dunedin and along the 20km seafront to Portobello was just too busy despite large sections of welcome cyclepath. Once I turned right though and climbed up the 7km Highcliffe Road though it was perfect alpine road like riding conditions with few cars. The views from both sides of the road were truly magical overlooking the sea bays
A sweeping descent back into the city centre finished the 45 km loop.
Feeling good I decided to cycle over to check out Baldwin Street officially the steepest road in the world.
What I was not expecting was the number of people struggling to walk up the hill. There were 30 ish Japanese tourist on the climb.
Now I like a good climb but I looked at this and immediately thought that I would need something bigger than a 28 tooth cassette on the back. I set off and as it ramped up I had to get out of the saddle but stay low to give the back wheel some traction. It then ramped up again and I started zigzagging across the road to keep climbing. My heart, lungs and legs were burning by this point but relief was not far away as the rear wheel lost traction and I came to a halt some 30 metres from the top of the steepest section.
It was so steep I could not stand up in my cycling shoes and there was no way I was going to get going again. I finally made it up by foot via some steps.
The descent down was good fun though and I will have another attempt tomorrow.
I still had one challenge left and that was steep climb up High St to get back to the B&b.