My adventure start here > day 0 et 1
DAY 11 : THE LAST MAN STANDING (116km in 5h30)
Upon departure, I realize that I forgot to eat my “Chocolate Magnum” yesterday. Sadness. I’ll go to the lady at the front desk to tell her that he is for her (+ half a bottle of wine). I start my day with a smile, it’s nice!
08:30 am, I take off from the motel direction Cromwell located at 110km. This is the last “big” day to pass. I am really physically broken but I am in a good mood. Tomorrow is the last day with “just” 80km on the program!
One obstacle on my route: the Lindis Summit pass (965m)
After 45 minutes, I see a hole of light in the mist. I feel like I’m in a Marvel, with a spacecraft going to land any minute.
Kilometer 15: I switch to “MacGyver” mode
I hear a disturbing recurring noise. After a few meters, I can isolate it. A screw jumped in front of the luggage rack. I obviously have nothing to fix it, so I’m going to “macgyver” mode! I use a clip on my jacket to temporarily attach the luggage rack to the right side of the handlebars.
Kilometer 25, the sun is back!
I take off my “sock gloves” and I recharge my flasks with electrolytes. I find myself super slow this morning because I don’t realize that I’m on a crescendo climb to the Lindis Summit pass (965m)
Kilometer 35, the last big climb !
3km ascent with a 14% finish. What happiness! It will take me a good 20 minutes to reach the top, which is not bad considering my physical condition. I take this opportunity to take a break “banana-muesli-bar” and recharge my flasks with electrolytes.
I already drank 3L of water, it’s not even 11am.
The descent will be a pure moment of happiness! A fast, long and very winding descent as we like them. Quick look at my watch, I’m 70 km traveled. We are far from having arrived …
Kilometer 70: a new “little” climb to pass
This “ridiculous” climb compared to the previous one will kill me. I have to take a 10min break a few meters from the end. I eat a new muesli-bar and I recharge my flasks with electrolytes. Besides, I feel like it makes a real difference with the first week (when I didn’t have one).
We are starting the descent quietly, but I’m drawing on my last resources. And there is still 40km …
Kilometer 80, I finally pass in front of a semblance of civilization: the Tarras Country Cafe. For a moment, I hesitate to stop now but risk a huge demotivation or continue while the muscle is hot and suffer another 90 minutes. Against all odds, I will opt for option B and continue along the lake.
So close but yet so far
Each kilometer is a nightmare. It’s crazy how our mind thinks that the kilometers near the finish are necessarily longer than those at the start. The pain spreads to my left calf. Impossible to relax him. I stop every 5km for a 5 minute break. I drank a lot of water (6L) today.
Courage Max, after the bridge (km 108), it’s lunch break!
I can’t believe I went 110 km in one go. Normally for this distance, I take a 1 hour break at lunchtime. I arrive at 2:30 p.m. in a small Italian restaurant on the lake shore. I order a vegetarian pizza (overpriced!) and a chocolate brownie.
I am completely shot with endorphins, I no longer feel my legs. I’m worried about when I’ll have to take off, because I still have 8km to airbnb.
When there’s no more, there’s more
To finish me off, they put a 10% climb on the very last kilometer! It’s barely 500m, I can’t climb it all at once. I’m sweaty, I’m hot. Please, make it end!
My airbnb host (a 70 year old) is there to welcome me. He asks me if I come from Queenstown. I answer him that I come from Omarama. He makes me big eyes and congratulates me on the performance.
By showing me the room, he explains to me that there is a path from here, if I want to do a little walk tomorrow morning. I tell him that I have my “exercise level dose”. He laughs and wishes me a good evening.
Every day when I get to the place to spend the night, I have a lot of trouble concentrating, even trouble reading. However, I try to write these lines every time you read.
After all, it’s a hell of an adventure!
End of the day : my activity on Strava
DAY 12: THIS IS IT MY FRIEND ! (80km in 3h50)
Here we are ! Last day, last departure, last straight line. On the program: 80km to Queenstown. A health walk compared to everything I have experienced. I will be 2 days ahead of my schedule, initially scheduled for Tuesday (but with 1500km).
As I get back on the saddle, I feel a mixture of excitement and melancholy. Excitement, because happy to finish and find a little comfort. Melancholy, because fear of the “after” by leaving this well established fitness routine…
Kilometer 40: I come back to the entrance to Crown Range Pass
This road to hell that I took the first day, without knowing what I had embarked on. I realize at that moment, that my adventure is really about to end, that I have returned to the starting point.
I’m going to miss 20km to make 1100km
Arriving at the entrance to Queenstown, I realize that there are 10km left to reach the bike shop. But I still have 30km if I want to reach a total of 1100km. My brain will send the command to my body to add a detour. My body will not appreciate at all…
It will take me an additional 1.5 hours to arrive at 80km fully stacked. A new mental test: knowing that you have arrived, that you can finish it, but that you are still doing laps along the lake…
My adventure is officially over
4 hours of cycling later, I arrive in front of the bicycle shop with 80km of battery on my watch. My adventure is officially over. I empty my baskets, take off my helmet, my gloves and look one last time at “Fat Boddy”. We can be proud of ourselves, we have achieved a huge challenge together.
- 12 days of cycling (+1 day off)
- 52h24 to pedal
- 1100km in total, 90km on average per day
- 8800m vertical climb (30 times the Eiffel Tower)
- 60,000 calories burned
24 hours in Queenstown
Direction my hotel to take a good shower and drop my things. I have 24 hours left in Queenstown before I fly back to Sydney. 24 hours to self-congratulate. At this point, I wish I had someone to share it all.
This solitary experience is a “school of life” but loneliness begins to be hard to manage…
6:00 p.m. I’m getting hungry. My body is always programmed at the same rate: eating at 6:00 p.m. and sleeping at 9:00 p.m. I head to the center of Queenstown to observe the lake one last time.
A pretty “date with myself”
I have 100 dollars (NZD) left in my bag. I had completely forgotten them! He was there when necessary if my credit card did not pass. I see this as a small sign of fate, which pushes me to make a pretty “date with myself”. Because I deserved it after all!
Before going to bed, I notice one thing. I almost lived 12 days with 2 t-shirts, 2 shorts, 3 shorts and 2 pairs of socks (3 if you count my improvised mittens).
Like what, we can live with less things than we think, especially when we travel.
A future “ultra-nomad”
My reflection at this precise moment. I am convinced that it has become essential to be extremely mobile in order to survive in the years to come. My goal is to be able to migrate anywhere in the world in less than a week. This is linked to the thoughts of my next startup…
10:00 p.m. Lights out. Tomorrow we return to civilization.
End of the day : my activity on Strava