Well, the weather bomb looks like it’s on its way. I left Wellington this morning having packed my gear at a leisurely pace.  I needed to be in Turangi around 4.00pm at the latest for scrutineering.

I stopped at the BP in Paremata to fill up with 98. Five minutes is all it took. The sky was overcast. It looked like it was going to rain up ahead but it was warm with a light breeze.

Made it through Levin (just). Gridlock at both sets of traffic lights so I leapt to the front of the queue and jumped the green light. Foxton looked miserable. It looked increasingly like rain. I took a gamble and risked trying to make it through to Sanson before I would stop to put on my wet weather gear. As it happened the rain started and I was forced to pull over to the side of the road and do the ‘

Foxton looked miserable. There was rain up ahead. I took a gamble and risked trying to make it through to Sanson before I would stop to put on my wet weather gear. As it happened the rain started and I was forced to pull over to the side of the road and do the ‘one-piece-rainsuit-dance’! I surprised myself – it only took six minutes to get waterproof.

It persistently poured from there to just out of Taihape but the roads were in good condition and there was no slipping around on the tarmac. Thank heaven for good wet weather gear. I managed to stay dry, avoiding any hint of a wet dribble down the back of my neck. Once that starts there’s no stopping it.

Taihape is a mandatory stop at Brown Sugar Café for a cheese and bacon toasty and a flat white. It was around 2.30pm and I was starving. 15 minutes later I was back on the road.

The rain stayed away until about 15 kms into the Desert Road. By this time there was a stiff wind blowing from the north west (I think). And the Desert Road lived up to its name. Up near the Tukino Skifield turnoff sand was swirling and blowing across the road.

By the time I arrived at Turangi it was pelting down. I checked into my motel and dumped my gear. Then back on the bike to get scrutineering done and dusted. Passed with flying colours despite some ‘dead’ spokes – but they weren’t so dead to cause concern.

My start position is #26 leaving the Turangi Holiday Park at 1:06pm tomorrow.

Tonight at 7pm there’s a briefing and a reveal of the route. I’ll check in later and let you all know where I’m heading.

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