A ride up the mainland to the CAN Do

Documenting the ride from Central Otago to Picton to get to Wellington for the 2010 CAN Do, and  reporting what it's like touring on our main highways.

To get out of Central Otago I couldn't resist using one of the classic Otago back roads - Danseys Pass. This road is a reasonably well formed road from Naseby on the edge of the Maniototo plains in Central Otago through to Duntroon in the Waitaki Valley. it does have a bit of up and down to cope with, and there was a bit of snow on either side of the road at the top. I think I saw 4 vehicles the whole time I was on the gravel. When I got down to the Waitaki there was a good nor-wester blowing, which assisted me on the ride out to the coast to join S.H.1.

My first day on S.H 1 went well. Traffic busy but  not too frightening. Of the hundreds of cars and trucks that passed my most gave me a reasonable passing distance and only a couple were a bit too close. The rear vision mirror helps - when you hear a vehicle behind you can look to see where on the road it is and how much clearance it's going to give you. But the real bonus was a stiff and cold southerly. it would have made riding miserable if I was going in any direction other than North East. it was wonderful to blat along with the "big hand" behind me  and helping.

I heard that my brother was visiting my parents near Darfield, so what better excuse to detour off SH1 and follow the inland scenic route 72. I detoured off that so I could visit Methven for a cafe stop and then crossed Rakaia Gorge. On my way to Glentunnel I crossed a piece of road that had only just been reinstated after it slumped and cracked in the Canterbury earthquake. After spending time with family I had a shorter day cruising into Christchurch on SH73.

NEARLY THERE PICTON IS ONLY 50km FURTHER: I'll write a fuler update soon