Wanaka: Lay day or lazy day...

Monday November 1, 2010

After a long and hard ride yesterday, I'm having a lay day here in Wanaka to recover and reorganise before I cross over to the west coast tomorrow. This morning I laundered my clothing before wandering into the township for a little sightseeing, re-stocked with oats from the supermarket, and relaxed over a light lunch. Wanaka is a very pretty town, touristy, more established than Lake Tekapo, but not as brash as nearby Queenstown. It is the resort to the Treble Cone ski fields at Mt Aspiring.

The water in Lake Wanaka does not carry a load of suspended glacial silt, and hence reflects the deep blue of the sky rather than the turquoise of Lake Tekapo. It is quiet here at the moment - the ski season ended a few weeks ago, and the summertime backpackers haven't started to arrive yet.

I've had a little siesta, and will perform some bike maintenance before dinner - I spotted a likely looking place for dinner this morning, and want to make the most of this brief visit. The wild west coast is unlikely to offer anything as sophisticated.

OK, time to attend to the bike. Oh, the bike has been working splendidly. It fulfils its intended function as a middleweight road touring bike to perfection. The combination of light weight and low gears makes climbing steep inclines quite comfortable. The STI fall immediately to hand and shift impeccably. The low pannier mounting position provided by the Cosmo rack, or the sloping top tube make it easy to get a leg over the bike whatever way I choose to mount. The brakes have proven effective on the steep descents I've encountered, and the wheels remain true. The long fenders do a great job of controlling water spray on wet roads. Nothing rattles or squeaks. The only negative has been a slight tendency to shimmy (undulate really), only on very smooth surfaces, but it seems related to front pannier loading, and all but disappeared as my groceries were consumed. Oh, and that bloody Brookes B17 saddle is tenderising my sit bones once again. Not as bad as last tour and will improve no doubt, but uncomfortable on a long day.

Wanaka - as they say, 100% pure New Zealand...

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