11/01/18 – Ninety Mile Beach

If it was windy last night, it was even windier this morning: I had a hard time keeping things from flying away while packing.
To cycle on the beach I had to time myself with the low tide: November 1st was the ideal date to cross it. At the beginning, I couldn’t cycle – my bike was sinking into the sand. I pushed it for some time, and eventually was able to ride it.

For a while the sand was hard enough for me to enjoy the ride but then the sand got more porous and I struggled to keep going at a decent speed.

Meanwhile the weather was changing rapidly, from sunshine to sudden outbursts of rain. I got drenched a few times. The southwesterly wind was blowing hard from the side.

After 50 km, I had 30km to go and only two hours left before high tide would make the beach impassable. Greengo, with the weight of the bags and my own, was moving at a snail pace. When I saw a turnout towards the main highway I decided not to take any chances and veered towards the road.
However, since it wasn’t flat and had strong head wind, I struggled even more than on the beach. I pushed myself as far as I could but ended up 14 km short from today’s destination, Ahipara. Maybe I should have stuck with my initial plan and gone all the way on the beach.
I’ll have to make up these 14 km tomorrow to stay on track.

Today in numbers:

82 km – distance cycled
88 km – actual length of the Ninety Miles Beach
50km/h – wind gusts that literally were blowing me off the road
80.9 kg – my weight at the beginning of this tour