Skip to main content

3 To Get Ready...

Next time, maybe? The recently deconsecrated church at Miller's Flat
Today I took my bike to Lawrence and rode the Clutha Gold Trail, a recently opened bike track which runs about 73km from Lawrence to Roxburgh, where it joins the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, which in turn links with the Central Otago Rail Trail. This is all part of a good idea by our Government to build a network of cycleways extending from one end of the country to the other; an idea whose implementation is way behind schedule, but which might nevertheless be the most positive thing for which John Key's government is remembered.

I drive the road beside the Clutha Gold Trail very frequently and had watched it being built. So today was the fulfilment of a plan formed when I first saw the guys at work putting together all those little bridges: to spend a day off doing an out and back ride from Lawrence. I planned to go to Beaumont which I thought might take an hour and a half, but I was surprised how easy it was and how quickly  the kilometres passed. The track is wide, firm and mostly flat. There are one or two small climbs and about a kilometre spent in the dark going through the old railway tunnel at Big Hill (I was pleased I had forgotten to remove my bike's headlight before leaving home). Beaumont was a little over 20 km from my starting point, so I rode up the Millennium Track towards Millers Flat for another 5 km, so that the return journey would cover 50 km, which I finished in a little under 3 hours. The scenery is magnificent and apart from a small shower of rain and a puncture just as I got back to my car, it was a beautiful, re-creational day.  I was sorry to have to turn around and I'm, wondering if, on some future Monday,  I'm game for the 100km round trip from Lawrence to Miller's Flat and back.

Although I have ridden further than this on one or two occasions over the past couple of weeks, I've always stopped somewhere for coffee; this is the longest I have gone without a break. I now know my backside will be OK for 3 hours in the saddle and I'm reasonably confident my fitness level is sufficient for the coming Hikoi. On Saturday Clemency and I walked about 23 km over the Peninsula, past Larnach's Castle and back home through MacAndrew Bay, also without a break. So, despite a few stiff joints on Sunday, I'm not too worried about my ability to do the walking.

I'm hopeful that the others in the core team will also have raised their fitness level sufficiently. There are also a thousand other preparations to be made, and Benjamin Brock Smith is working pretty much full time on those at the moment. We still need billets in Southland and Otago and there are one or two details of the route which still need finalising. There are bookings to be made and some necessary bits of kit to be acquired, most notably a camper van to act as a support vehicle. Some of the regional events are almost completely planned and others are, at the moment, more conceptual.  But it is all falling into place and with a month left to the beginning date, I am looking forward to an event which I know will have a profound effect on our Diocese and who knows? perhaps further afield.

Comments

Kate said…
Bit behind your posts, but I came, I read, and I wished I lived down there so I could billet!

Popular posts from this blog

Ko Tangata Tiriti Ahau

    The Christmas before last our kids gave us Ancestry.com kits. You know the deal: you spit into a test tube, send it over to Ireland, and in a month or so you get a wadge of paper in the mail telling you who you are. I've never, previously, been interested in all that stuff. I knew my forbears came to Aotearoa in the 1850's from Britain but I didn't know from where, exactly. Clemency's results, as it turns out, were pretty interesting. She was born in England, but has ancestors from various European places, and some who are Ngāti Raukawa, so she can whakapapa back to a little marae called Kikopiri, near Ōtaki. And me? It turns out I'm more British than most British people. Apart from a smattering of Norse  - probably the result of some Viking raid in the dim distant past - all my tūpuna seem to have come from a little group of villages in Nottinghamshire.  Now I've been to the UK a few times, and I quite like it, but it's not home: my heart and soul belon

Kindle

 Living as I do in a place where most books have to come a long way in an aeroplane, reading is an expensive addiction, and of course there is always the problem of shelf space. I have about 50 metres of shelving in my new study, but it is already full and there is not a lot of wall space left; and although it is great insulation, what is eventually going to happen to all that paper? I doubt my kids will want to fill their homes with old theological works, so most of my library is eventually going to end up as egg cartons. Ebooks are one solution to book cost and storage issues so I have been  using them for a while now, but their big problem has been finding suitable hardware to read them on.  I first read them on the tiny screens of Ipaqs and they were quite satisfactory but the wretchedness of Microsoft Reader and its somewhat arbitrary copyright protection system killed the experience entirely. On Palm devices they were OK except the plethora of competing and incompatible formats

Camino, by David Whyte

This poem captures it perfectly Camino. The way forward, the way between things, the way already walked before you, the path disappearing and re-appearing even as the ground gave way beneath you, the grief apparent only in the moment of forgetting, then the river, the mountain, the lifting song of the Sky Lark inviting you over the rain filled pass when your legs had given up, and after, it would be dusk and the half-lit villages in evening light; other people's homes glimpsed through lighted windows and inside, other people's lives; your own home you had left crowding your memory as you looked to see a child playing or a mother moving from one side of a room to another, your eyes wet with the keen cold wind of Navarre. But your loss brought you here to walk under one name and one name only, and to find the guise under which all loss can live; remember you were given that name every day along the way, remember you were greeted as such, and you neede

En Hakkore

In the hills up behind Ranfurly there used to be a town, Hamilton, which at one stage was home to 5,000 people. All that remains of it now is a graveyard, fenced off and baking in the lonely brown hills. Near it, in the 1930s a large Sanitorium was built for the treatment of tuberculosis and other respiratory ailments. It was a substantial complex of buildings with wards, a nurses hostel, impressive houses for the manager and superintendent and all the utility buildings needed for such a large operation. The treatment offered consisted of isolation, views and weather. Patients were exposed to the air, the tons of it which whistled past, often at great speed, the warmth of the sun and the cold. They were housed in small cubicles opening onto huge glassed verandas where they cooked in the summer and froze in the winter and often, what with the wholesome food and the exercise, got better. When advances in antibiotics rendered the Sanitorium obsolete it was turned into a Borstal and the

Return to Middle Earth

 We had a flood, a couple of weeks back, and had to move all the stuff out of the spare bedroom, including  the contents of two floor to ceiling book cases. Shoving the long unopened copies of Sartor Resartus and An Introduction to Byron into cartons, I came upon my  copy of The Lord of the Rings . Written in the flyleaf are the dates of its many readings, the last one being when I read it aloud to Catherine, when she was about 10 or 11, well over 20 years ago. The journey across Middle Earth took Catherine and me the best part of a year, except for the evening when we followed Frodo and Sam across the last stretches of Mordor and up Mount Doom, when we simply couldn't stop, and sat up reading until 11.00 pm, on a school night.  My old copy is a paperback, the same edition that every card carrying baby boomer has somewhere on their shelves. The glue has dried and hardened. The cover and many of the pages have come loose. I was overcome with the urge to read it again, but this old