Day 4: Biggest climb in NZ

Supposedly, Takaka (pronounced something like TOK-ee-ya) Hill is the biggest climb in the country. We went over it today in the 130k ride from Nelson to Collingwood, an eerily deserted seaside town. Maybe it’s just that it’s midweek and the kids are back in school. I was good today, completing the stage and finishing with the group (we did regroup at lunch after the climb). I wasn’t technically last up the climb (someone had a flat), and I did drag one guy the whole climb only to have him sprint past me at the top to officially “beat” me. I thought it was kind of a dick move, but whatever. I was good on the ensuing descent and passed a few folks, much to my surprise. Collingwood, where we are staying the next couple of nights, is in a beautiful setting. We visited the one pub in town, and Molina had a ton of stories from the old days. Chris McDonald is also a riot. Tomorrow is a 3k ocean swim (wetsuit — yesssss!), a 2-hour run (yessssss!) and just a minimum 60k ride.

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