Day 1: Cape Reinga - Ahipara

After a 5.30am wake up call we headed up to Cape Reinga, arriving at 7am. We passed 2 earlybird cyclists on the road heading towards the beach. After the obligatory photos at the lighthouse, I bid farewell to Glenys for the 22km hilly ride to 90 Mile beach. The forecast promised light sea  breezes from the south west. I think they underestimated the light bit...

Access is via a shallow stream, passing below the towering Te Paki sand dunes . No time for boogie-boarding the dunes today. So with wet feet I followed 2 sets of bike tracks to the main beach. Maybe I would have some company after all. 
I quickly caught Geoff but our riding speeds were not matched, so I pushed on. He is planning on riding the 3000km but over a longer period.  Even so, he made it to Ahipara after a big day out. I met the second cyclist in the shop, she seems to be riding a good pace. 

The ride is flat, with pounding surf to the right, boring sandhills to the left and a stiff breeze from the front with blue skies as a backdrop.

The rest stops were taken mid beach as I didn't want to get into the soft sand. The occasional bus or 4x4 passing didn't break the monotony. 
I met one cyclist on his final day from Bluff, enjoying the following stiff breeze. It was good to stop for a chat & refuel. 

As the day progressed, so did the breeze, from light to stiff, to even stiffer! The last 10km on now tiring legs was hard work, so I was glad to see Ahipara slowly approaching. 

Glenys had booked a hostel in town, so I was able to change a doubtful rear tire, clean & maintain the bike and the body. Now fed & watered we are enjoying some conversation with the other guests at the lodge at the end of my first day.

Keep tabs on where I'm headed via the locator map here >

Wind blown on 90 mile Beach, Northland
Stunning Northland west coast