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Day 5: West Auckland to Miranda

Grandson cuddles for fuel

The route for Day 5: West Auckland to Miranda

Distance: 133km. Altitude gained: 1244m. Pies eaten: 2.

It took some time to recover from yesterday's ride. I slowly drink but struggle to eat, despite Sarah cooking a delicious shepherds pie.  Eventually the body bounces back as refuelling for the next day is
vital.  I wasn't great company to begin with but Lucas's charm and interest in my bike helped.

A good sleep, coffee, feed and lovely company had me ready to be dropped back to resume the epic.  Sarah & Lucas bid me farewell from the Repco carpark in West Auckland. 

Great cycle paths had me into central Auckland safely.  Cities are my ABS! I don't enjoy them! I did go shopping, for some minor bike bits, and while in the store I met Fred. 

He had that look of someone on a bike epic. 

A slightly concerned look as he tried to sort some bike issue out with the assistant.  

A slightly disheveled look.

Sporting a beard...

Sweaty...

A loaded bike...

Our eyes met over a display of isotonic supplements; that slow realisation dawned that standing across from you is the only other human in the city that understands your precise situation. We both hurriedly concluded our bike business so we could meet & greet. 

"You doing the TA?" The hopeful raising of the eyebrows us kiwis have perfected.
The one syllable answer, "Yah", again, with the perfectly timed eyebrow raise.

Enough said, we inject ourselves into the traffic, now no longer alone & misunderstood. 
It turns out he's raising funds for alzheimer's disease which his brother suffers from. Another worthy cause.

Break stop at the top of Mt Eden, with a new cycling friend

The route takes us up Mt Eden where we take a photo then weave our way as quickly south & east to hit the Firth of Thames coast.  

We down some food at a Cafe, pie # 1 of the day. Fred had a huge but late day yesterday so needs encouragement  to get refueled. I know from bitter experience what happens when you don't. 

Cycling into Miranda, and seeing the Firth of Thames on the East Coast
Dinner with FRED! A cycling pal for Day 5, both cycling the TA and encouraging each other

The coast is lovely and with less hills than yesterday but it is hot, around 30.  We also start to head into the sou-westerly, which is better than biking uphill but still tiring.

We made it to the motor camp, later than we should after a 4km overshoot, but in time for a good feed of classic fish & chips.  Only thing to follow is a dip in the hot pools, write my blog, find the mosquitoes and hopefully fall asleep. 

I've enjoyed the company today, but I'm going further than Fred tomorrow and I seem to travel a wee bit faster than him, so I'll need to make a call at some stage. We're planning an early start due to try to avoid some of the predicted heat.

Classic kiwi Fish & Chips for dinner, with a side of healthy salad & a can of soft drink. Fueling after a long day riding the length of NZ