Warkworth to the CBD is a nasty ride. It’s a slog of up down tight roads and fast moving traffic I haven’t experienced since riding back in DF, but to be honest I expected that.
One particularly memorable climb narrows to a point where there is no margin for the rider and no margin for error. You have to play roulette, judge a gap, then go as hard as you can for 150m on maybe a 15 degree incline before the next wave of traffic arrives. I did it… just.
In that wind, the downs were as hard as the ups. The crawl up from the tunnels, Owera to Eastern Bays in a nasty sou’ wester, through diesel infused traffic. I was pleased when I saw the Devonport terminal.
I got the first ferry at two, met Nina for a catch up and then another to Pine Haven at five. Free camped above Omana beach, I was asleep by 8:30.
So how bad?
I’ve spent a chunk of my day to day riding experience in city traffic, Commuting London and Mexico City. In those times I’ve had a lot of close calls: riding fast to escape merging buses, being under another, being in the wrong suburb at the wrong time, being a target for aggression and targeting my aggression, and one time looking down the wrong end of a few hand guns in La Condesa (Mexico City) when one particular situation got out of control (my fault).
For the record Warkworth wasn’t scarier, it wasn’t even closer, it was just a lot faster.
Now I’m through Auckland and I’ve left Northland, bring on the lowlands and a wind at my heal.