The forecasted rain arrived in the night and stayed on uninvited. An early morning text direct from the commissaire halted the tour in its tracks.
Rerouted past the Mossburn stop for morning tea directly to Five Rivers by van meant packing up all 25 bikes and 27 people into two vans. Lycra clad in anticipation drinking coffee and feasting on cheese rolls and muffins the group battled with procrastination and indecision.
The Five Rivers cafe played host well to local and foreign visitors alike, with retail sales of local artisans showcased enticingly throughout the contemporary
A call went out and ten riders stepped forward. Some of their own volition, others pushed. The remaining 17 clambered into the vans confident in their decisions.
A van of eight dry cyclists headed directly for Queenstown in search of a break in the weather. The other van followed the 'gang of ten' obediently on damage control.
The sights along the way for the van and cyclists alike were breath taking in two completely different ways. The drive in through Garston and Kingston meandered adjacent to the Remarkables on the right and Wakatipu on the left; two stand alone stunners.
The steadfast bikers rolled on undeterred by a little precipitation winding their way around the Devil's Staircase as practiced as altar boys. Queenstown emerged eventually 97 km later.
The first team had arrived and departed for their two hour ride reluctant to lose face. Beer and wine was detected from the luggage and disposed of smartly. A lazy drizzly afternoon spread out in one of the most magnificent spots in the country and possibly the globe.
The Prime restaurant in downtown Queenstown dished up approximately 27 steaks, cooked to perfection to some fussy bi-peds. The included lake vista only added to the perfection.
The party capital of the south didn't fail to deliver with the group returning to base at varying times on foot, in vans or a hailed taxi.