Picture this: It is just you, your bike, your new Swiss friend Angie, and the St. James Cycle Trail. You have no cell reception and you just got dropped off at the trailhead, leaving you (at the absolute minimum) 30kms from your car if you take the road back rather than the trail. The rain begins to pickup at the two kilometer mark (only 58 more to go...), you can’t see through your sunglasses (I’m not too sure why I even have them on at this point…it’s not even sunny), and your feet are already soaked. You seem slightly worried that maybe you've made a terrible mistake, but soon nervously laugh it off because there is absolutely nothing you can do at this point except keep riding.
Now let’s flash forward roughly 35 kilometers down the trail. It’s still pouring rain, your feet are soaked from the numerous creek crossings and mud puddles and now they are numb from how cold it is. The entire contents of your backpack, which were really just dry clothes, are soaked. Luckily you have made it to Scottie’s Hut and can seek refuge inside this tiny hut for a few minutes.
It was here that Angie and I ran into the first people we saw in roughly three hours of biking in a torrential downpour. There were four guys out hunting for the weekend, plus the two of us crammed into the tiny hut the size of a small bathroom, seeking refuge from the rain. The boys were making pancakes and were quite shocked to see us in our current soaked state. For whatever reason, I decided to change out of my wet socks and put on a fresh pair of wet socks. Ahh so refreshing, but at least I starting to feel my toes again. I soon came to find that my bottle of chain lube had spilled all over my pack, so I got nice whiffs of chain lube the rest of the ride. Creek Crossing
It sounds like a pretty miserable day, right? Well, yes, yes it was a miserable day, but it sure did make the soak at the Hanmer Springs Hot Pools afterwards so much sweeter. Now don’t let this tale discourage you from doing this ride, the scenery was breathtaking and the ride was top notch, but maybe just do the ride on a nice sunny day especially if you don’t want to spend the next few weeks cleaning the mud off of everything.