"Summertime, and the cyclin' was easy." (Not, as Borat would say).
In contrast to last week with its southerly and rain, Tuesday's ride for Masterton Cycling Club members over the Kourarau circuit was hot and still.
The thermometer was reading 28C at the start of this graded road race and 26C at the finish. A farmer near the hilltop remarked "conditions were a bit cooler than earlier in the afternoon".
Possibly, but tell that to the riders who worked up a serious sweat during the 7km ascent. There was a gentle breeze but hardly noticed by competitors.
It's fair to say none of the 36 riders was singing on this ride. With hills spread over the entire 55km, this loop is one of the toughest in the club calendar.
As with graded road races, the fastest riders started first, with B, C and D grades following at minute intervals from the Johnstone St start line.
The results tell the story, with Eddy Kuipers first ahead of Mark Langlands, with Ben Knight third. Kuipers cannot have been on any special juice, as it is not so long ago he led a Lance Armstrong book-burning night, indicating his repulsion at that man's fall from grace. Lesley Mouat was first woman, followed by Julie Millar and Jenna Mangin.
Finishing times were:
Eddy Kuipers 1.20.50, Mark Langlands 1.20.58, Ben Knight 1.21.03, Andrew Linton 1.24.02, Pete James 1.24.10, Devan Simmonds 1.24.11, Dave Drummond 1.24.12, Jeff Saywell 1.24.12, Paul Wallace 1.24.12, Lawrence Field 1.24.20, Mike Wilkinson 1.24.22, Terry Blackburn 1.28.30, Russell Pickering 1.29.14, Warwick Burr 1.29.27, Earle Whitcombe 1.29.32, Lesley Mouat 1.30.13, Brett Tulloch 1.30.13, Ian Fraser 1.30.14, Mike Sutton 1.31.41, Brian Sanders 1.32.39, Darren Southon 1.34.02, Simon Butler 1.34.43, Julie Millar 1.38.56, Danny Clarkson 1.40.33, Jenna Mangin 1.41.38, Andrew Curtis-Cody 1.41.38, Sheri Wales 1.41.40, John Murray 1.42.07, Dave Howden 1.42.43, Chris Bunny 1.42.45, Dave Hodder 1.42.46, Anthony Morris 1.43.46, Mike Clinton-Baker 1.44.08, Mike Parker 1.44.51, Stan Braaksma 1.54.39, Viv Bunny 1.54.39.
Next Tuesday, that same hill will be attacked again in the club hill climb champs. The start will be at 6pm at the foot of Kourarau .