Posted by Lars Lundo-Nielsen
Sunday was an early-ish start with the Alarm going off at 7am. A quick breakfast and then loading up the car, Rotary's Counties Cycle Classic on the agenda for the day.
A quick and easy 52km around the Pukekohe/Waiuku country side. The 565m of climbing a detail forgotten about in the excitement. However the sun was out and the wind minor - good start! 
So Tijn and I arrived at Pukekohe Racecourse around 8:30 for registration and collection of the complementary race-pack - Jelly beans, Spuds and Carrots which was a great idea to promote the local area. A quick drop-off at the car and then and then a leisurely cruise around the racetrack to warm up the legs before a little socialising in the sun with another friendly biker.
9:55am and we were off, into the gentle rolling hills (Yeah right!). Both of us being in good spirits took turns at the front. Tijn in the lead climbing the hills like a monkey (waiting form me at the hilltops - sipping water), Me leading the downhill - heavily assisted by the gravity and excess weight around the midsection.
Just before 1/2 way - Tijn made his signature move.  A rider had somehow lost his water bottle and Tijn offered him his spare, sending him away with a wish for a good ride. Was that BENEFICIAL to all concerned? Maybe not for Tijn but certainly for the other rider - what a great show of sportsmanship!!!
Not wanting to be out-staged (and most definitely needing a break) we located a couple of riders having a flat tire - so we stopped and gave them a bit of assistance and had a chat - before proceeding to ascend "Mt Everest". Tijn casually spinning to the top - myself walking like a duck on cleats and 2 cramping thighs - Such a fun day.
Thankfully this was 1/2 way - we were nearly home - just another 26 km to go. Too many uphills and a couple of good downhills eventually saw us roll into the racetrack and over the finish line at a respectable 2 hours and 20 minutes.
What a great and fun day. 
Lars Lundo-Nielsen