Tirau

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The issue with Mitchell sorted itself out this morning.  Police showed up to collect contact details and to verify his status. Talking with them out of earshot of Mitchell they seemed concerned he may be a run away and just wanted to ensure he's capable of looking after himself. It turned out that his parents were going to come and pick him up.
Steve mentioned to me that he was the one that called in the police. He shared the same concerns I did.
Despite this I was on the road around 8am and heading into light rain for much of the morning. I was aiming for Tirau today. The run to Hamilton is a little more than I'm willing to attempt given the hilly terrain I'll be covering. The road, initially, is mostly up hill leading to a good long downhill run before things start to flatten out. 
There is one area called Fitzgerald Grove which is really nice to ride through but probably the most dangerous section so far.  Fortunately it's only about 1-2km long and all downhill so you can get some good speed up. The issue with this stretch is that there is no paved shoulder on the road and the gap between the seal and the edge of the trees is, in places, not enough to allow for the bike with the paniers to be on the outside of the white line. About half a kilometer in there's a cafe with a decent parking area though. From there you can get a good view back to the entrance of the grove.  Wait for there to be no visible traffic and just go for it.  If you've still got no traffic by the time you hit the first corner you've got a good ride ahead of you.  The corners, after that first one are gentle and you can see back for quite a way.  If you keep checking you're not likely to get caught out here.  Plenty of time to pull over and stop (you won't want to ride here while traffic is passing you) and plenty of visibility for vehicles to see you too.
I got to Tirau with plenty of time.  Got in touch with David and Annette and they're happy to put me up tomorrow.  Will be skipping Hamilton and heading to Gordonton instead.  It's a little further but it was going to be a short day anyway.

Distance today: 
53km