Thetford Forest Park

Last Saturday night we were invited to dinner by one of Felicity’s colleagues, and he turned out to be an even more fanatical mountain biker than me. Not only does he have a basement full of bikes, and more in a shed somewhere, but he’s even building himself a new bike in the hallway outside the bathroom! I took the opportunity to inquire about the location of the best single-track in the area. Continue reading Thetford Forest Park

Waitangi weekend cycling in central North Island

Tuakau Bridge

I had done quite a bit of driving around the city completing chores, so by the time I left town mid-afternoon Wednesday, I wasn’t feeling like travelling far. I also felt like a swim so I returned to the Les Atkins Reserve next to the bridge over the Waikato River at Tauakau.
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Taupo Tyre Repair

Taupo has several bike shops clustered together in one of the main streets, so I wasn’t too concerned when Torpedo 7, who normally do my bike servicing, told me their mechanic wouldn’t be able to replace my tyre until Sunday. When Top Gear Cycles next door told me they didn’t have any 26 inch mountain bike tyres, I did start to wonder if I would have to drive to Rotorua. Fortunately Pack and Pedal down the road had both stock and someone who could fit it for me.
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Pureora Timber Trail

Since I read about the opening of the Pureora Timber Trail almost exactly four years ago I have been itching to ride it, and with Felicity away overseas at a conference I finally got my opportunity. The trail is 85km long, and while some truly hard bastards ride it in one go, most take two days with an overnight camp in the middle.
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Whakaipo Bay

This Labour Day holiday we were well-organised – I hadn’t unloaded the kayak gear from last weekend – so we escaped the city late morning on Friday, heading south. By the time we reached Otorahonga we were ready for lunch, so we stopped at the Haurua rest area. This is the start of the King Country, and there is a memorial stone marking the spot where the first Māori king met with the Ngāti Maniapoto chiefs in 1857 to get their support. Europeans could not enter this area for the next quarter of a century. Fortunately for us the locals tolerate pakeha tourists these days.
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Waikato River Trails

While Felicity is in Mexico, and the autumn weather is still benign, I decided to head south in the van for a few days to explore some new trails. I had to meet a client on Monday morning, so I didn’t leave Albany till mid afternoon, but I was early enough to be ahead of the rush hour traffic and arrived on the outskirts of Hamilton just before 5.00pm.

I grabbed my tablet to check the Campermate App for parking spots, and discovered to my horror that the charging lead was missing. This device is not only my main navigator, but also what I intended to watch movies on at night so this was a minor disaster.
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Easter at Rotoiti

A friend of ours rented a holiday house located right on the shore of Lake Rotoiti over Easter, and invited a dozen of us to celebrate her forthcoming 75th birthday. We loaded our kayaks on the roof of the campervan and left early on Good Friday morning to beat the traffic. As we had hoped, the motorway was clear, so exactly an hour after leaving home we were stopped on the bank of the Waikato at Mercer eating breakfast.
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