On Thursday and Friday last week Felicity was speaking at a rural doctors’ conference in Rotorua, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a few days away with her in the camper-van. Continue reading GP Conference in Rotorua
We left Auckland about midday Saturday, so I realised it would a bit late to hit the trails after the long drive. Besides, I had read reports on the web of a trail network at Te Miro, about halfway between Morrisville and Matatmata. I had to consult my phone’s map a few times, and we got caught up in a road cycle race for a while, but eventually we arrived at the car park and set off.
We soon came to the club’s HQ, an old container. A couple of people were tidying it up, and I asked them if the trail had been funded. They told me that they are just starting to apply, but that mostly the building has been voluntary. They advised that we “go left” at the bridge and look for the Gobblers Knob track. It was fast and flow-y, with nice berms to ride up, and some exciting undulations.
After about an hour and a half of exploring, we decided not to complete the full round-the-lake mission, so that we would both be in good shape for a big day on Sunday. I was a bit disappointed when we arrived at the campground to find that the pump on the hot pool had blown up so there was only a cold pool available. The BBQ that we tried to use to cook our dinner was out of gas, with no spare available, but we managed to find another one a few minutes walk away, so that wasn’t a disaster. The place seems a bit run down, which is a shame because it is the nicest campground in Rotorua. I enjoyed hearing boiling mud going “plop, plop” just outside the van when I was going to sleep.
On Sunday morning we burst into action early, and were ready to go at the carpark soon after 9AM. There was a big crowd of guys waiting fkr the shuttle, but they had a full size bus running, in addition to the two mid-size buses.
The trails were surprisingly wet, with quite a few deep puddles to ride through. James coped pretty well with the grade #4 Billy T track, and only grumbled a little bit on the way up the long hill to Split Enz. By the look on his face at the bottom, I reckon he decided it was worth the effort.
We shuttled up a second time and rode down UnderBilly, then G-rock. After riding a couple more tracks tired muscles were starting to cause a crash or two, so we decided to head back down to the car.
The traffic was pretty heavy on the way back to Auckland, and at one point jusf before Huntly I had to brake suddenly and the car behind hit us. I was hoping that the young Indian driver had enough insurance to replace my two bikes as I walked back to inspect, but miraculously nothing was damaged. On my vehicle anyways, his front bumper had a round hole where the bolt of my bike rack had punched through while absorbing the impact. I also had to do some minor panel beating on my supplementary number plate, but otherwise all seems to be well.
I spent today exploring the sand-hills on the western side of the Kaipara Harbour, almost out at South Head. My son James has a friend living on a 200 acre deer farm, and it looked like a good place to ride a mountain-bike. Continue reading Wilson Road private block
My buddy Kerry’s idea of a perfect birthday is to ride his bike to the top of a mountain and “come down again at 100 mph”. That sounded fine to me, so yesterday we headed to the Hunua ranges. Continue reading Adams Lookout Hunua
I arrived in Bangkok about midnight UK time, but since it was early morning here I just took my gear to the hotel, cleared my email then headed out to explore an area called Bang Nam Phueng. By bike! Continue reading Prapradaeng bike ride
I woke to hear rain last night, so I wondered if I was making a wise decision to go bike riding in Epping Forest again today. But the forecast claimed the rain had passed, and I figured the likelihood of muddy conditions isn’t going to diminish in the next few weeks, so I decided to seize the opportunity. Continue reading Loughton to Buckhurst Hill via Epping Forest
I caught the train out to Stratford at 10 o’clock this morning, which is the earliest I am allowed to take my bike. I arrived at a very modern Westfield shopping mall, and set about finding the greenway marked on the map. Continue reading Stratford to London
Felicity had meetings organised for today, so I took my bike on the London Overground train as far north as I could get on my Oyster Card, which was Watford High St. As soon as I came out of the station I saw a National Cycleway sign pointing north to St Albans, a bit over seven miles away. Continue reading St Albans to London
This weekend a large section of central London is closed for a big cycling event. I was too late to register for the 100km race tomorrow, but the free 10km family ride sounded like fun. They are expecting around 50,000 riders, making it one of the biggest ever mass bike rides. Continue reading Ride London Freecycle
I’ve bought myself a mountain bike, and today I went for my first serious ride. I rode it home from Camden on Monday, but that was only 40 minutes, partly along the Regent’s canal towpath, but mostly along the road. Continue reading Hampstead Heath
I’ve been on my first English bike ride today; along the tow path of the Grand Union Canal. I have been a bit ambivalent about buying a bike, because the roads around West Hampstead are very narrow and busy, which is not my idea of a great riding environment. So I decided to try hiring a “Boris bike”. Continue reading Grand Union Canal