Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Four short rides

I have a bit of catching up to do with these blogs, I’m six rides behind. Here are details of four of them.

After we came back from our biking holiday in the South Island, we didn’t go for any bike rides for nearly two weeks because the weather was awful. But on Saturday 26 April, it was fine enough to get out. I was still feeling quite physically tired, so I didn’t feel like anything too strenuous.

Petone Foreshore to Point Howard

We decided on the Petone Foreshore, to the Seaview Marina and to Point Howard and back – about 10km. We’ve done this a few times now, so we only took one photo. The only exciting thing that happened was that John got a flat tyre at the end of the foreshore.

Would you believe it? We rode 300 km on gravel tracks in the South Island without a hitch, no flat tyres or any other mishaps. And now, here we were, riding on a perfectly smooth sealed foot/cycle path, and bingo! he gets a flat! The culprit was a small aluminium off-cut with very sharp corners. I actually heard the bit of metal land with a ringing sound after he had hit it, and I thought something had fallen off John's bike. We stopped, and the next thing we knew, his back tyre was flat! Bummer. Luckily it happened right near the Hikoikoi Park, so John was able to kneel on grass rather than concrete to fix the tyre.

Fixing a flat tyre in Petone

Plimmerton to Pauatahanui

It was another couple of weeks before we did another bike ride, to Pauatahanui this time. We parked at Plimmerton, and rode along Te Ara Harakeke to Paremata, and from there onto the Camborne Walkway.

After the walkway, you have to ride on the road for some distance until you get to Motukaraka, and then onto Te Ara Piko. This lovely track, which meanders around the wetlands of the ecologically significant Pauatahanui Inlet, is a Plimmerton Rotary project. There are plans for a safe walking and cycling track to eventually go right round the Inlet. However I think it will be a few years yet before it is all completed.

On this ride, we found that the bridge at the end of the boardwalk was just about finished – there was still someone putting the final touches to the railing, but we were able to ride across it. And a nice wide path continued along the edge of the road as far as the Pauatahanui Village – not completely protected from traffic, but much better than it was before.

Near the village we met an elderly gentleman riding his electric bike. We stopped for a chat. He was very keen to tell us his life story: he was in his 80s, was Dutch and had been in NZ for 55 years. He loved his electric bike as it allowed him to still cycle despite his age-related limitations.

Ruud with his electric bike (photo by John)

We carried on towards the village, and stopped for coffee and a scone at the Ground Up Café. On the way back John took some photos of the newly completed cycle path and bridge.

The wide cycle path makes cycling along this stretch of road safer (photo by John)

The newly completed bridge at Ration Point (photo by John)

A view across the wetlands, with a bird-watching hide at centre left (click to enlarge)
 (photo by John)

I liked all the textures of the hills, the toetoe and the grasses in the foreground

Hutt River Trail – Silverstream to Upper Hutt

Another week and a bit went by with unkind weather – gale force nor’westers and rain. But on Saturday 17 May, we had a fine, reasonably mild day, and we were able to go cycling again.

We rode the Hutt River Trail, from Silverstream to Upper Hutt and back – 22 km. Again, because we’ve done this track quite a few times now, we didn’t take too many photos. But with the high level of the river after the rains, and the low angle of the sun, the glistening river was very attractive.

The rapids in the bend of the Hutt River near Maoribank (photo by John)

We rode as far as Harcourt Park. We had hoped we would find a café nearby, but no such luck. So we just turned around and went back.

Autumn colours in Harcourt Park

Hutt River meanders (photo by John)

Ara Tawa

On Tuesday 27 May, we went for just a little ride on the Tawa Valley Pathway, Ara Tawa. I had read in the local suburban paper that the bridge across the Porirua Stream at Willowbank Park had been completed, so we went to check it out.

The pathway runs from Willowbank Park, along the railway line through Tawa, then through the Grasslees Reserve, down some Linden streets and eventually along the Porirua Stream, to end up at the Kenepuru Railway Station. I believe there are plans to continue the path all the way to Porirua eventually, but for now, the smooth concrete path becomes a dirt track beyond Kenepuru.

It was not a very exciting ride, only 9 km, but that was OK, as I had done a vigorous cardio class at the gym earlier in the day, so an easy ride was fine by me. We took no photos at all.

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