Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Plimmerton to Pukerua

Last Monday, 8 September, we went for just a short ride from Plimmerton to the top of the hill at Pukerua. I had said to John I should try Te Ara Harakeke again, as in the past I’ve had serious misgivings about the steepness of the hill. His reply was “Yes, you want to see if your mountains have become molehills yet” (nothing rude intended!).

So we parked in Plimmerton, ducked under the station underpass, and rode up along the lovely walking/cycling path that skirts SH1. The beginning of it is quite easy, the gradient is very friendly, and with a slight tailwind, it was pleasant riding.

Te Ara Harakeke skirts SH1 (photo by John)

Just past Whenua Tapu Cemetery, the track starts to climb, and at first, it is not too daunting. It goes through a rather pretty area with shrubbery and cabbage trees. Then the serious climb starts.

I like the cabbage trees in this pretty area before the hill starts in earnest (photo by John)

I was so determined to bike all the way up, and not get off and walk. Oh, how my legs burned, and how my lungs gasped! I managed to bike almost to the top, but about two pedal strokes short of the top, I had to give in … I needed several minutes to get my breath back! But hey, I had just about done it, and there’s hope for me yet.

I must add that I couldn’t have done it if we’d had a headwind, but with a little push from the southerly, it was OK.

Once over the railway bridge, we rode a little distance into the side road at Pukerua, then turned around and rode back down the hill. Whee! It was great tootling down at speed, with the wind rushing past and making my eyes water.

We didn’t take many photos as it was such a short ride. The most interesting thing we saw was a convoy of huge trucks parked at the weigh station. They were all connected together – two in front and one at the rear – to pull and push a trailer with a very large, and obviously very heavy “thing” on it. We couldn’t work out what it was – perhaps a substation?

Two of the huge trucks at the front of the convoy (photo by John)

The “thing” that was to be transported, and the third truck, to push from behind (photo by John)

It was a short ride, just 12.5 km. And my “mountains” had not quite been reduced to molehills yet, maybe just “foot hills”?

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