Friday, 6 March 2015

Tawa to Mana

Last Saturday we took the e-bikes for a ride from Tawa to Mana, via Porirua and Aotea. We started our ride at Takapu Road train station, and followed Te Ara Tawa. There was a brisk northerly wind, so I was rather glad we had taken the e-bikes. Stupidly though, I didn’t use my gears properly, so despite the e-assist level set at 2, I found the going a bit sluggish. It wasn’t until we were past Porirua that I ‘twigged’ that I should be using a lower gear. Duh!

The nice smooth track of Ara Tawa ends at the Kenepuru station, and then there is a choice of either riding on the main road through Kenepuru, or continuing on the rough gravel track alongside the railway line. We took the gravel track and I hated it. It was very rough, and hard on my hands.

When we got to Porirua, we continued on a concrete path on the right hand side of the Porirua Stream, which we thought would take us to the bridge over the motorway. But instead we ended up going over a lovely little swing bridge, which ended up nowhere – the path beyond it petered out to a grassy track that was not bikeable.

A nice little bridge, but it led to nowhere!

So we turned back down the concrete path till it went under a road bridge, and from there we were able to get to the track on the other side of the stream. A bit further on was the bridge over the motorway, leading to the new suburb of Aotea.

We had to go under and then over this bridge, to get to the next bridge in the distance (photo by John)

Now that the Aotea subdivision has taken off, the path to get there from Porirua is much improved since we rode there the very first time, over a year ago. It is now wide and sealed, with a thin layer of smooth gravel. Much nicer.

The path between Porirua and Aotea, looking towards Porirua (photo by John)

Up to Aotea, past the Aotea Lagoon, and along Papakowhai Road. We crossed over the motorway and the railway line by climbing up over the overbridge which ended us up by the Paremata Station. From there we ducked under the railway line through the underpass to get to the Paremata Bridge. It sounds rather involved when it's written down, but it was simpler than having to negotiate the road crossings at the Paremata Roundabout.

Whizzing to the top by using the throttle of the e-bike was very satisfying! (photo by John)

Once across the Paremata Bridge, we pedalled along to Café Ruby in Mana for coffee and a scone. The return trip was straightforward. We didn’t use the rough track along the railway line, but rode on the road between Porirua and Kenepuru, before getting back onto Ara Tawa. We rode 27 km.

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