Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Two rides up the Hutt River Trail

In the past week we have done two easy rides up the Hutt River Trail on our original folding bikes, not the e-bikes. It was lovely riding them again, after having used just the e-bikes for a month. They are so much lighter and more manoeuverable.

For the first ride, on Easter Sunday 5 April, we parked at Seaview and biked up the riverside trail as far as Stokes Valley, before turning around and going back. On the way up, we detoured via the Janus Bakkerij on the High Street in Lower Hutt, hoping to have lunch there, but it was closed for Easter.

We were pleasantly surprised that some parts of the track that had been gravel, are now being upgraded and sealed.

The gravel path is being upgraded, and appears ready to be sealed (photo by John)

Some parts have already been sealed (photo by John)

It was an easy 25 km ride, though the brisk southerly made the return trip a little slower. On the way home, we stopped at the model railway track at the Hikoikoi Reserve, where John caught up with a former colleague, who is keen member of the Hutt Valley Model Engineering Society and enjoys driving the train for the kids.

David drives the model train at the Hikoikoi Reserve (photo by John)

Finally, while eating an ice cream on the Petone Esplanade, we were surrounded by solicitous seagulls, though by the time John took the photo below, they had given up hope and settled down to face into the onshore southerly.

Seagulls looking out to sea (photo by John)
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For the second ride, on Saturday 11 April, we went up the western side of the Hutt River. We parked by the Ewen Bridge, and biked north, on the sealed path on top of the stopbank.

Seagulls congregate below the Ewen Bridge (photo by John)

Heading north on the top of the stopbank (photo by John)

As we were going under the bridge at Avalon, I remembered that the last time we rode here, the trail became a dirt track across the grass in the Belmont Domain. As we’d had a lot of rain in previous days, I thought it might be a muddy mess. But again, we were pleased to see that, here too, the council had been hard at work. There was now a nice, wide, smooth gravel track through the domain.

The new track through the Belmont Domain (photo by John)

All the way up, until Manor Park, the track was in better condition than when we last rode there (which must be over a year ago), but it has still not been drawn through the Manor Park Golf Club. There is still a sign there to the effect that you have to divert for 2.5 km onto SH2 before you can rejoin the track. So we turned around.

We crossed the bridge at Avalon, and detoured to the Janus Bakkerij for lunch (it was open this time!), then carried on along the eastern side of the river, and crossed back to our car over the Ewen Bridge.

A pretty, wooded area by the track (photo by John)

But instead of going home, we rode a bit further, towards Petone. Here too, the path had been improved. Where previously the track had been virtually non-existent along the edge of the sports field, there is now a well defined gravel track.

A nice new track along the sports field (photo by John)

An interesting path “dribbles” down from the railway bridge to the sports field (photo by John)

We did 23 km on this ride. It was sunny, but “crisp”. Winter has arrived, it seems.

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