Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Folding Goldies and a midwinter dinner

On Thursday 25 June, we finally did the Folding Goldies ride that had originally been scheduled for 4 June but was postponed because Alastair, the instigator of the group, had been unwell.

The original plan had been to take the 9:05 am train to Trentham, then bike down the Hutt River Trail, continue from Petone to Days Bay, and then to take the harbour ferry back to town. Things changed a bit when Paraparaumu resident John B suggested a later train, as he had to get himself into Wellington first. So the 10:05 train it was.

We boarded at Petone (it is easier to park there than in town), and met the others on the train. A very small group we turned out to be – just us plus Alastair and John B. The others on the mailing list were either unable to come or forgot.

From Trentham station we rode down Totara Street to Trentham Park. A good path led across the park, and through an area of bush, and delivered us onto the Hutt River Trail.

On the Trentham Park bush track. From left: John B, Désirée, Alastair (photo by John)

It was a very leisurely ride down to Lower Hutt, where it was decided that there would not be enough time to get to the last “Gold Card” sailing of the ferry at 12:40, so we diverted to Janus Bakkerij for lunch. A pleasant hour or so was spent chatting. Since we last saw Alastair, he and his wife had been to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, which sounded like quite an adventure. His blog about the trip makes for an interesting read. He also told us he had upgraded to a new electric bike (a Scott with a Bosch mid-drive) with an easier step-through than his old one.

We flagged the idea of going to Days Bay, and rode back to the Petone foreshore, for us to go back to our car, and the others to take the train back to town.

View to Somes Island and Wellington beyond – from the Hikoikoi Reserve (photo by John)

In the Hikoikoi Reserve (photo by Alastair with John’s camera)

We were happily pedalling along Petone foreshore, when John sensed something wrong with his bike. Yep, a 5 cm nail, right through his rear tyre. Darn! and we only had another kilometer and a bit to go! I suggested I could bike on, get the car, and pick him up, but John decided to fix the problem right there and then. The inner tube was punctured right through, and he had to take the rear wheel off to replace it. As a sensible cyclist, he always carries a spare.

Yet another photo of John fixing a flat tyre!

Fortunately it was fine and calm, so I sat on the wall, while John effected the repair. John B had carried on to catch the train, Alastair came back and gave John a hand. I watched a man and his dog playing on the beach.

A man and his “Staffie”

The young Staffordshire bull terrier was very keen and hyperactive, and seemed to have an incredibly strong grip on the stick they were playing with. He hung on while his master twirled him around hanging off the stick! After a short burst of activity, the man came back to his vehicle and when I commented on the strength of his dog’s jaws, he said he thought he’d better get his dog off the beach before “that fluffy little dog” came by, as it wouldn’t stand chance if his dog got a hold of it. Good call, I think.

Before long, John’s tyre was fixed, and we pedalled back to the car, and Alastair to the station. We had biked 27 km.

                                                         * * * * * * * * * * * *

In the evening, we went to a midwinter dinner at The Pines, in Houghton Bay. This is a yearly event, organised by the Ngaio Scottish Country Dance Club, and the dinner is followed – of course – by some dancing. It is great to catch up with dancing friends and have time to talk over drinks and dinner, as there is usually not much time for chat between dances at club nights.

It was a most enjoyable evening. A roaring open fire on a cold winter's night, an excellent buffet meal, scrumptious desserts, good company and dancing – what more could one want!

Tables ready for dinner at The Pines (photo by John)
Dancing after dinner (photo by John)

No comments:

Post a Comment