Friday, 8 January 2016

Folding Goldies ride – Moonshine

On Wednesday 9 December, only two days after we had got back from our Lupin Trip, we took part in the last Folding Goldies ride for 2015. 

The plan was to take the train to Mana, then bike to Pauatahanui around the Inlet, and up to Judgeford, branch off onto Moonshine Road, over the hill to Silverstream, and take the train back to town.

During a chat with our neighbour Sue some weeks earlier, we got talking about biking (of course!) and we told her about our e-bikes and the FG rides. She was very interested, so we suggested she come along. She hired an e-bike for the day, from Switched On Bikes, to see how she would like that. 

So on Wednesday morning, she knocked on our door, all keen, just before we were about to set off. We agreed to meet at Takapu Road Station.

With Sue, at Takapu Road Station (photo by John)

On the train, we met up with Alastair, Russell, and Carole, and we introduced Sue. Lynn joined us at Mana. We rode along the Camborne Walkway, and around the Pauatahanui Inlet.

The Camborne Walkway. From left: Alastair, Russell, Lynn, Carole, Désirée.
Sue had already raced ahead (photo by John)

We rode up the Paremata Haywards Road towards Judgeford. This is quite a busy road, but there is a good wide shoulder for cyclists. After about four kilometres, we turned left onto Moonshine Road, which is a very pleasant, quiet rural road leading over the hill to the Hutt Valley.

It is a lovely area – another place that John and I had not been to, or even been aware of – and it may well become another favourite ride.

We went past a paddock where there was an awful lot of bleating going on. It seemed odd, as usually sheep are pretty quiet, content to just graze. As we came around a bend in the road, we could see the shearing shed in full working mode. It turned out that the bleating came from lambs (already quite well grown) that had been separated from their mothers, which were being shorn.

A lot of bleating going on ...

Ewes waiting to be shorn, while the lambs bleat forlornly in the paddock

Most of Moonshine Road was a gentle gradient, but a short bit of it was steep enough for some of the group to have to walk. With our e-bikes, the hill was no problem at all. Sue, delighted with her e-bike, charged forth, along with Carole, who, though un-aided by electrics, kept up the pace. I think she must be very fit.

Up a gentle gradient on Moonshine Road … (photo by John)

… becoming a little steeper … (photo by John)

… until it became quite steep, and Alastair and Russell decided to walk (photo by John)

Then it was a lovely long downhill, to a somewhat confusing roundabout, where we had to cross several roads, and ride across a road bridge over the Hutt River, to end up in Moonshine Park, on the Hutt River track. We biked towards Heretaunga, where we had a very convivial lunch at the Fig Tree Café. It is a converted chapel, not so flash from the outside, but quite nice inside. And the food was delicious.

From here, Alastair, Russell and Carole took the train back, while Sue, John and I rode down the Hutt River Trail. We stopped at our favourite Janus Bakkerij for another cup of coffee. Having clocked up a respectable 44 km, we took the train from nearby Epuni Station back to Wellington, where we went our separate ways. Sue had to return her hired bike to Switched On Bikes, and we took the Kapiti train back to Takapu Road. (PS: Sue has since bought a SmartMotion eCity, from Wellington Electric Bikes, in Petone, and she is delighted with it.) 

Our bikes on the train (photo by John)

As we were riding back from the station to where we had parked the car, I came to grief. I was stopping to go across the pedestrian crossing, and I don’t know what happened, but I came to an abrupt halt, and keeled over onto my right side. I landed on the grass verge – thank goodness – and my right shoulder took the impact. My head took a good old shaking too. It flashed through my mind that I might have broken my shoulder. A woman who had been sitting in her car at the petrol station saw me fall, and came over to see if I was OK. John picked me up, and I checked that I could move my arm. It hurt, but it was allright.

So we limped across the pedestrian crossing, and up the street to where the car was parked. Funnily enough, it was my left big toe which seemed to be worst off. It went quite blue in the next few days, but I have no idea what it hit when I fell.

No comments:

Post a Comment