Saturday, 16 January 2016

Upper Hutt to Petone

On Monday 11 January, we had arranged with our friend Pat to take the train to Upper Hutt, and bike back to Petone from there. As we had dinner with my sister Aimée the night before, I suggested she might like to come along also. She hummed and ha’ed a bit, but then decided that, yes, she would come along.

As Aimée does not have her own bike, she would be using one of our Giants. John would be riding the other Giant, and I would ride my e-bike. She came to fetch the bike from us, and we all met up at Petone, to take the train to Upper Hutt.

The trains allow only three bikes per carriage. The front carriage already had one bike in it, so we rushed to the second carriage. But as there were four of us, the guard warned us we could only have three bikes. “No problem”, we said, and John folded up the two Giants. The guard was satisfied.

Aimée had not been on a Hutt Valley train before, and Pat was keen to find out the best way to get from Upper Hutt Station to the Hutt Valley River trail. She was delighted to find that we were able to cross the busy motorway at traffic lights, by the Totara Park Bridge, rather than risking one’s life getting across unaided.

It was partly cloudy, not very hot, just nice. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the Fig Tree Café in Heretaunga. We had been there with the Folding Goldies ride a month ago, so we knew the way to get from the trail to the café.

Outside the Fig Tree Café – from left, Aimée, Pat, Désirée (photo by John)

I was all ready to have lunch, when Pat said, “is this morning tea or lunch?” Though it was nearly midday, we decided it was morning tea, and planned to have lunch at Janus Bakkerij, a bit further down the track.

A bit fuzzy, but a nice record all the same (photo by Pat Reesby)

After a leisurely morning tea, we were back on the track. We have a few photos of threesomes, riding along.

Near the Royal Wellington Golf Club (photo by John)

Near the Eastern Hutt Road (photo by Pat Reesby)

Just before Lower Hutt, where there is a little bridge, John wanted to take a photo of us coming across the bridge, and Pat stopped, causing Aimée to nearly pile into her - on gravel. I think she was a bit shaken by that.

Aimée was a bit shaken after her near-crash into Pat (photo by John)

By this stage we had done about 24 km, and Aimée was getting rather tired. I should have swopped bikes with her right then, so she could have an easier ride on the e-bike, but she was a bit reluctant.

So on we went, off to Janus Bakkerij, only to find that it was closed for refurbishments. Drat! Where were we going to have lunch now? We carried on, and stopped at the Cure Café, by the Lower Hutt roundabout – on the other side of the stopbank by the riverside carpark.

Parking our bikes outside the Cure Café (photo by John)

Aimée was quite tired. She hadn’t done any biking since we did the Pure Trails trip together last year, and was not used to long rides. So I had her try the e-bike as soon as we were back on the track. It was easier for her, but she ended up with a sore knee, as the saddle was too low (John had lowered it for her, as I had started out with it quite high). What a shame, she should have said.

We did 37.5 km all up, quite a lot, considering we had the extra mileage to get to and from the cafés. I felt so sorry we had put her through that!

It was 3:30 by the time we got home. It had been quite a long day. Pat enjoyed it, and put a photo up on Facebook almost right away, which I have used above. She said “Of course you can use my photos – no need to ask”. Thanks Pat.


  1. Very sorry about the near crash!

  2. Not your fault Pat, you were trying to be obliging about John wanting to take a photo.

    1. Thanks. I will try to be more aware of people behind me next time, though ... when I eventually get back to cycling. Bother this stroke!