Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Folding Goldies ride – Te Ara Tawa and Whitby

On Wednesday 15 June, a few days after we returned from our travels to the Waikato, we went on a Folding Goldies ride

The plan was to meet at Takapu Road station in Tawa, ride to Porirua on Te Ara Tawa, through Whitby to Pauatahanui, stop for lunch, bike to Mana via Ara Piko and the Camborne Walkway, and train home from Mana.

Alastair, the organiser, kindly provided a map of the ride, which is here. John and I parked near Takapu Road Station, as did Sue, our neighbour. We waited at the station for the other members of the group to arrive on the train from Wellington. We ended up with seven people for this ride.

A pre-departure photo. From left: Alastair, Gottfried, Carole, Désirée, Sue, Frank (photo by John)

While John and I bike Te Ara Tawa regularly, some of the people had not biked here before, at least not since the last stretch to Porirua was completed. They were suitably impressed.

John has been using his latest acquisition – a small camera which can be set to take time-lapse photos at two, three or more minute intervals, and which he mounts at the back of his saddle. It’s been a work in progress – he started with his i-phone, in a bracket he made, then bought this “cheap” camera, as he didn’t fancy losing his (expensive) phone if it should fall off the bracket. The camera had the advantage of being able to be set to certain time intervals, and also could be mounted more safely. And it is also waterproof – handy when caught out in the rain ...

John's back-facing camera – Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30 (photo by John)

So we have lots of photos of people cycling along behind him. Because both he and the targets are moving, not all photos are sharp, but he does get the occasional good one.

Sue, Gottfried and Alastair on Te Ara Tawa along Duncan Street (photo by John)

On the bridge near Linden Park (photo by John)

At the Porirua end of Te Ara Tawa, we went through the underpass below the motorway to head towards Bothamley Pathway. This is a gravel path that runs alongside, and several times, over, the Kenepuru Stream.

Entering Bothamley Pathway from Champion Street (photo by John)

Alastair on Bothamley Pathway (photo by John)

After meandering our way through Whitby on its very nice sealed walking/cycling paths, we ended up at the Ground Up Cafe in Pauatahanui for lunch.

Is Frank’s bike parked illegally? (photo by John)

After lunch we biked along Te Ara Piko and the Camborne Walkway, back to Mana. We stopped briefly to look at a pair of royal spoonbills that were feeding at the edge of the inlet. The photo below was taken automatically by John’s back-mounted camera on his parked bike. John is actually in the photo himself.

Motukaraka Point – stopping to look at some birdlife (photo by John)

When we got to Mana, the plan was to take the train back to Wellington from here. But Sue, and John and I decided to bike back to Takapu Station instead. Alastair, Carole, Frank and Gottfried returned to Wellington by train.

Alastair and Carole wait for the train at Mana Station.

We had biked 40 km by the time we got back to our cars. It had been a very pleasant ride. And Sue was delighted at having been introduced to biking routes that she had not known about.



  1. I should have taken a photograph when I spotted the three of you riding past my shop in Paremata that day. I have to say I was a little jealous as you rode past. But to make up for it I did three days in Hawke's Bay the following weekend with my better half!

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. Where is your shop? I bet HB was lovely - great cycling tracks.

  3. just after the Mobil, and just before the school, SOS Computer Rescue.
    We quite enjoyed the trip :-

    1. Hi again Dave, we might have to drop by your shop next time we're out there... Your HB trip sounds very good. We do enjoy HB, we've been there three times with the bikes.