Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Folding Goldies ride – Waikanae to Paekakariki

On Wednesday 1 February, we went on a Folding Goldies ride. Alastair billed it as “Kapiti Koastal Kruising”. In other words, we were going to ride the Kapiti Coastal Cycle Trail from Waikanae to Paekakariki. And, he said in his email, “The real summer of course starts in February”, which was a comment on the really lousy summer Wellington is having so far this year. Fine days have been few, and calm days have been even rarer. The eternal and infernal wind is driving everyone batty.

This day too, the forecast was fairly grim – overcast, possible rain, and galeforce northwesterlies. One of the group emailed early in the day “Not going, too windy”. Well we went anyway. It wasn’t nearly as windy up the coast, and besides, for much of the way, it was a tailwind. And the rain held off until we got home. It was a great ride, and we had a really good turn-out too, with a total of nine people.

We took the train at Takapu Road as usual, and we had to be in another carriage as there were already three bikes in the other. So it was just us until Paekakariki, when a woman with a bike boarded, saw our bikes and said “Are you Folding Goldies?”. She was Dayll, a friend of Alastair’s, and was going along too.

At Waikanae we got to meet the others – John B, Gottfried and Alastair, all of whom were Folding Goldie “oldies”. For Dayll, Steve, Nigel and Colin this was the first FG ride, but hopefully not the last. We already knew Colin, from Scottish country dancing.

Introductions over, we were ready to set off from Waikanae Station (photo by John)

John B, who is a Kapiti Coast resident, showed us a different way to get to the river track – along SH1 for a short distance until the bridge and off to the left onto a track that went under the bridge. Quite a scary (to me) steep gravelly bit before we got onto the track. Then it was just pleasant cycling, although some of the track had recently been graded, and that had left some bumpy ridges on the track.

Alastair on the track that emerges from under the road bridge (photo by John)

A couple of walkers were captured by John’s rear-mounted camera (photo by John)

From the Otaihanga Domain, some of us rode the estuary track to get to Manly Street in Paraparaumu. Others, including John, went by the road. John doesn't like the narrow and winding boardwalks. For Dayll and Gottfried, the estuary track was new territory, which they enjoyed.

At the end of the estuary track (photo by John)

We stopped at the 180 Degrees Café in Paraparaumu for coffee and scones – excellent cheese scones!

Coffee and scones (photo by John)

Ready to go back on the road (photo by John)

When we were ready to leave, I nearly lost my Gold Card. It was in my pocket, along with the key to my bike lock. It must have fallen out when I got the key to unlock my bike. Fortunately one of the others spotted in on the ground. Phew!

Nigel took this photo of John and me, and Dayll ahead of us, on the waterfront track
(photo by Nigel Roberts)

We rode on the nice waterfront track, and then we all seem to have gone different ways to Poplar Avenue and the start of Te Ara Whareroa. I followed two people down towards Raumati, then stopped to wait for John and the others, but they didn't come. They had turned inland earlier. The other two had disappeared from view, and I wasn't sure which way they'd gone. For a moment I thought I was lost, my sense of direction being quite useless. But luckily, John and I had done the same ride the previous week, and I soon recognised the route through the Kapiti College carpark, and made my way to Poplar Ave. Eventually everyone made it there.

“The obligatory group pic” as Alastair called it (photo by Alastair Smith)

Colin and Gottfried pause on Te Ara o Whareroa while Alastair digs out his camera
(photo by John)

Alastair and Nigel (photo by John)

From the end of the Whareroa track, we rode along the foreshore, and ended up at the Beach Deli for lunch. John and I shared a small pizza, which was very nice.

Lunch at the Beach Deli (photo by John)

Only six of us took the 2:15pm train back to Wellington, having lost Dayll and Steve who live in Paekakariki, and John B who returned to Paraparaumu where he lives. Colin decided to get off at Pukerua, intending to bike the rest of the way home to Titahi Bay.

Only six of us took the train back to Wellington (photo by John)

It had been a good ride – 26 km all up – and the weather held off. We got home just before the rain set in.

We were really lucky the ride had not been planned for Thursday, as we had some really heavy rain, all day, with the result that there was flooding in some areas, especially by the Hutt River.

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