Friday, 14 April 2017

Fourth Anniversary Blog

Last month was the fourth anniversary of the start of our biking adventures. We bought our Giant folding bikes in March 2013, followed, in November 2014, by the purchase of our SmartMotion electric folding bikes.

As of our last ride, on 9 April, I had clocked up just on 4,500 km on my e-bike (just one kilometre short), which means that I did 1,500 km over the past year. That’s not too bad, considering we have had a somewhat frustrating year. John reached just over 5,000 km on that last ride, having done a few more rides than me at various times.

We had hoped to go away on an extended cycling trip to ride the West Coast Wilderness trail in March or April 2016. However, we were stymied by the fact that we were waiting for our builder to give us a start date to replace our roof and do other renovations to our house. We waited, and waited, but before he could start, the bad weather set in, and the trip was no longer a sensible option.

Then, in September, John had a serious health setback, which meant that we did not do as much cycling as we would have liked to.

We only had one trip away, to the Waikato, in June. While I attended a Scottish country dancing weekend school in Cambridge, John explored the area by bike. And after that we had a few more days’ cycling the Te Awa River Ride, along the Waikato River.

Despite these limitations, we have managed some good rides around the Wellington region.

In April, the Kenepuru to Porirua section of Te Ara Tawa was completed, and also a nice café opened in the Gear Homestead near Aotea. So this has become a frequent ride for us, from Takapu Road to the Gear Café. Not too taxing, just 20 km all up, there and back, with coffee or lunch in the middle, this is a good ride on days when energy levels are low.

We biked around the Miramar Peninsula a couple of times. Always a great ride, providing the wind is not too strong.

We did several trips in the Hutt Valley – the Hutt River trail, and the Mangaroa Valley, and the Rimutaka Rail Trail.

In January 2016, Te Ara o Whareroa was opened. This track links Paekakariki with Raumati, meandering through the sand dunes of Queen Elizabeth II Park. We did this a number of times, especially when the weather was better on the Kapiti Coast than in Wellington. Then in March this year, the cycle track alongside the new Kapiti Expressway was opened. It starts in Raumati, where Te Ara o Whareroa leaves off, and goes as far as Peka Peka. So our last ride was from Paekakariki to Peka Peka and back, a distance of 51km all up (still to be written up as a blog post – I am a few posts behind). It was an excellent ride.

Now that John is feeling a bit better, we would like to go away to Hawke’s Bay or New Plymouth for a few days’ cycling. However, we’ll have to wait for a fine spell. New Zealand has been plagued by a couple of cyclones in the last few weeks, which left the country rather waterlogged and disrupted with flood damage and slips.

Let’s hope that our fifth year of cycling will bring more cycling opportunities than this past year did, and that we will eventually get to ride the West Coast Wilderness Trail.

Enjoying an icecream at Paraparaumu Beach
Photo taken by the camera on time-lapse on the back of John's bike

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