Monday, 11 May 2015

Seaview to Avalon

It was fine yesterday, sort of, but there was a brisk nor’wester blowing. Originally we thought of taking the train to Upper Hutt and biking back to Petone, which would have given us a tailwind all the way. However, for various reasons we didn’t, and we went for a shorter “there and back” ride. We parked the car at Seaview and rode up the Hutt River trail.

On our regular folding bikes (no e-assist), it was a bit of a work-out against the wind, and the sun kept playing hide-and-seek behind the clouds. The bottom end of the Hutt River is quite tidal, and when we set out, the tide was in. John liked the shimmer of light on the water, in the photo below. When we came back, the tide was out and the side arm on the right of the photo was empty.

Shimmering light on the Hutt River (photo by John)

At the Ava Rail Bridge, we usually just ride underneath and carry on up the valley, but this time we went across, using the attached foot/cycle path. It is quite narrow and it gave John some worrisome moments as the narrowness affects his balance. He stopped in the “passing bay” in the middle to take some photos.

The cycle path on the Ava Rail Bridge (photo by John)

View from the bridge - note the different coloured ends on the sleepers (photo by John)

We rode up the western side of the river as far as the Avalon Bridge, where we crossed and headed south again, and diverted to our favourite Lower Hutt café, the Janus Bakkerij, for lunch.

The café was rather busy with lots of families out for Mothers’ Day lunch. When I was at the counter, I was asked how many mothers would be at our table. “Just the one” – as sadly, our daughters are all too far away for such a family outing. But, being a Mum, I was presented with a heart-shaped shortbread biscuit. What a nice touch.

Earlier, I had received a phone call from one of our daughters, and I sat on a bench beside the trail to talk to her. She too is a Mum, so we wished each other a happy Mothers’ Day. We didn’t talk for too long, as the sandflies were trying to make a meal of me!

Taking a Mothers’ Day call – while the sandflies feast on my legs (photo by John) 

Our “regular spot” outside Janus Bakkerij (photo by John)

By the time we got back to the car, we had done just 16 km, but it was nice to have been out and about, as the weather forecast for the coming week looks pretty grim.

On our way home, we stopped at Mitre 10 in Petone, and as we were coming out of the store, we were stopped by a couple who said that they had just been looking at our bikes, folded up in our car. “They are your bikes, aren’t they?” Yes, how did you guess it was us?” “Your biking attire”. Oh, yes, of course.

We had quite a chat: they also own folding bikes – electric ones, just like ours – and they recognised us from this blog. “So, are you Dizzy?”. Yes, guilty as charged … Apparently they have been following my blog for a while. I asked where they go for their rides, and they said “All over, except not on the road”. We talked about our latest ride on the road – to Makara – and that it wasn’t too scary, as there is not much traffic on weekdays. We wouldn’t do that sort of ride on a weekend.

I was really delighted that they recognised us and are following my blog. It occurred to me after we got home, that we should have invited them to come along on the next Folding Goldies ride on 4 June.

So, Bill and Sherry, if you read this, do check out the details about that ride here. By the way, a ferry ride with e-bikes is not recommended, as you have to carry the bike down some steep stairs to disembark, but you can always just ride back to Petone from Seaview, and not go on to Days Bay. We intend to go on that ride, so we hope to see you there too. We could do with a few more people in the group!

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