Saturday, 26 March 2016

Mangaroa Valley and Te Marua

On Wednesday 16 March we were due to go for a Folding Goldies ride. The plan was to take the train to Wallaceville, then bike through Mangaroa Valley to Te Marua, and down the Hutt River trail to Janus Bakkerij, and train back. Organiser Alastair Smith provided a map, which is here

That week I was not feeling well, and the forecast was for a cold, wet and windy day (summer seemed to have come to an end), so on the day before, I warned John that if the weather turned out horrible, I wouldn’t be going. It did, and I didn’t go. But John went.

As usual, John got on the train at Petone. Apart from Alastair, there were three people we had met on previous FG rides – Russell, Gottfried and Frank – and there was one new person, a woman called Kelly. Though this was a Folding Goldies ride, only John and Alastair were riding foldies.

At Wallaceville Station – from left: Gottfried, Frank, Kelly, Alastair, Russell (photo by John)

From the station, the road up into the Mangaroa Valley is quite steep. With his e-bike, John was able to race ahead of the others to take a photo of them coming up the hill.

Wallaceville Road is pretty steep (photo by John)

Since I wasn’t there, I will just post the photos without much of a ‘story’.

Old farm equipment somewhere in the Mangaroa Valley (photo by John)

Choices … They went left, to Maymorn (photo by John)

Bridge over the Akatarawa River (photo by John)

Russell and Alastair riding in a nice bush area (photo by John)

John reports that it was actually not raining at the top of the valley. But it was cold! Having ridden the loop back to Upper Hutt, they stopped for lunch. “Oh, somewhere in Upper Hutt”, John said. He didn’t remember the name of the place – he’s a bit vague like that. (PS: he's since looked it up, and it was the Arisong Café.)

Lunch "somewhere" in Upper Hutt (photo by John)

After lunch the other guys decided to flag the idea of biking down the River Trail to Janus Bakkerij, and took the train back from there. But John and Kelly rode back – and it rained! No, it poured!

Kelly left the trail in Lower Hutt to head home, and John biked back to Petone, where he had parked the car. It was 4 pm when he rang me to say he’d got there, and he was cold and wet. He didn’t set his mileage counter, but he probably did about 50 km.

Boy, was I glad I didn’t go! Instead I got a good amount of work done on a quarterly newsletter that I edit for the Wellington Region Scottish Country Dance community.

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