Monday, 25 April 2016

Hutt River Trail and Point Howard

Today was Anzac Day – a pretty important day in New Zealand, as the country remembers the Gallipoli campaign. The day commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

And this year, 25 April was on a Monday, which meant a long weekend. Being retired, a long weekend is not much different for us from an ordinary weekend, except for there being more people on the cycle paths on the extra day. There were lots of people out and about on the Hutt River trail. Good to see families with Mum, Dad and the kids all on bikes.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Paekakariki, Paraparaumu and Pukerua

On Wednesday 20 April, it was another lovely day (Wellington has been so lucky with the weather this summer and autumn). We decided on a nice easy ride: train up to Paekakariki, ride the Ara Whareroa track to Paraparaumu, and take the train back. We invited my sister along, but she was not able to go. So since it was just the two of us, on e-bikes, we ended up doing a much longer ride of 51 km.

We started off quite late in the morning, so it was midday when we got off the train at Paekakariki. Time for coffee, at the Beach Road Deli.

Coffee at the Beach Road Deli (photo by John)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Miramar Peninsula and Island Bay Cycleway

Last Friday, 15 April, it was a cloudless and calm day – or so we thought – and it seemed like a perfect day for a bike ride. We thought we would bike around the whole of the Miramar Peninsula. So I skipped my Zumba class and we headed into town to park near Greta Point.

It turned out we had misjudged the weather slightly. Driving into town, we could see there were clouds hovering over the city and Miramar, and when we got our bikes out of the car, we found there was a brisk southerly. It is a bit deceptive – living, as we do, in the lee of a hill that shelters us from the southerly, we weren’t aware that there was any wind at all. Not to worry, we came prepared – our soft shell windproof jackets kept the wind out, and our bodies warm.

The saga of John’s back-facing camera (iPhone) continues. He bought a “selfie stick” – amazingly, those things are available at the supermarket these days! Not because he wanted to indulge in taking selfies, but because he wanted the phone-holding bracket on the end of the stick, and the blue-tooth remote control gadget that came with it. So he’s now attached the bracket under his saddle – facing the back, of course – and the remote control device on his handlebar, so he’s able to take single rear-facing photos when we are riding in an interesting place. He uses his rear-view mirror to see what he will be snapping. 

John mounted his iPhone below his saddle. It can be charged from the bike's battery (photo by John)

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Te Ara Tawa – Kenepuru to Porirua

A week ago, on Thursday 7 April, the final section of the cycling track Te Ara Tawa between Kenepuru and Porirua was finally officially opened. We didn’t go to the opening – we don’t enjoy crowds, we’d much rather have the place to ourselves – but we did bike there the very next day.

John took lots of photos along the way, as he was still experimenting with his backward-facing camera.

We started at the Takapu Road Station end. Between there and Tawa Station, the track runs alongside the railway line.

Between Redwood and Tawa Stations (photo by John)

Monday, 11 April 2016

Waikanae to Peka Peka

On Wednesday 6 April, we had an early-ish start and took the train up to Waikanae. The plan was to bike to Peka Peka to have lunch at Harrisons, then bike back.

Before heading towards the Waikanae River track, we stopped briefly by the shopping centre for John to adjust the latest version of his backward-facing camera. He had made a new bracket so he could mount his iPhone at the back of his saddle. He wanted to be able to control switching it on or off while riding, which he achieved by using a remote-control cable. But the cable was a bit reluctant to stay put. It worked for some of the time, and then it didn’t. But he still got some useful photos from it.

John adjusts the latest version of his backward-facing camera

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Third anniversary – Three years of biking and blogging fun

On 12 March, it was three years since we started this biking adventure, when we bought my first folding bike – a Giant Expressway (John had bought his a few weeks earlier). By this time last year, I had ridden nearly 2,500 km on it. But since then, we have used our e-bikes more, so the Giant’s mileage has increased by only about 200 km.

On the other hand, our SmartMotion folding e-bikes, which we bought in November 2014, have had a lot of use, and I have just reached my 3,000 km milestone at the end of March. They have been wonderful, and have allowed us to do some great rides, without having to worry about hills or headwinds.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Wairarapa again – Martinborough to Gladstone

The week before Easter, we went for a short ride from Mana to Pauatahanui and back (14 km). I was still not feeling quite right (abscessed tooth). But once started on antibiotics, I was starting to feel a bit better. During Easter, we went for two short rides – one on Sunday, 10 km on Te Ara Tawa, to see if the new section from Kenepuru to Porirua was open yet (it wasn’t); and the other on Monday, from Seaview to Janus Bakkerij and back (12 km).

By Wednesday 30 March, having finished my course of antibiotics, I was finally feeling like my old self again, and so we decided on a much longer effort, and repeat the ride we did a month ago in the Wairarapa – from Martinborough to Gladstone and back. At that time, we thought we should do the ride again some time, but return on the same, lovely and quiet, Longbush Road, instead of going on the much busier Ponatahi Road.

Quiet Longbush Road (photo by John)