Thursday, 22 December 2016

Wellington Waterfront to Miramar

On Thursday 2 December, we had no tradesmen coming to work on our renovations, so we made the most of our “free” day, by going for a bike ride along the waterfront. We took the train into town, and after coffee and scones at Karaka Café, we biked to the end of Oriental Parade. I thought we would be turning around there and going back. But John was keen to carry on.

The bikes on the train (photo by John)

Karaka Café has several bike racks now (photo by John)

The installation of festive lights in the Norfolk pines on Oriental Parade,
is a reminder that Christmas is nearly upon us

We biked all around the Harbour Way, around the Miramar Peninsula until Worser Bay. A cool breeze made itself felt at times, as we wended our way in and out of the various bays.

Around Point Jerningham (photo by John)

From Worser Bay, we turned into Awa Road, and rode over the top of the hill down into Miramar. I was reluctant to head that way, as it is a very steep road, but John scoffed, and I followed. Thank goodness for electrical assistance!

Awa Road is very steep! (photo by John)

Down in Darlington Road, John wanted to stop at Big Al’s Camera Shop. He loves to have a yarn with Al, and browse his antique cameras. John collects (or should I say, used to collect) old cameras – he has about 50 beautiful specimens, all of which he has taken photos with. Unfortunately the shop was not open, so on we went, back towards the Miramar Cutting, and back to the waterfront.

Near Big Al’s Camera Shop (photo by John)

Because John has been placing his camera on the back of his bike, set to automatically take a picture every couple of minutes, we don’t have many inspiring photos. It’s mostly shots of me biking behind him, though this method produces the occasional good shot. With his balance out of whack, and his eyesight somewhat compromised, it makes it more difficult to stop to take good photos.

John in photographer mode

Still, the important thing is that we get out and enjoy the ride. By the time we got back to the train, we had done 38 km, quite a respectable distance.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Folding Goldies ride – Waikanae to Peka Peka

On 24 November John went on a ride with the Folding Goldies. I didn’t go, because we had tradesmen in the house, but I took John to the Takapu Road station, where he was meeting the others on the train to Waikanae. There was quite a large group this time – eight, including our friend Pat, on her first Folding Goldie ride. A few of them joined the group in Waikanae. In fairness to Pat, John decided to ride his non-electric Giant foldie.

At Waikanae station (photo by John)

Crossing Te Moana Road (photo by Alastair Smith)

They rode along the Waikanae River track, then on the Kapiti Coast Cycle Route to Peka Peka to have lunch at Harrisons Garden Centre Café.

The peloton heads down Peka Peka Road (photo by John)

Lunch at Harrisons (photo by John)

Ready for the return trip (photo by John)

On the return trip back to Waikanae, some of the group, led by Alastair, rode on the hard sand of the beach while the tide was out. The others returned by the road. John rode on the beach, Pat took the road.

John tells me that it was quite hard going on the sand, and it took them a lot longer to get to Waikanae than they had bargained on. In fact, it took so long that they missed the 3:00 pm train back to Wellington, and since the benefits of the Gold Card don’t apply after 3 pm, they had to pay the full fare!

Beach ride (photo by Alastair Smith)

A stop for a breather on the beach (photo by John)

Kapiti Island under a moody sky (photo by John)

The people who had returned by the road carried on to Paraparaumu, getting there in plenty of time for the 2:30-ish train.

Meanwhile, by about 4 pm, I was getting worried as I was expecting John to ring me from Takapu Road Station to pick him up. He eventually got there at 4:45, feeling pretty tired. They had done about 30 km.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Blog catch-up

Here we are, nearly Christmas, and I haven’t done any blogging for nearly two months. We haven’t done a lot of biking either.

We are still in the grips of renovations, which means that one of us has to be home for the tradesmen to come in, so that tends to curtail the times we can go out for a ride. But the work should be finished very soon – this week I hope. We are getting heartily sick of the dust and grit being tramped through the house, although I must say our tradies are pretty careful not to leave too much mess.

And John’s health is still a worry. His facial paralysis has not improved, so he has to wear an eye patch most of the time, especially when biking. Despite feeling pretty grotty some of the time, he still wants to keep up with the biking as he wants to maintain a modicum of fitness.

We have done a few easy rides – around the suburb and along Te Ara Tawa. As well, John went on a substantial Folding Goldies ride, and together we did a good long ride around Miramar, both of which I shall describe in separate blog posts.

Without wanting to grizzle about things, I feel that in some ways, 2016 has been stolen from us. When we wanted to go for a long trip to ride the West Coast Wilderness trail during summer/autumn, we were still waiting to hear when our renovations would begin. We waited and waited, couldn't get our builder to give us a starting date, and time passed. Then the lousy weather set in, and the trip was no longer a sensible option. When the renovations were finally underway, John had his health crisis. There’s no knowing if we’ll ever go on a big road trip again. Time will tell.

But let’s be positive, and hope for a better year in 2017.