Best year of my life
Wow! What an incredibly liberating, beautifully stunning, pristinely natural adventure of a lifetime! I flew down to Queenstown, bike in box, assembled at airport, cycled out of the airport and started my epic cycle-volun-touring sojourn.
My cycling days started in the morning, ended before sundown (except for a few unexpected hiccups) and greeted with lovely kiwi hospitality at a new WWOOF property. I stayed for a week to three weeks, then moved up the country, through central Otago, Wanaka, passing the pristine Lake Hawea, onto The Mount Aspiring National Park filled with road side waterfalls. I cycled up the uninhabited coastal bush, to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. After a few continuous days of biking the Wild Wild West, I volunteered in Greymouth at a yoga retreat to recharge, rejuvenate and replenish my body.
After I got my zen on, I continued through chilly Arthur’s Pass. After exploring all over the northern tip of the South Island, I took the jaw dropping Queen Charlotte Sound ferry ride to Wellington in the North Island. After a few weeks of exploring Windy Welly, I had to rush up the west coast up back to Auckland to meet my family. Best year of my life!
Aaron Grobler – Volcyclart
Looking for inspiration on the Great Te Awa River Ride
If you’re looking for inspiration before your next cycling adventure then Hamilton man Richard Tahapehi will not disappoint. While operating River Riders bike hire at the Christmas at the Lakes on Saturday 16th December, we were lucky enough to bump into Richard and even luckier to have him share a few of his cycle trail adventures, although its fair to say Richard blazes his own trails in his custom blue Schwin trike that he simply refers to as ‘My Bike’. Here’re some of Richards favorite phrases:
‘I love riding because that’s what my bikes for’ :-)
‘I left Hamilton at 7am and stopped in Tokoroa for a burger at 9:30am and decided what the heck, and carried on eventually arriving in Taupo at 12 noon’
‘I did Hamilton to Thames in 4 hours’
‘I left Hamilton at 7am and stopped in Mercer for an ice-cream and thought I might as well carry on and got to Papakura at 1pm.
If you see Richard blazing his own trail make sure you wave, say hello and if you’re lucky he might share some of his cycle trail adventures with you too.
Dan Tairaki – River Riders NZ
Having fun on the Dunes Trail
At a guess, I’ve ridden the Dunes Trail section of the Motu Trails about 50 times in 2017—if you count out-and-back, 100 times. Most of those rides blur like sand on the beach. One that doesn’t was joining a bunch of teenagers from Kawerau Blue Light youth group, led by a good friend, Bruce Webber. In part, it sticks in the mind because we spotted a whale, about 200m offshore. But also, these young folks weren’t regular cyclists.
The Dunes Trail is up-and-down most of the way so, for several of them, 18km of gravel on a hot day was a proper effort. It was neat to see all of them give it focus. All of them finished the ride. It looked like, all got a buzz from that achievement. Hopefully, they’ll remember that, and one day they’ll be back for more on the Motu Trails.
Jim Robinson – Motu Trails
The lost cartographer
There is something such not right about a lost cartographer. My adventure began when I went mistakenly off trail which took me on a different life path. I then decided these cycle trails need to be mapped onto a free app … and that is how the Great Rides App adventure began!
To ride 22 Great Rides almost back to back is a formidable but envious task. Some called it work, I called it JOY! So off my wife and I went with my trusty Trance kitted up with three GPS units, three cameras and a Personal Locater Beacon for safety.
Riding these trails provided a lifetime of memories. Etched in my mind are long white beards of the West Coast locals on the Wilderness Trail, the magnificent trails along mountain peaks on the Old Ghost Road, St James and Dun Trail, and the going-with-the-flow of the Clutha Gold, the mighty Waikato River and the Alps 2 Ocean (A2O) Trail.
My adventure is now captured in the app. I hope other’s rides will be helped to pick, plan and plot their own adventure along NZ’s greatest rides without loosing ones way.
Going for gold
We liked the Clutha Gold Trail so much, that we decided to cycle the trail twice. From Lawrence to Clutha and from Clutha back to Lawrence. We can hear you thinking…. Isn’t that a bit boring? Well, no! We saw so many new things on our way back, that we couldn’t believe this was the same trail.
The Clutha Gold cycle trail follows the mighty Clytha Mata-au River. It’s an easy 73km. We loved the beautiful turquoise colour, the constant flow and sound of the water. Very calming. But what we loved most was the history-experience. Everywhere we saw relics reminding us of the mining history. Just left there, going rusty, telling their own stories of hard work and difficult times. Stories about brave men from China, far away from their families, living in poor conditions, trying to find a little bit luck and a better life. We hope they did!
Peter and Sophie – Cycling in New Zealand