Carpe Diem on the Twin Coast Trail

Carpe Diem on the Twin Coast TrailAs temperatures plummeted overnight last week, I went to bed thinking ‘Ohhh noooo, the end of our cycle trail riding before winter!’ As if by magic, an email arrived the next morning from Bike Auckland’s wonderful friend and leader of Bike Tamaki, Kirsten Shouler. Kirsten was still in a state of rhapsody from her Easter ride along Northland’s Twin Coast Cycle Trail with a gang of friends, including her partner Kim Sinclair and mates from the Manukau Veterans Cycling Club. The photos Kirsten sent gave me faith to believe the endless summer weather will return and that we can keep riding more trails before winter truly arrives. There are always …
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Old-fashioned get up and go gets Waipu a cycleway!

Old-fashioned get up and go gets Waipu a cycleway!When you chat to people about why they’re involved with cycle advocacy, everyone has their own story about imagining a bikeable future. So it is with a savvy and determined group of advocates in Waipu. Five years ago, two young girls at Waipu Primary School – Emily Stolwerk and Ceili Lea – came up with a brilliantly simple idea: they just wanted to be able to ride their bikes between Waipu Town and Waipu Cove, a distance of about 10km. (The fact that kids have to ask for safe places to ride their bikes is a poignant reminder that streets everywhere, including the ones we live on, have slowly become hostile spaces, …
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Get out of town! A new bike commuter tackles the Hauraki Rail Trail

Get out of town! A new bike commuter tackles the Hauraki Rail TrailVivian Chandra recently blogged about how the Auckland Bike Challenge got her back into bike commuting, and now she’s extending her range by venturing out onto the rail trails. Here’s her story of a great weekend ride, close to home…  If there was one quick way you could describe to tourists what being a Kiwi means, it’d be the Hauraki Rail Trail! The official website bills it as ‘the easiest riding trail in New Zealand’. I rode the Trail for the first time last weekend with four other people from a range of biking backgrounds, which was a good way to test the ‘easiest riding trail’ theory. The fine print: that’s definitely true as …
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Need a battery recharge? We recommend the Motu and Rere Falls Trails and Pakahi Track

Need a battery recharge? We recommend the Motu and Rere Falls Trails and Pakahi TrackSome bike trails have an aura that stays with you for weeks after riding them. You linger over photos of the trip and take every opportunity to tell your friends about the biking bliss. That’s exactly how my gang felt after riding Opotiki’s Motu Dunes and Road Trails and Pakihi Track late in 2014. I’ve ridden most of the NZ Cycle Trails, so am happy to claim that the Motu is right up there with the very best. Imagine riding past white-sand surf beaches on dune and boardwalk tracks, exploring quiet historic bullock tracks hewn from rock by farming pioneers, a few exciting downhill runs on old stock tracks through nikau forests alongside fast-flowing …
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Up the Waikato River Trail without a paddle

Up the Waikato River Trail without a paddleLooking for a summer bike trip just out of town? Richard Barter took an exhilarating two-day run along the Waikato River Trail a few weeks ago, and thoroughly recommends it. The Waikato River Trail is 100km of magical riverside spaces, adrenaline-charged switchbacks, and dams… big dams. We started from the Karapiro end, which proved to be a bonus. Not only were we blessed by a strong back wind all the way. but also there are a couple of real steep big hills that we were glad we were going down not up, one of which had stairs that would have meant carrying bikes (with panniers) up.The first section to Arapuni was filled with healthy …
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Riding the Ohakune Old Coach Road – an out of town adventure

Riding the Ohakune Old Coach Road - an out of town adventureWith the long weekend ahead, our thoughts turn to out-of-town bike trails. Our events guru Jessica Rose rode the Old Coach Road in autumn, and loved it.  If anyone is heading out of town for a trip to (or near!) the snow, try taking a look at the Old Coach Road. This is en route to Ohakune, near Horopito on State Highway 4, just a couple of hundred meters past the National Park turn off (and near the original Smash Palace, for fans of NZ film). The Old Coach Track was part of the first rail line that spanned the North Island from Wellington to Auckland, until it fell into misuse and was, for …
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Zane rides the Timber Trail – Part 2 of 2

Zane rides the Timber Trail - Part 2 of 2We left Zane in the middle of a suspension bridge, just about halfway through the magnificent Timber Trail. Rejoin the story as he heads downhill all the way home…  After an exciting downhill ride along the road, exposed to the sun for some time, there’s a river you must stop by to cool off, the water so clear and fresh you could spend ages here just lazing about. If only it was deep enough to swim in. But it’s 11am and there’s 50 km to go. And besides, I’m starting to get tired. My goal when I started turning the pedals back in Pureora was to ride the whole 84km of …
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Zane rides the Timber Trail – Part 1 of 2

Zane rides the Timber Trail - Part 1 of 2We’ve written about the fabulous Timber Trail before, one of the most spectacular stretches of the NZ Cycle Trail (and home to the longest bike trail suspension bridge in the country). So we couldn’t resist revisiting it via this atmospheric account from our pal Zane Bray. In part one of a two-part story, Zane arrives in the friendly ghost-town of Ongarue, and sets off along the trail alone… Arriving in Ongarue at dusk, there’s an element of sadness here, isolation, abandonment, desolation. I’ve seen more rabbits than people – and a mere handful of shy rabbits, at that. I can imagine the people here scurrying for cover just like the rabbits when they see someone strange wandering into their tumbleweed …
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From shore to shining shore – Jonathan Kennett’s vision

From shore to shining shore - Jonathan Kennett's visionWhat a delight it was to have Jonathan Kennett in town last week – one of the legendary Kennett Brothers, who have done so much for cycling in New Zealand. We say “legendary”, because Jonathan and his brothers are a  powerhouse – they didn’t just help create many of the bike trails we all now take for granted, but have made a business of publicising the details for everyone to enjoy. They started out by publishing Classic Mountainbike Rides in 1991, which was a surprise best seller and has gone through many editions. It’s just one of a wide spectrum of bike titles on their list, including RIDE: The History of Cycling in New Zealand (currently …
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Rimutaka Rail Trail and the Wairarapa calling us down!

Rimutaka Rail Trail and the Wairarapa calling us down!Wow! What a treat it was to host Jonathan Kennett at our monthly Cycle Action meeting last night! He led us, drooling, through alluring photos of every NZ Cycle Trail, describing their highlights and special features. If you missed out last night – you’re lucky – Jolisa will be blogging soon, so you can catch up! It seems like a dream, but this time last week I had just finished riding one of those gorgeous Trails! I had 3 days of bliss, riding the Rimutaka Rail Trail. Here’s the NZ Cycle Trail map. We had time only for the Hutt River and Rimutaka parts of the trail – these signs …
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Meet Paeroa’s bike champ – Warwick Marshall

Meet Paeroa's bike champ - Warwick MarshallPaeroa is not just the home of that famous fizzy drink; it’s also the bubbling hub of the Hauraki Rail Trail. If you’re on a bike, all paths lead to Paeroa… and through it… and from it. And that’s precisely what Warwick Marshall, the energetic force behind Cycle Action Paeroa, wants to take advantage of. You see, when the rail trail riders arrive in town, they’re currently funnelled along a track that runs behind the main street and along the Ohinemuri river – which is all very scenic, but misses the point: after biking 21km from Te Aroha or 33km from Thames or 25km from Waihi, you’re more than ready to stop, wet …
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April Guest Speaker: Jonathan Kennett

April Guest Speaker: Jonathan KennettWe’re delighted to announce our guest speaker for our next monthly meeting: Jonathan Kennett. WHEN: Thursday 30 April, 6pm WHERE: Ellen Melville Hall, High St.  Jonathan wrote the book on biking around New Zealand. That’s not a metaphor – he really did write the book, a whole bunch of them! Along with his brothers, he’s a legend in the establishment of mountain biking in New Zealand, and has been instrumental in expanding the NZ Cycle Trail to all sorts of ordinary riders. Seriously, check out the Kennett brothers’ blog – these guys are hands-on and hard out. We’re hoping Jonathan will tell us about what he’s learned while writing his latest book (on short, easy rides around …
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A little gem waiting to be explored – Motu Trail

The weather gods could have been kinder, but a day of drizzle last weekend didn’t spoil our pleasure in the Motu Trail. I think it’s up there with the best of the North Island trails, so recommend you do it soon! We left Auckland 2pm on Saturday, arriving at our motel in Opotiki about 6.30pm. I grew up in Whakatane, spending my childhood on the area’s surf beaches and  in a clinker dinghy on Ohiwa Harbour. This means I’m biased, but my mates also loved the coastal drive along the Matata Straight to Whakatane and past the lush bush- clad islands of Ohiwa Harbour and white sand beaches to Opotiki. …
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A revealing ride out West – musings from the seat of my bike.

One of the many joys of leading Cycle Action Auckland is spending a day out of the city on my bike, knowing I’ll always return inspired to achieve more for our organisation. I try to do this at least once a week. Work and pleasure, on my bike – I’ve got the best job in town! On Friday I went out West with my wonderful cycle companion who has ridden over a thousand km of back- country cycle routes of the NZ Cycle Trail with me in the past year. We started with the 8.15 ferry from Devonport heading for the 8.40 ferry from Downtown. It was great to see …
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Queen’s Birthday weekend – ride the Timber Trail !

I’ve been a big fan of the Timber Trail since I rode it with friends in April last year, the weekend before it was officially opened. I still believe it’s most inspiring trail in the North Island, so it’s good to see it mentioned in today’s NZ Herald Weekend ‘Destination’ item by Elisabeth Easther. Elisabeth reports that the Timber Trail is a wonderful experience in May, and worth doing more than once. I certainly plan to get back soon.   The Trail has the best interpretation panels I have met on any Trail. I dearly wish other like my beloved Alps to Ocean could find money to invest in these, …
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