In late spring heading towards a glorious summer, our thoughts naturally turn to long leisurely bike rides. Oh, the places you can go on two wheels, all around the world. And locally. ACTA – the Auckland Cycle Touring Club – has been leading cycle tours out of Auckland for over half a century!
Here’s a quick introduction to this venerable bike group, still going stronger than ever. (Words and photos courtesy of Sarah Ley and John McKillop.)
“I have seen parts of Auckland that I have never seen before!” “There are so many great places to cycle I never knew existed!” These are just some of the comments we hear from people on our rides both in Greater Auckland and around other parts of New Zealand.
The Auckland Cycle Touring Association (ACTA) consists of a group of keen cycle touring members who enjoy all that cycle touring has to offer.
There are scheduled club rides on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from regular departure points around the greater Auckland area. And, from time to time throughout the year, we also run weekends away and longer tours, both supported and unsupported, starting from out of Auckland (these trips range from a 2 day weekend to anything up to 2 weeks).
The prerequisites for joining one of our rides are:
- be fit enough for the trip
- have a well maintained bike
- carry essential items that you might need along the way
- confident you can cycle at a reasonable pace for the distance of the tour you’re signing up for
Every ride has a leader, who can answer any questions you might have. For more details, check out our the rides list on our website, and if something takes your fancy, let the ride leader know you are planning to come on the ride. There’s also a Facebook group you can join.
If you’re just starting out or just curious, and thinking about what kind of bike you might need, we can help. With the increasing numbers of cyclists on our roads and more dedicated bike paths being built, visiting a bike shop opens up a whole new set of questions: “Do you want a touring bike, a road bike, a mountain bike, something to get you to and from work, or a bike to pick up the groceries?”
There are many choices and possibilities, which can make it very challenging. Luckily, some bike shops are very familiar with cycle touring and can advise on what sort of bike is best to buy – and in my experience, ACTA members are an excellent source of information about touring bikes, what gear to take, and everything else you might want to know about touring.
So if cycle touring appeals, and you’re keen to give it a try, visit the ACTA website and we’ll help you get started!
ACTA really gets around – here’s just a sample of their adventures. This week they’ve been off on a 626km Taranaki tiki-tour. Where next?