Tim White, from the legendary T White’s Bikes, took a Sunday ride with his son, featuring not one but three modes of transport. As you’ll see, with the right spirit, even a wee bike malfunction can be part of the fun…
Nice weekend weather had my co-pilot and I itching to break free on our two-wheeled freedom machine, so we packed up and headed toward East Auckland. Combining a ferry, train and some stops at playgrounds, this ride would be great for any parent looking for a weekend adventure with their little person.
Cruising on the ferry by bike is a breeze. The Fullers people are always really helpful and make travel easy. The staff seem to enjoy having young kids on the boat, and always end up playing with Arlo and making the trip fun for everyone.
Man, do kids love trains! Just like the ferry, getting on and off is a breeze. I find it easiest to keep Arlo strapped into the bike and wheel him straight on and off, which keeps parental stress to a minimum. The trains have specific carriages for bikes (usually the middle one; it’s labeled with a bike), and it’s all very straightforward.
Best to go on the weekends as the commuter traffic is virtually non-existent. Another hot tip is letting your little person hold the ticket! Instantly chills them out and keeps them firmly seated before the train leaves.
We headed east for Glen Innes. Mandatory photo opp at the station.
After a small rest on the train, it’s time for the only uphill you’ll face all day. The good news is, it’s easy, and the wide sidewalks and road make for lots of safe options while riding. Okay, it does get steep – but only for about 200m. Halfway along this stretch, you start the descent.
The road down into St Heliers is awesome! Fast, smooth, not many cars, excellent views, has it all really.
Very rewarding rolling into this view.
Heading back towards the city, an easy flat bike lane leads you right past this playground in Mission Bay. Lots of kids, lots of cool things to play on, lots of spots to park your bike. Perfect.
Oh no!!! We got a flat! I’d left my tools and spare inner tubes in my work backpack, so I rode hell for leather to the closest gas station, and then nursed the bike back around the waterfront, along Tamaki Drive to the ferry. Luckily it was a slow leak.
We stopped for lunch at the bottom of town due to our flat tire (but all the way along this ride, there are places to eat, especially in Mission Bay – so you don’t need to worry too much about feeding the engine and caboose). Then we caught the ferry back to Devonport…
…where the small bike shop in the ferry terminal, Cycle Auckland, sorted our flat tire for us.
Keeping Arlo amused was easy with the help of our old inner-tube.
All fixed, we headed for home… and the tired little tike fell asleep in his seat while Dad pedalled. Livin’ the dream! A perfect Sunday outing for sun and fun. Try it some time.