The Kennett brothers (Simon, Paul and Jonathan) are as close as we get to cycling royalty in NZ, but I hasten to add they would totally reject this description. Let’s just say they do all kinds of cycling, are very well known and respected, and widely acclaimed for their writing / publishing of NZ cycling books.
Jonathan has been working in the Ministry of Economic Development’s National Cycle Trail team since the beginning, so has a vast knowledge of all the approved trails that make up the Great Rides and Connector routes. He also knows all those community groups who are working on new routes, and the many highly worthwhile routes that didn’t quite make it for Cycle Trail funding. Like me, he is passionate about getting the benefits flowing from cycle touring, (i.e. jobs and investment in cafes, accomodation, support services etc), so local communities are encouraged to create a connected route for the length of the country. Other benefits, of course, are that the cycling culture spreads while we meet local characters and provide impetus for the restoration and reuse of wonderful character buildings lying vacant in small towns and rural areas.
His superb experience and hands- on knowledge are about to become publicly available in a new Kennett published book ‘Classic Cycle Trails’. It provides the most comprehensive and up to date touring advice for summer cycling touring. In the Auckland region, for example, it describes:
- a ride from Dargaville to Auckland via Kaipara Harbour,
- a ride from the Airport to the City Centre,
- a ride from the City Centre to Thames to hook into the Hauraki Rail Trail,
- a ride from the City centre to Raglan and south to The Timber Trail, and, of course
- a great exploration of Waiheke Island!
For those longer trips, it even has a section on the ultimate way to ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff (the original idea lives on). It’s also important to note that the components of this network are standalone rides of generally 1 to 3 days in duration. So it’s also ideal for those that are looking for short holiday trips.
The book was launched yesterday in Havelock North, as part of a cycling / wine and food festival happening this weekend in Hawkes Bay. In the meantime you can order the book on line directly from the Kennett Brothers’ website, or ask for it at your favourite bookshop or bike shop.