Monday, April 27, 2009

Will we, won't we, when winter comes. . .?

Winter is almost upon us, and I have my first cold of the year - and the real test comes now, as to whether we can keep up the cycling. Yes, I know all you enthusiasts and stalwart cyclists out there who go to work in all weather would be scorning this comment as you read it. But you see, we started out at the beginning of summer, 6 months ago, and this summer has been wonderful, almost every weekend fine and blue.
However, I got out of my sick bed, and my sister and I headed over in a light rain to Henderson and met friend John at the Falls cafe. My panniers and basket had my fluoro rain covers on and it wasn't too bad.

Helen set off home. . .I went to the library. . . John set off for the other side of Auckland, and all in all, it was a worthwhile venture. Whew. We may just make it through winter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Great Cycle of Life

It had to happen - the overflow of my eager new cycle adventures into my creative life. This is my most recent painting - celebrating the movement from child to older person and the wheels underneath.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Solo trip in to St Heliers

Thought I'd head in to the city and meet friends on Tamaki Drive and have a coffee. This is after pumping my tyres up and checking all systems are go.
After the ups and downs of the back end of Kingsland and Newton, finally made it in to Tamaki Drive and along the waterfront. I stopped and did a 'joiner' of three photos at Kelly Tarltons on the way.
Found out my friends were not in there with their bikes, but painting the inside of their house. So we arranged to meet anyway, for a coffee at Kohimarama and while I waited I went along to St Heliers to see the sights.

We had a long coffee and lunch and then I set off on the gruelling trip UP to the top of town and along to the motorway and home. 47.5kms in all. I've had it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

CAA Social Bike Ride around Henderson

An email that came out this last week:
CAA members, friends and family are invited to come along for a social bike ride this Sunday 5 April.

A chance to explore the Project Twin Streams shared walk/cycle way through Sunnyvale and Henderson.

Refer the attached link for more information and a map.

Helen and I answered this call - and joined this worthy crew of cyclists who gathered this morning at 9am at Parrs Park in Sunnyvale to set off and negotiate the cycleways of Waitakere Central.
We clustered for a while in the carpark making sure everyone who wanted to come had arrived, and then headed off along Parrs Cross Rd to the Oratia Walk and Cycleway.

This path wanders through the back blocks and is wide and smooth and a pleasant ramble.

Then we turned left onto Millbrook Road and headed toward the main part of Henderson the wide cyclelane that is part of the footpath.
It was a great day for it - not much traffic and plenty of blue sky.
We crossed through Henderson behind the railway station and under the bridge by the Corban Estate Art Centre, which has a cycle track running around it's perimeter. You come off the bridge behind it and find this long cycleway through a green swathe of lawn.
and pop out for a brief time on an industrial street, before turning right on the cycle path again. (Through Henderson Valley Park).

This path ends at Border Road, and we turned left and headed along it until we got to Henderson Valley Rd, then Pine Ave/Parrs Cross Rd. There's a little cafe in 'Just Plane Interesting' tucked in the valley with a vineyard and some small craft shops. Today, there was even a guitarist to entertain us as we had some refreshments under the trees.

Then I headed off to the library at Henderson and got a book out, which I proceeded to read under a tree on the cyclepath home from Henderson to Te Atatu Peninsula.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Trip to Devonport

While John ,Naomi, and Jen pedalled west, I decided to make a solo trip to Devonport, via western springs, with my ipod making a pleasant accompaniment to the various whirs and clicks as I pumped along. On the way I stopped at Bruce's bike shop and had my basket attachment improved by a helpful man there. This is me enjoying lunch at western springs.
The balmy autumn weather.

A shot of the ferry interior and 2 older gentlemen, taken surrepticiously through my bike.
Devonport ferry terminal, as I headed off to explore and find a good coffee!

4 April trip out into the countryside

The Cowans and I decided on a country jaunt today, via Henderson, the train to Waitakere township and then the bike ride North to Kumeu. We covered 35 kms on our bikes today, the short 7.5 km run to Henderson, train ride, and then 10 kms to Kumeu.This is us finally at Henderson platform. The usual trip to Henderson along the river path was a good way to get going, on another crisp Autumn morning, with the tide half in. Then we negotiated the railway station, attempting to get to the platform, with escalators not working. Found a lift eventually that took one bike at a time, and then got on the station.

I brought my trusty thermos of herb tea - raspberry today - out from my panniers, and we managed to down a cup before getting to Waitakere.

Offloaded at the Waitakere station and ready to go on. . .
As you can see, crisp clear blue skies, and a light wind made for perfect cycling.

One of me taken by John who took turns with the camera. It was a different experience negotiating the kerb with traffic doing 100kph right beside you.
Much of the way was gentle slopes.
with occasional steep climbs that Naomi and I went up on our feet.
Then there's the thrill of coming down again.
Leaves on the turn, and vineyards covered up.

And the final approach in to Kumeu at last.
Carriages Cafe in Kumeu has two old railway carriages done up as restaurant spaces, but we chose the outdoor area for our club sandwiches and coffee.

and then through the township to get back. I believe John was scolding me for not being careful on this shot.
Creatures of every shape and size on view - this was a dragon we passed exiting Kumeu.
and some of the many cows.
We had to negotiate past hedge cutting tractors as well, all par for the course when in the country.
Love this shot over my shoulder as the Cowans come up in the distance.
When we finally got back to Waitakere township, we went to the only dairy to buy iceblocks, and found these neat bike 'racks' carved into the concrete.
That's my iceblock in the foreground.
ON the train again, the bikes deserve their own ticket.

and these are the movies that got taken today. John took this one on the carriage on the way home.

I got the camera next, and was surprised when I came in through the door . . .

and when we got off in Henderson and headed back along the river walk, I got a shot of them cycling up behind me.