Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween day cycle to Kumeu and Riverhead

It was a simply glorious day today, and so we made quick plans to get out on our bikes and go to Kumeu, via Henderson and the train up to Waitakere. This is Helen and Jenny about to set off.

This initial journey to Henderson is about 11 kms along this rather pleasant meandering pathway.

Getting to Henderson 10 mins after the train left, we had a 50 min wait, so spent it having a coffee across the road.
then hanging out at the station. Had to take bikes up and down escalators to get here.
Loved the murals/billboards on display to the waiting passengers on either side of Henderson train station.

Finally the train came and we loaded our bikes - a mere $3.60 to take ourselves and them up to Waitakere township.

.. . where John awaited us. He'd flown in from Whakatane this morning and got to Waitakere to wait for us there.
It was then a hefty ramble up and down hills to Kumeu and discover Carriages cafe closed. So we headed inland to Riverhead and had lunch there. Naomi joined us for this.

Back via the vineyards and a spot of wine tasting at Soljans, (carrying a bottle for dinner tonight in my panniers).
All up, Helen and I did 50 kms today - not too bad really. John did about 28 kms and left us at Waitakere township. My knees are feeling it now - need to lose some weight and am in the process of doing just that. Great day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Prep for the Rail Trail in Otago

These two lucky Handlebras/Handlebros headed out to visit rellies in Otago and checked out the Rail Trail for the rest of us. We plan to do it in March 2010, and will be well prepared now that we've got bookings and a feel for the track. They didn't do it all, just a bit - still, I'm envious!

Roll on the day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting out there. . .

It's a bit tough when you're an 'adventure' cyclist, and Spring this year is particularly windy and rainy. The trip down to the shops and back is easy enough between showers but the DISTANT HORIZONS still call, and just getting out to the bike and rigging up can be a bit of an effort. Still, we're doing it. The Rail Trail in Otago is calling us, and we're booked for March next year. So, despite pretty disturbing conditions we are taking to the cycle trails to get in shape.
Recently I managed the trip in from Te Atatu to AUT in Wellesley St, despite a flat tyre, brake repairs and tyre come out from the rim situations. The bus strike helped.
Last weekend, the Cowans took to Devonport and Helen and I went to Henderson to do some shopping and get some fresh air.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


John, Naomi and I went to Rotorua for a few days at the end of September to check out the easier touring routes. ALMOST didn't make it - both Naomi and I had bad colds, and coughed most of the time, and the weather was very SPRING. i.e. wet and windy for much of the time there. HOWEVER on Tuesday which happened to be the funeral for Sir Howard Morrison down there, it was also mostly blue skies, so we got our gear together and headed out.

Very glad we did! The thermal region cycle track was interesting enough without being too taxing for the not-so-well members of the Handlebra group. Really enjoyed going through the steam and the boiling mud areas.

We even unwittingly joined the funeral procession on our way back to the camp ground at Ngongataha. Going past a billboard for Sir Howard Morrison, John hongi'ed him.

We managed the edges of the Redwood Forest before coming back on the circuitous route.
Neither were we without incident. Surprisingly it was the car that needed a tyre change.