Around this time of year, when schools are back but it's very much still summer, I try to get away for a couple of days of mountain biking. It’s a great way to end the crazy bit of the summer holidays.
I’ve formed a bit of a ritual - leave wednesday, stay at the Blue Lake / Tikitapu, have 2 days of biking and a bit of relaxing in the hot pools or by the lake, then head up to Pauanui to my relations place, meeting Leonie at Thames, then back to Auckland.
It works quite well - I get some time on my own (and Leonie on her own), plus we get some time at the beach together, and I get to do some mountain biking without any distractions, or thoughts of “well, I’ve been out for a bit, so maybe I should head back....”
This year I opted for some trails I’d not done, but which were closer to the carpark. The first one, tho, was at the top of a 200m climb, which was interesting on cold legs.
- Day 1 - Tokorangi, Soak Hole, Paddy’s, The Tickler, Dragons Tail
- Day 1, part 2 - tried to ride to, and around, Lake Rotokakati (Green Lake), but it was closed, as it’s privately owned by the local Iwi (Māori tribe), and people have been disrespecting the tapu (sacred status) of the lake. It was a good short loop tho, and the work they have done on the track since last time made the climb up much nicer and quicker, and the trail back now flows really nicely.
- Day 2 - Tokorangi again, Turkish Delight, Grinder, back on Dipper.
Next time, I'm going to rent an e-bike, I think. Talking to a friend, it makes the ride go from "well, that was fun, time for a rest", to "lets do another one". Or "I'd like a ride, but I can't be fucked riding up that hill". The bikes are huge compaired to my little 29-er hard tail, but I want to give it a go. The rental place at the car park does Giant e-bikes, which look pretty good.