Monday, 30 April 2018

E-bike group ride to Te Marua


It’s a long time since I wrote up any blogs. Apart from two rides in March, which I have yet to write up, we haven’t done any substantial rides. We have had our grandchildren to stay during the school holidays, and John has been under the weather. I have had other activities to deal with, so now that’s done, I am at a bit of a loose end, so I will write up the two March rides.

On Sunday 11 March, our neighbour Sue had suggested an e-bike group ride to Te Marua. The plan was to bike from the Seaview end of the Hutt River trail, all the way to Te Marua for Devonshire tea and scones at Stonestead. Along the way we would stop for lunch in Heretaunga. Sixty kilometres all up.

When Sue first suggested this ride, two weeks earlier, I didn’t feel like doing all that as I wasn’t feeling very well. I thought that 60 km was too far. I was saved by the weather, as on the day it was planned for, the forecast was for gale-force winds, so it was postponed.

This time round, I felt OK, but still thought that 60 km was a bit much and I suggested to John that we could take the train back from Upper Hutt, but he didn’t agree.

As it was a beautiful day, we ended up with quite a big group of ten.

The group before departing from Seaview, one more person turned up a bit later (photo by John)

Near Avalon, we had a bit of a mishap. Gordon and Kathryn had collided and Kathryn came off her bike, leaving a bit of skin on the tarmac. After patching her up, we resumed the ride.

All patched up and ready to resume the ride (photo by John)

The lunch stop at the Fig Leaf Café in Heretaunga was very pleasant, but it was very busy and the food took a long time to arrive.

Lunch at The Fig Leaf Café in Heretaunga (photo by John)

On our way towards Te Marua, after Harcourt Park, we went on a couple of scary narrow winding tracks down to the river, that neither John nor I were very happy with. So before the next track we decided to take to the road.

We didn’t like the narrow, winding tracks by the river … (photo by John)

… so we took the road for the last bit (photo by John)

The road got us to Stonestead more quickly than the track would have, so we got there before the others. We ordered our tea/coffee and scones, but it took quite a while, because there were three people ahead of us. Kevin’s kitchen is quite inefficient as he has to walk back and forth between oven, fridge, hot water dispenser, and counter. And he is very relaxed and in no hurry at all.

By the time the others arrived, none of them could be bothered with the tea and scones, and some of them went back right away. Sue, Gordon and Kathryn sat with us while we had our scones, which was quite pleasant, but we really hadn't needed the scones. I could easily have done without the Stonestead stop.

On our way back we avoided the hairy track and stayed on the road, and met up with the others a bit further along. Then we rode back from Harcourt Park, by going across the footbridge, and continuing on top of the stopbank on the other side of the Hutt River, till the Totora Park bridge.

On the footbridge at Harcourt Park (photo by John)

Along the Hutt River (photo by John)

It was a very long ride, and a very long day. It was 5:45 by the time we got back to our car, having done 65 km. My feeling was that the whole trip had been rather too ambitious. Though with e-bikes we can go further, this was just a bit too much. It might have been better to turn around after lunch, or even at Harcourt Park.

Still, it was an enjoyable ride – apart from the hairy bits of track.

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