Thursday 29 July 2021

Yay! New Bike Trail to ride.

 Anyone who lives in Otago and bikes, has been watching the construction of the new Dunstan Trail and getting impatient for the trail to open. 

Stage 1 from Smiths Way to Bannockburn Bridge opened a while ago and of course I was up there like a shot to ride it. Very easy riding and an enjoyable 22 kms one way. I was impressed with the amount of planting that has been done, and in a few years it will be so lovely. You pretty much follow the lake edge all the way to the Bannockburn Bridge,

Trail from Old Cromwell town

Stage 2 opened...Bannockburn Bridge to Cornish Point. An easy 7.3 km one way. I rode this when all the wild thyme and Californian poppies were out is summer and it was just beautiful. You also ride through Carrick Winery and conveniently they have wine tastings and a cafe.

And then finally in May the whole Dunstan Trail opened. As you can imagine it has been pretty busy especially on the weekends, so I left it a couple of weeks before I headed up to Cromwell. The whole trail is 58.3 from Smiths Way to Clyde, but if you leave from Cromwell its 48.3 km. (Bike It Now run a shuttle from Clyde to Cromwell for $45.00 per person and bike.)
It was a beautiful autumn day and the colours were amazing. The trail wasn't crowded at all, in fact I only saw about 20 people the whole day, but it was a Wednesday. I imagine weekends there would be more people on it.
You can also grab a coffee just before the Hugo Bridge from the floating cafe! Such an awesome idea.

I packed a picnic lunch and had a leisurely ride. The trail is great and such fun to ride with a couple of unexpected climbs (maybe I should have checked the elevation map first!). The clip ons around the bluffs are great and the Hugo suspension bridge is stunning.

This trail is graded 1-2 but I think it is a 2-3 grade trail. Yes some parts are cruisy, but I don't think it is for a novice rider. There are blind corners, the trail is narrow in parts and they do recommend dismounting on these parts if someone is riding towards you. 
You also need to keep an eye out for those riders using it as a speed track, when in certain places there are 20km p/h signs in plain view.

Overall it is a beautiful trail and well worth doing. I'll definitely be up there again shortly for another ride.


"Its by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of  a country best."

                                                                                                     Ernest Hemingway 


Saturday 9 January 2021

Lake 2 Lake Bike Trail

We just had a short break away staying in Manapouri, and one of the things I wanted to do was ride the Lake 2 Lake Trail. After 3 days of heavy rain it finally cleared with perfect riding weather. This trail goes from Te Anau to Manapouri (or vice versa) with only about 4 km still uncompleted which means riding on the road. The road isn't busy, all flat and has a pretty decent shoulder.

This isn't a very long trail...only 32 kms, but the scenery is gorgeous and the trail itself is great fun to ride. A few little climbs, a nice bit of winding single track and a very good surface. 

We decided to start in Te Anau, though I think this did mean more hills!

The trail starts out around the edge of Lake Te Anau then veers inland, following the Waiau River on and off most of the way.

Riding through the beech forest is so beautiful, it's hard to capture in the photo how green and lush it was...old fallen tree trunks covered in moss, all sorts of lichen and fungi.

There are a few wee climbs that take you out of the beech forest and to some spectacular views.

Then after the short ride on the road you pretty much ride through manuka bush, all the manuka was flowering and it looked lovely. You get the odd glimpse of the Waiau River and finally you end up at Lake Manapouri. I really enjoyed this part of the trail, nice winding track and no climbs.

After the ride we had a nice cold beer at the The Church Bar and Eatery, then headed back to the Manapouri Holiday Park where we were staying.

This is an old style camping ground with a lot of character. Our first 4 nights we had this place...wonderful views of the lake and mountains.

Then we decided to stay one more night and had to relocate to this cute place.

I would definitely ride this trail again, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the way...perfect day!

" In a world of constant change and streaming technology, I find solace in the forest where a tree remains a tree."

                                                        Angie Weiland-Crosby

Wednesday 6 May 2020

An update.

Well it has been quite a while since I have posted on my blog, so I thought time to do a bit of an update for those of you wondering what has happened to my adventures with Birdy.

After my big tour I was all keen to do another long ride and had toyed with the idea of doing the Munda Biddi Trail in Western Australia, but then decided I would like to ride from Brisbane to my sisters house on the central coast of New South Wales.

But as sometimes happens in life the unexpected occurred. Birdy and I were out for a day ride last year and we had a wee bit of an accident. I tore the cartilage in my hip but luckily Birdy was fine. Because of this injury I ended up also tearing the meniscus in my knee a month later and needed surgery on that. Its been a long process but I am back riding though I think I will always have a bit of knee trouble now. Of course I haven't ruled out more bike touring......

So that's the update! I thought I would share with you some of the places I have been biking since my last post. All of these are local rides for me which given the current situation of lockdown, I feel pretty lucky to have this on my doorstep.

"The bottom line is, what defines you isn't how many times you crash, but the number of times you get back on the bike. As long as it's one more, your all good."
                                             Sarah Dressen