Sunday 15 April 2018

Autumnal Arrowtown

Its been a while since I have posted. Most of my riding this summer has been around where I live, and now winter is nearly here with shorter days, it will be harder to get out for decent rides after work. I have also been battling with an inflamed elbow so thought best to get that sorted before any more long rides.

But yesterday I had to drive up to Arrowtown to drop a piece off for an exhibition, and thought what a perfect opportunity to take advantage of a glorious autumn day and have a good ride. I decided to ride along the Gibbston Trail from Arrowtown first and could not have asked for a better wind, sun shining and all the trees just started to change colour. There was even a dusting of snow on the mountains!

This trail has such a good surface with a lot of nice little cornering, lovely river crossings and only a few slight climbs.

The trail branches off and you can either keep heading down the Gibbston Valley or take the turn towards Queenstown. I decided to do that as I wanted to join up with the Lake Hayes trail and ride back into Arrowtown.

It was such stunning scenery looking down over the river with Queenstown in the background. There were a few short, cheekily steep climbs but overall it was a fairly easy trail. I did nearly come off once pays to look ahead when zooming down a hill and suddenly you come upon a very sharp hairpin turn! It was obvious that I hadn't been the only who had to brake sharply and skid to a stop on that corner, judging by the tyre marks!

The Lake Hayes trail starts in the Lake Hayes Estate which was kind of nice riding on the smooth tar seal and looking at all the new houses. Funny what people get up to on their weekends.

After crossing the highway and checking out the historic horse trough, it was time to bike around Lake Hayes. I decided to go around the left hand side of the lake and I think it is quite a bit steeper than the right. It was also the shady side which may have been a mistake as the afternoon chill was creeping in. At least the hill climbs keep you warm.

After that it was an easy meander through Millbrook Golf Resort, and then onto the trail back to Arrowtown.

I highly recommend the trails around Queenstown and Arrowtown. They are very well maintained, spectacular scenery and best of all they link up so no road riding.

By the time I got back to Arrowtown I was needing a bit of sustenance and feeling slightly chilly, so what could be a better way to end my day than sitting in front of an outdoor fire, with a glass of Merlot and a big bowl of hot wedges listening to a guy playing blues.

Perfect end to a great days riding!

" Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."

                                                                                          William Cullen Bryant