We’ll start this report by saying that we finished high on a ridge, on a farm overlooking the magnificent Waikato river valley towards Thames with the mountains of Coromandel in the distance. It looks like we have come almost a full circle from when we started, and indeed, we have.
The morning started with the excitement of continuing along the river cycle trail from Hamilton to Ngaruawahia, where we stopped for fruit. The river trail is made up of thousands and thousands of pavers, with many special built bridges and must have blown the budget when putting this together. The newer bits are concrete slabs, and whilst there are still a few kilometres to complete, it remains an impressive ride.
Robert & Liz have taken to leaving 30 minutes in front of the rest of the group and are rejoined towards the meeting point. It works well, they enjoy being in front at their own pace and the group still arrives together. Maybe this is something we can think about for future DUBBUG Sunday rides over longer distances?
We had morning tea at Huntly and crossed over the river twice to the town, firstly by road and then back again on the side of the train river crossing. Wish they had this on the Raleigh railway bridge.
Our lunch stop was at the turnoff towards the farm. Phil missed it and did a few extra kilometres. He told us he was “in the zone” and just flying! He was right, most of the time we were sitting on low 30 kph speeds and eating up the kilometres. Lunch was fun as we were in front of Colleen so waited patiently for her to “catch up”. We did this literally on the side of the road – see the photo!
At lunch, a party of some 24 cyclists from the Gold Coast went past us on mountain bikes. So surprised to see another group in the “middle of nowhere” (and knowing there weren’t many accommodation options around) we asked them where they came from, which came the reply “Australia”. Hmm.
Distance: 74 km
Challenges: The gravel roads – pretty slippery with corrugations