Auckland maunga

A few weeks ago we took a small trip around Panmure and Glen Innes taking in Maungarei (Mt Wellington in old imperial-speak). This one started in Westmere, across Jagger’s Bush Reserve, through Western Springs, through the Arch Hill cycle tracks, up Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) and Owairaka (Mt Albert. I’m wondering why it isn’t called Maungawairaka or something like that).

 

Jaggers Bush is quite good, but there’s only a short rideable section and then you have to negotiate your way up and down some steps to the track beside the sports fields, so it’s probably best to leave that one for the walkers. Western Springs tracks are great for slow moving family rides but watch out for chilodren, old folks, Asian tourists photographing ducks and each other and ducks, geese and swans. Arch Hill has some interesting single track rides which we couldn’t do on the day because it had been very wet the week beforre so I’ll hop over there again some fi9ne day and give myself a workout on them.

 

You can get to Maugawhau mostly on side roads, and the ride up is easy enough (power level 4, but I could have used 2 with granny gear just as easily), and there’s a certain smugness to being able to get to the summit on wheels while the car-bound mob have to walk the last few hundred metres.

 

Getting to Maungakiekie is a bit more fraught because you have to negotiate some main roads like Gillies Ave and Manukau Rd, but once you get across to Puriri Dr you could easily spend half a day cruising around the parks, sharing with slow moving cars. The summit is a bit of 4-power stretch.

 

Running out of time we by-passed Puketapapa (Mt Roskill) and went straight for Owairaka. Summit Rd is no problem, and the ring road around the craters is easy and undulating, providing great 360 degree views of the whole city from a different, less touristy angle, and then it was an easy ride past the the Motat planes back to the car.

 

Total distance: 39.51 km
Max elevation: 198 m
Min elevation: 1 m
Total climbing: 1373 m
Total descent: -1363 m
Average speed: 17.39 km/h
Total Time: 04:41:06

Ottolock – a bike lock that works because it’s easy.

https://ottodesignworks.com/shop/ottolock

Why would I trust my highly personalized, expensive thief-attractant bike to an un-tried Kickstarter campaign flimsy looking strap for a bike lock?  OK, it was a gamble, and their self-promotional video was a bit short on credibility, but I felt like giving the guys some encouragement, having failed at enough good ideas myself to know how a bit of a boost at the right time can bring a smile to your over-stressed face.  The endless,”Whoops, we nearly produced one” emails were good fun too, and kind of got me thinking that they were honest at least, because a scammer would have deliberately included spelling mistakes. And they over-subscribed massively, so there were a lot of us who wanted something lighter than the ginormous U-bold and cable which does ensure that my bike always stays where I leave it, but it’s too much just for 5 minutes outside the supermarket.  This is looking good so far.

It’s made with multiple layers of stainless stell and kevlar and it’s a lot harder to cut than a cable. And it’s small and light, so it always goes with me.

It’s very  tight to operate needing a bit of force to slide it through the mechanism, so I’ll be interested to see how it wears, and I’m only going to use it where I can cinch it really tightly to try to stop scum from even trying to cut it. However, this review is pretty convincing.  https://www.outsideonline.com/2185536/first-impressions-ottolock 

And this one – http://www.core77.com/posts/56234/Ottolock-An-Ultralight-Bike-Lock-That-Doesnt-Suck . I don’t like carrying around that big lock all the time, so for normal riding, where I’m never off the saddle and out of sight for more than a few minutes, this will be great. And all those quick shopping trips, where the Kryptonite is too much trouble.

So, the rules are:

  • quick stops only
  • always buckled really tight

 

Has anyone got any long term reviews?

After 1 month I’m totally happy 😉

 

Panmure/Glen Innes, Maungarei

One of our aims is to bike up all of the maunga around Auckland.  This one takes in the new Cycleway from Meadowbank to Glen innes – not very long but 4m wide concrete is a treat, with platforms on the slopes to slow us down. They would have worked if I didn’t have a full suspension bike 🙂

Total distance: 20.48 km
Max elevation: 140 m
Min elevation: 28 m
Total climbing: 836 m
Total descent: -825 m
Average speed: 14.38 km/h
Total Time: 03:44:50

 

Handelbars and grips

6 months down a few roads, only a couple of thousand kilometres, but very comfortable K’s they were, thanks to the Salsa Bend Bars and the Ergon GP1 Locking Grips . 

 

My old 29er hardtail was fitted with butterfly bars which got a lot of very strange looks because they really are a bit excessive although they do give you options, lots of options.  With this arrangement the only changes I make to my hand position is alternating between thumbs around and thumbs on top, and when I get into anything interesting, like the grassy steep slope in the building site that I cut through on my  commute, I can force my elbows out and keep that stiffness in the steering. Sometimes I think the 170 version might have been better for that, but after a day’s comfortable riding I’m always glad I took the plunge for the 230

Around the Harbour

From home to the boat at Hobsonville Marina,  find our way around the harbour to the NW bike link to the city, nice couple of beers and a cuppa for Jill at the bar downtown, ferry over to Northcote and home.

Total distance: 58.72 km
Max elevation: 138 m
Min elevation: 26 m
Total climbing: 2049 m
Total descent: -2119 m
Average speed: 21.00 km/h
Total Time: 07:24:53