Lovely ride today to Villa Maria for lunch, via the Northcote Ferry, a quick coffee at Wolf on Queens Wharf (best coffee in downtown area, but I haven’t tried them all for ages), over to Onehunga on off road cycleways nearly all the way, cross over the old Mangere bridge remembering the days way back when you were 12 and biked all the way from Sandringham on your Raleigh 3 speed to go fishing from that very spot, hug the coastline all the way up to and throughAmbury Park, and wriggle through a couple of roads to the winery.
I fixed a flat tyre while Jill ordered the wine and scored the best table in the house, that one out on the verandha on the left so that I can keep an eye on the bikes, and we can see the herds of swallows over the pond down there at the bottom of that beautifully kept lawn, and the sun was warm, and the wine was great and the salmon with a side of spuds was ripper mate, so the bee sting under my helmet as we left didn’t really affect the experience. That was a first.
Here’s a problem though.Google maps timeline said we 40k all day. I logged the tip with my Android GPS Logger (from BasicAirData) and it said we did 65k, and the WPGPXplugin that prooduces my nice maps and stats says 67k. I turned off the logger at Onehunga on the way back because we took a train because we hadn’t taken a train with our bikes before, and only turned it back on when we got off the ferry this side. I’ll check the tracks with some late night geekery and see what I can see.
Later: OK, I don’t know why Auntie Google reported this
when she also says 27-32K from our place to there by car. We take a lot of side trips along the way, so we always do more than she reckons for a point to point, but that was way out. Definitely 55k biking.
I could dive into the gpx file and isolate the ferry trips and train ride, but, really, better things to do and all that.
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.
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 🙂
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.