Some people are drawn to books in order to cultivate their imagination; others seek the arts for inspiration; in my case, it’s physical geography that moves me. The act of unfolding maps that unfold landscapes in my mind, building the spatial memories I seek. Like reading a new book filled with interesting characters, I look forward to riding new trails to build fresh tales and long-lasting memories. So when the latest addition to the NZ Cycle Trails opened in Northland, I was intrigued. This was the perfect opportunity to refresh my senses, explore uncharted territory, and to expand my mind and exercise my body on the fresh gravel of our country’s newest Great Ride.
Before heading north my first task involved casting an eye over a map. There appeared to be several ways to enjoy this Coast to Coast of the north. The easiest option would be to start at the centre of the trail in Kaikohe and ride downhill to either coast and be shuttled back up to the centre. However, I elected to ride the 87 kilometres over two days from east to west, from the Bay of Islands to the Hokianga Harbour; but first I would catch up with the trail manager in Kaikohe. So after driving north I parked up in Kaikohe and was generously welcomed for the night at the trail manager’s historic family homestead on the outskirts of town. A hearty meal appeared and I was fuelled up for the next day’s ride.