• One of the well-built bridges on the descent

Dun in a Day

June 12th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Dun in a day? Well, this is a welcome change from the multi-day mountain-bike rides I had undertaken to collect data for the Great Rides App. Not only is it a day trip; the Dun Mountain Trail is a glorious loop! Few of the 22 NZ Great Rides are single-day cycling trips and most of [...]

  • Time to log a ride then take a break (credit Link Pathway Trust)

A Great Ride – Linking up the Queen’s Chain

April 11th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I can still remember when I clicked on a video link and discovered the Link Pathway of the Marlborough Sounds. What I saw was cyclists whipping along a forest path following the turquoise coastal arms that wrap around headland points and seemingly endless bays. The drone footage of hikers and bikers looked surreal. Their joy! [...]

  • The Sounds are a relaxing place to unwind. Photo: Queen Charlotte Track Inc.

Queen Charlotte Track – Marlborough

February 10th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

It’s nearly Christmas as I motor my way around the tight bends of Queen Charlotte Drive to the pretty port of Picton where my next adventure begins. The road straightens. I get a glimpse of Queen Charlotte Sound glistening in the sun, its long channel named by explorer Captain James Cook after the wife of [...]

  • The Hokianga boardwalk section is one of the longest in the country

A Great Ride – Northland’s Coast to Coast

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

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 [...]

  • River riding at its best!

Southern Lake Linking

November 30th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Fiordland, a paradise packed with dramatic landscapes, and blessed with plentiful huts and hiking tracks including three Great Walks; yet surprisingly barren of cycle trails. Wheels of change are in motion though. As a result of the incredible efforts of the Fiordland Trails Trust, the tread of my tyres can now easily explore the fringes [...]

  • Following the waterways was a magical time

A Great Ride – Wheeling Through The Wilderness

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

My wilderness trail experience started at the northern trailhead, with a brisk introduction to the local ‘barber’. He’s a particularly fearsome character and Greymouth residents tell me he cuts right to the bone! However, this is no barber with a pair of scissors in hand but is in fact a local wind; a unique phenomenon [...]

  • Riding between the boulders of Skyline Ridge (credit Hage Photo)

A Great Ride – Busting the Old Ghost Road

July 28th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was pretty obvious from the outset that I wouldn’t be riding this epic alone. One mention of this legendary trail and friends came flocking. Who wouldn’t want to ride what is arguably our country’s greatest back-country trail? It’s not a matter of ‘who you gonna call’ but who wouldn’t you call. So, after one [...]

  • The blissful escape of countryside riding (credit – Tim Bardsley-Smith)

A Great Ride – A Golden Find

June 1st, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

If the Clutha Gold Trail was a goldfield, it would be a claim as rich as that of Gabriel’s Gully. However, the trail is almost undiscovered compared to the rushes of other cycle routes. As the gold dredges once ploughed the river, I am about to fossick the rich heritage along the banks of the [...]

  • Mangarewa suspension bridge – a gem of a span over the creek far below

A Great Ride – Heart of the Waikato

March 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |

I grew up in Hamilton at a time when the city (like myself as a teenager) was struggling with its identity. Most locals would say the most appealing feature of the locality was that it was ‘close to everything’. It was close to Auckland, the coastal beaches and the mountains for skiing. Sadly the city [...]

A Great Ride – Teasing Out The Past

January 27th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Karangahake Gorge is a gateway to memories of my childhood holidays, opening the door to the seemingly endless days spent on Coromandel’s white sand beaches. The long trips from the Waikato with my parents were shared with my sister who continuously teased me in the back of the family Datsun. As always on these trips [...]