Ruth told me on our last day of biking Provence “that I never want to get on a bike again”.
Working on the principle that time is a great healer and great at dimming the memory, after about four months I casually dropped into conversation the possbility of another bike trip.
She agreed and on the last day of summer we put the bikes on the the rack and headed off on an East Coast road trip for 10 days.
The weather on arrival in Napier was hot but a forecast cool change duly arrived for our first pedal out to Clifton and back.
It was clear and cold for the start with a stiff head wind. The bike out of Napier is along a sealed track on Napier’s foreshore. The ride became more interesting as we approach Clive. A short detour into the village delivered a little coffee bar set up in a shipping container. The Box served a great and welcome flat white.
The ride took us through marshland, the quaint seaside settlements of Haumoana and Te Awanga, past the Elephant Hill and Clearwater Wineries before reaching Clifton. Our verdict, a nice ride and we had so much fun riding into the wind on the way down that the weather gods supplied us with a wind change and a head wind back.
Day 2 saw us on the wine trail, it all seemed a little too familiar with our pedals in Europe, lots of vines and we even managed to get lost in Flaxmere looking for an “avenue of oaks”. The avenue we rode down had oaks but they were hardly worthy of such a grand title. When we hit a dead end and a couple of very young local kids said “whaaaat aaaaare you doooooing” as we looked across a fence hoping to see a bike path, that I decided this was definitely not The Avenue of Oaks. Old leadership issues started to rumble again as a result of our little detour.
Day 3 threatened with another weather change so we headed off early for the “pub run” to Puketapu. We knew the pub was closed so it was very much a bike out on one path and back on the other, a river in between. Nice morning, nice ride.