Like the building of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail, my efforts at riding it in it’s entirety has taken a while.

With the weather forecast looking promising, I suggested to Ruth that she and her 93 year old mum have a little ‘girl time’ and I would go off and ride the 62km from Okaihau to Opua, this would cover the 37km that I had not yet completed on this local trail.

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The scene looked suitably apocalyptic at the 5km mark passing by Lake Omapere.

The sky was predominantly blue when I looked out the window this morning so I hustled Ruth out of bed so that she could drive me to Okaihau, some 24 km from Kerikeri. As we drove from town that blue sky suddenly changed to a disturbing shade of grey and with a fairly serious hint that a bit of precipitation may be ‘on the cards’.

I unloaded the bike off the car telling Ruth that the gloom was temporary and that I would be soon basking in equatorial temperatures. She drove off looking very pleased that she had a solid reason for not joining me. About 50 metres down the trail I had to stop and drag the wet weather gear out of the pannier as the first touch of moisture started to render the sunglasses as optimistic extras.

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When the sign tells you to dismount, do as you are told. I had not seen any other silly cyclists when I hit the first tunnel so biked into it. I would not recommend this approach unless you are happy to get up-close-and-personal with the tunnel walls.

I went through a protracted sequence of rain jacket adjustments (on / off/ on) during the first 22km although every time it started to drizzle it would end as abruptly as it started. 30km into the ride the blue sky started to finally win the battle and promised to deliver the weather that I had been promised.

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I started to wonder if I was up to my old tricks and had taken a wrong turn. The track looked decidedly overgrown and the gorse (below) turned the ride into a pretty prickly affair for a while. I decided that spring maintenance work had not happened along this section.

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The section of trail that I had not previously ridden was not particularly inspiring. It was peaceful riding through the rural surroundings but it was devoid of anything particularly interesting until I came upon a flock of around 40 highly stressed wild peacocks. As I rounded the bend they all scattered into the nearby trees screeching. As I pedalled on they started blasting out of the foliage. I did not realise that Peacocks could fly. Suddenly I had them buzzing noisily around my head like mini B52 bombers. I was pleased to have had my helmet on.

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There were not too many signs of habitation for about 25km. This was the first place that I passed and I, probably like most door to door sales people, gave it a wide berth.
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Many sections of the trail run along the old rail route. Here suspension bridges have been built in between the old bridge spans.
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The last post had a picture of ‘Timmy’ the train, I suspect that ‘184’ was his abandoned brother. ‘184’ was still coupled to about six rusting wagons slowly being overtaken by the scrub and weeds.

I have to admit that I missed not having Ruth along for the ride. I suspect that she did not feel the same way. She certainly did not appear to be racked by jealousy when she collected me at Opua.

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Unlike the Peacocks, there was only one heron and it was in no hurry to rush off.
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What a difference a few hours make – the sky had cleared and summer was back on deck for the last few km to Opua.

The Ride to Horeke

The Opua to Kawakawa section

 

 

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