Having spent a hard week in the workshop, and most of Friday and Saturday digging a patch of clay over in the back garden, Lynn and I decided to have a trip out on Sunday. I wanted to show off my new found knowledge of the Kapiti cycle ways, so we put two bikes on the back of the car, and headed off for the south end of Queen Elizabeth park in Paekakariki. Our intention was to find the new cycle way north to Raumati through the park. Unfortunately, it does not yet appear on maps, including the local councils cycle way maps, so we took the Inland Track into the park. This is an excellent walking path, but an exciting cycle path, with steep hills, gravel and grass sections.
We made it to the end, all the time catching glimpses of the smooth well graded tar sealed path to the east which we should have been on. The inland track and the new cycle way came together at the point where we crossed Whareroa Rd, so we were good for the route back. The second half of the park ride was much easier on the tar sealed track, and we arrived at Poplar Ave in short order. A right turn along Poplar Ave took us to the south end of the Express Way cycle track, and off we went sticking alongside the Express Way.
This really is quite a pleasant ride, easy riding, lots to see, many people to say Hi to as you pass them. Great intersections, where there are special lights for bikes, and gentle hills and corners. We broke our trip north at Nga Manu nature reserve, north of Waikanae. This is just a few hundred metres from the express way, so is an easy diversion. We were hoping for a nice morning coffee break, but the pickings were slim, and we bought a couple of muesli bars, and had a pleasant hour or so walking around the reserve. We were last here over 25 years ago, but not much has changed really.
Back to the express way, and onward to Peka Peka, where we stopped for lunch at Harrison’s cafe at the garden centre. Excellent food and service, delicious coffee, and it was a mild day so we sat near the bikes to keep an eye on them. As we did 4 more e-bikers turned up, in fact two groups of two who seemed to have just met. So 6 e-bikes in the bike racks!
We headed off down to the coast at Peka Peka Beach, and then turned south to head back to the car. This time we managed to find all the correct turnings etc and took the intended route through Waikanae Beach and Paraparaumu Beach. It was not as nice a ride as the mid week ride, the roads were much busier, and some of the drivers were a little careless around us, cutting us up, driving too close etc. In addition, a southerly wind came up as we rode through Waikanae Beach, at the same point my battery was starting to show signs of being a bit down on power, so the long coast roads were a bit of a struggle.
At Raumati Beach we headed inland, and turned down Matai Rd to avoid some of the coastal wind, and at Poplar Ave we got onto the tar sealed “inland track”. This was a pleasant ride, a bit less windy, no traffic obviously, and great fun swooping up and down the edges of the sand dunes and the farmland. At Whareroa Rd we went straight across and found the track we had missed on the way north, and rode the last few kilometers to Paekakariki. This track does not go into QE park, instead it continues past the park onto Tilley Rd in Paekakariki, which entailed a longish ride back through the village and into the park. Next time we will park at the railways station and ride Tilley Road until we get to the cycle path.
So a good ride together, 52.5 kilometres in 2h40m riding time, about 19km per hour average. One thing we do need is a better bike rack to carry both bikes, our rather old fashioned rack can be a bit of a pain with its hooks and extra rack that needs to be fitted after the first bike is loaded on.