It was a typical West Coast autumn day – clear blue sunny skies. The views from Breakers out to the Tasman Sea are awesome this morning. Stephen and I loaded up the van with the bikes and our gear and the dogs jumped in ready for today’s adventure.
We drove to Blue Spur in the back of Hokitika and parked by Stations Inn Motel and Restaurant. We got the bikes ready and then had to decide what the best clothing was to wear with the sun beating down. We decided on short sleeves and no thermals – thank goodness, as it was hot riding in the hills.
We headed up the gravel road into the forest. The Hokitika mountain bike club has been working in here with the help of the local Periodic Detention boys in building some mountain bike trails off the old forestry roads. After a short gravel road climb we took a road to the left and started our first piece of single track called “the see-saw”. This was a really narrow trail and just a little bit technical. I was on my 29ner and because the track is so narrow with steep drop offs to the side I felt a bit uncomfortable – like I was a giant. I haven’t had the bike that long and am still getting use to it. I have to say I did struggle a little with my confidence but Stephen tore down the track and was waiting at the bottom with the dogs and camera. Unfortunately I couldn’t give him that great photo shoot – that would have to wait until later…….
Off we headed again along some more gravel forestry road. It is a gradual climb and occasional quite loose. A local farmer was coming down the track in his tractor. He let us pass with the dogs and laughs with the comment “the steep hill is just ahead of you” – oh great I think!! Well he was right, on and upwards it climbed, slowly getting steeper and looser. This hill seemed to go on and on and on and did I mention on! Each time I think, whew, made it, I looked ahead and onwards it went in the distance. Actually it wasn’t that bad, just wasn’t what I was expecting – sometimes you have to be in the right frame of mind for a good climb and my head wasn’t quite prepared. We did it though and of course what goes up must come down and soon Stephen and I were soon duly rewarded with a great rocky downhill section before meeting back up with the original forestry road that we started on.
Winding our way along there are four more sections of single track to zip in and out of. First up was “Stags Head”. Again narrow and semi-technical, and a nice little rocky drop-off. Photo shoot time and Stephen made it look easy. Then there are a couple of more flowing, faster trails – “Bad Boys”, “The cutting” and finishing with “slow girls”. These were great fun – just enough to keep you thinking. Then there was a small hill climb before heading back down the forestry road to the van. Ziggy and Nico, our dogs really enjoyed the last section – they could let loose and run fast to try and beat us down the hill.
All in all a great day in the hills and topped off with an ice cream for the drive home.