A20 Bike Ride

10th September 2017

With unfavourable weather forecast, it was a surprise to have six keen cyclists out to bike from Oamaru to Raki’s Tunnel over some new sections and return on the Alps to Ocean Trail.
Suitably attired in hi-vis jackets we set off in overcast conditions carefully manoeuvring around a couple of washed out culverts on the Limeworks Straight and then onwards to Enfield where we cycled on the track where possible and then onto the road before reaching Pinehill Road.
A section of the trail is closed between Elderslie and Pinehill Roads because of damage caused by the floods in July.
At this stage the day was improving and the sun came out to warm us.
While negotiating the hill on the way to Windsor, my chain broke, but fortunately was soon repaired only to brake once again at the Windsor Hall. Meanwhile, Bron, Jane, Lyn and Neville continued cycling along a new part of the trail which eventually met up with the old railway line and onto Raki’s Tunnel. This new section eliminates riding up the gravel Peaks Road and down a slippery hill ( if wet) to join the trail in a pine forest.
After some more repairs using the last available pin for the chain we set off again to try to catch up with the other group.
A large slip has come down and formed quite a large lagoon at the other end of Raki’s Tunnel. However it is still negotiable by dismounting and pushing the bikes around a rough track on the edge.
There was no sign of the advance party at this stage. They had decided to continue up Tunnel Hill Road whereas Maurice and I went on ahead to Victoria Hill Road and upon seeing no fresh bike tyre marks in the gravel we soon realised that we had become separated. This was confirmed with a phonecall.
From Victoria Hill we took in the views back towards the new part of the trail that we had cycled over earlier. The other four sat in sunshine on the side of Peaks Road and ate their lunch. We then all met up again at the Windsor Fire Station after all enjoying some long downhill sections on the gravel roads.
The skies had become very black and just after crossing the Enfield Bridge we were pelted with hail which then turned into rain. It was heads down and feet pumping the pedals to get to Weston for afternoon tea, arriving at about 3pm. For four it was back on the bikes again to get to the carpark in between the showers.
On average we cycled about 55 kms for the day and apart from a broken chain (twice), separation, a hail storm and rain, thanks go to Jane, Lyn, Bron, Neville and Maurice for an enjoyable ride.