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.
The September Club night meeting was attended by 26 members including 1 new member.
Mention was made of several members who have lost family members or who have health issues.
There was a reminder to enroll for the Clubs 40th Anniversary celebrations on the 28-29 October by emailing; firstname.lastname@example.org, or phoning Jane at 03 4346363.
The Wednesday Walkers had 3 new walks on North Otago farms and runs.
Roseneath Run near Waitaki Dam with its spectacular limestone tors and great views of the Waitaki Valley and St. Marys Range.
A farm walk at Katiki with views from Moeraki lighthouse to Shag Point guided by Anita, the farm owner.
Blairgowrie Run on Turnbulls Road with fantastic views over the North Otago downlands and Kakanui mountains.
The Club had 2 trips go, with one being cancelled.
Wet weather limited the Mount Studholme trip to a walk in Gunns Bush and Kelceys Bush, with exploration further up above the waterfall.
Last Sunday was an A2O bike ride to Rakis Tunnel and home via Victoria Hill. There were some incidents along the way including a broken chain, 2 groups going different ways on emerging from the tunnel, and having to endure a short sharp hailstorm on the way home.
Coming trips are Lindis Peak, Hinewai Reserve, East Otago Forests mountain bike ride and 1000 acre Plateau for Labour weekend. This NOTMC website has more details.
Our guest speaker was club member Maurice Gray who showed us how to maintain and ride our bikes.
Things like seat height, seat angle, handle bar height and distance from the seat all need to be set up for the individual rider.
Regular maintenance needs to include tyre pressures, brake pads, smooth wheel and pedal rotation, chain wearing, cleaning and lubrication and the packing of a spare tube and fixing tools.
We also learnt some riding tips such as having your foot right down on the outside when negotiating a corner and sliding your backside over the back of the seat when going down a steep hill!
Maurice finished by showing us photos of their hut and track caretaking of the Old Ghost Road, a new spectacular mountain biking and walking track on the West Coast.
20 August 2017
This is a trip that I did about 8 years ago. On that trip we started out on the Gunn’s Bush walking track and then bush-bashed our way up a ridge into the forest and on to a forest road. From there we followed the road up on to the main ridge about 2km south of Mt Studholme and then we followed the ridge up on to Mt Studholme.
So with this trip in mind I put it on the programme again since it had been a while since we had been there.
About two weeks before this trip I went up to check the route out. I found the ridge up out of Gunn’s Bush, got into the forest but as I got up a bit I came across a new tree plantation. Over the last 8 years they had cut down the old trees and replanted and there was no quick way of getting through to get up on to the road. So I changed my plan for this trip by having a car at the locked gate on the forest road and another car at the bottom of the main track that goes up to Mt Studholme.
Anyway after all this planning the day of the trip the weather was crap with low cloud and drizzle. I headed down to the car park meeting place to see who was keen for a day out and low and behold two other members had turned up and I had a phone call to say that two other club members would meet us up there.
After a short discussion it was decided that Mt Studholme was out for the day and it was decided we would go to Waimate and do some of their bush walks. We met our other two members at the start of the Gunn’s Bush track. This track is about 4km long and the bush is some of the oldest bush in Waimate with some big old Totara and Miro trees. This is a loop track with some really nice bush and a good track.
After we got back to the cars we decided we would head over to Kelcey’s Bush and go to the waterfall and the old Waimate water intake. We got over there and there was a bit of light rain so we took an early lunch break in the picnic shelter. After lunch we did the short walk up to the waterfall for a look and we also explored a bit of the area of bush above the falls.
It was then back to the main track and up to the water intake. I had tried to get to the intake many years ago but the tracks were all over grown then, but now the tracks are all very well maintained and in good condition. A great place to go for a short walk with a lot of history. Also along these tracks we had seen a lot of painted stones so some people had been busy.
It was now mid afternoon so it was back to Waimate for a coffee stop before heading home, so Mt Studholme will keep for another day.
Thanks for coming out Kate, Peter, John and Jac – Neville
Two New members were welcomed to the monthly Club Night.
The Herbert Forest tracks were too wet to do maintenance on but the traps needed to be rebaited.
This resulted in a good catch of a large variety of pests.
5 members travelled to Alexandra and biked the Mellinium and Upper Clutha trails and 8 didn’t go to the South Temple because of heavy rain causing flooded rivers.
There was a round trip to Cape Wanbrow in the rain, a cold walk on Kuriheka, a round trip across farmland in the Earthquakes area on a nice fine day and a circuit from Tapui Homestead to Davidson Road and back on an “almost Spring” day.
A new circuit in the Mt. Studholm area, a walk in to Liverpool Hut and a bike ride along the A2O to Rakis Tunnel and back via Victoria Hill.
The rest of the evening was an information sharing time.
John Chetwin led a discussion on risk management. He pointed out that risk equals likelihood multiplied by consequences. This was followed by a discussion on the risks of losing trampers, injury, and the weather.
Bess Allan showed us how to read a map and use a compass.
Neville Cory talked about crossing rivers. Always put safety first and don’t cross if it looks too dangerous. Study the river looking for the best place to cross, eddies, boulders and where to exit. This was followed by a demonstration on how to cross with others. Pointers emphasised were to have a strong tall person on the upstream side, take small steps and be prepared to turn around if the river looks like becoming impassable.
Members appreciated brushing up on these survival skills.
Two new members were welcomed.
The Club will celebrate its 40th anniversary on the 28-29 October 2017. All members and ex members are invited to register.
1080 has been laid in the Herbert Forest so dog owners were advised to keep them on a lead.
The pest traps the club looks after are to be rebaited shortly.
7 trampers headed up the North Temple for a cold but fine day, stayed at Twizel for the night and attempted going up the Pyramids in the fog the next day with limited success.
A round trip from Bethune’s Gully up Mt. Cargill returning via the organ pipes and Sawyers Bay was enjoyed by 9 members.
A walk around the historic sites of Hampden and Herbert covered 13k on a very windy day.
Trig L was climbed via a steep ridge from the south, returning down a 4wd track.
Next week, as the weather looked dicey, it was decided to walk the Kurow A2O Track down to the winery, returning up beside the Waitaki River to the new bridges.
The 5 July was the mid-winter dinner at the Star and Garter but a 7k Papakaio farm walk was enjoyed in the morning.
Our Club Night Guest speaker was Arun Gunn from Port Blakely, the forest owners of the Herbert Forest, other New Zealand and also overseas forests.
He told us about the Forest Stewardship Council, an international gold standard certification for responsible forest management. Port Blakely NZ have been certified since 2003. One of the aims is to maintain or enhance the long term economic, social and environmental benefits from the forest.
It involves forest monitoring for things like forest health, nutrients needed, planting, tree management and harvesting, and a tree can be tracked right through to the finished product.
Wilding pine spread is anticipated with help for control given where appropriate. Significant natural areas such as podocarp remnants are identified and their social use is encouraged, as happens in the Herbert Forest. Pests are being controlled.
Arun thoughtfully answered many questions from the meeting.
16 July there will be a working bee in the Herbert Forest. Because it is so wet it will mainly involve baiting traps and bait stations.
29-30 July is a “relaxed” biking trip in the Alexandra area.
The “whats on” page has more details.