Ahuriri Bike Ride
17th February 2019
It was an early start for the several keen punters off to the Ahuriri. We met at the Wrinkly Ram for a shot of coffee to lube our brains for action. It was a lovely drive down Birchwood Road into the Ahuriri, with endless blue skies and a temp of 10 degs – perfect for a wee bike.
We stopped the cars just past the Birchwood Homestead as the road was definitely not in working order – pot-holes resembling meteor craters. We jumped on our bikes and rode the 9 km to the carpark at the end of Birchwood Road. Asides from a couple four wheel drivers, would-be trampers and a few fancy tourists – presumably trying their hand at fly-fishing – we felt like we had the valley to ourselves.
Lynne turned back at the start of the trail – knowing by the time she’d return to the vehicle, it’d be a not-too-shabby 18k. The rest of us decided to make for the first hut ‘Shamrock Hut’ which was supposedly 4k from the start.
The start ? Where was the start ? The jolly start was a bit of a wash-out. Plenty of rain had been through and removed all semblance of a track start so that wasted a bit of time locating it. For future reference, head for the Canyon Creek track (indicated by the dunny far left) and then you’ll note where the track splits to the right (and therefore to the Ahuriri river).
It was very minisculy uphill, and into a slight head-wind, however the view in front of us and to each side was pretty splendid.
Shamrock hut was tucked up in the bush-line on the left, barely visible to the naked eye and therefore completely understandable that the leader biked 2k’s past it. We were just fortunate for the matured eyesight of the team. It looked like a good hut from initial inspection but after getting comfortable for lunch we identified a most savage and densely populated sandfly kingdom. Kim and Mark moved us to the wind to escape the sandfly-menace and we ate our lunch in relative comfort with stunning, rugged scenery in abundance.
After lunch, we had THE BEST bike back ! With only one small uphill grunt it was basically a downwards ZOOM back to the vehicles. The return voyage was made all the sweeter with pints, chips and icecream. Cheers everyone !