Despite the success of the Great Taste Tasman trip, group activities for the 5Men have been conspicuous by their absence in the past few months. Whether it is the cooler weather, or the unexpected success of the Hurricanes in the Super 15 diverting attention, activity has been confined to largely solo runs for individual members. Taupo, Kapiti Coast and the usual Miramar Peninsula track all featured at various times, but somehow a solo ride is just not the same.
A “Stuff” article on Six New Zealand Bike Trails generated renewed interest and some discussion (largely prompted by Dale’s tongue in cheek suggestion that the 301 Kilometre Alps-2-Ocean ride in the South Island – Aoraki/Mt Cook to Oamaru – “looked interesting”). Clearly a “Planning Meeting” was needed to allow some serious discussion of options.
With Dale safely installed as the trip organiser (“Chair of the High Performance Committee” in his own words) discussion centred on the location and timing of the next trip. I’m not sure if it was the promise of easy travel, flat riding, or simply the attraction of the local wine trail, but somehow a consensus was reached – the Alps-2-Ocean missed out in favour of the Hawkes Bay Trails in November 2015.
The Hawkes Bay Trails offer three main rides, each with its own characteristics, along with a number of secondary options:
The Landscape Ride explores the picturesque coastal communities of Haumoana, Te Awanga and Clifton, which border the coastline of the iconic Cape Kidnappers.
The Water Ride is flat, easy and perfect for families (and old fellas). It provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and includes the Ahuriri Estuary, a sanctuary for endangered wetland wildlife.
The Wineries Ride is a relaxed ride that covers the wine-growing areas of Bridge Pa, Gimblett Gravels and the Ngatarawa Triangle. Dotted with numerous award-winning wineries that afford plenty of places to stop and rest along the way, this sounds like the ideal ride for the 5Men.
So planning is underway – clearly a need for several more planning meetings as we progress things.
In the meantime, here is a taster, courtesy of 100% Pure New Zealand: