McLeans Island in the morning
• 11km one-way loop – no oncoming traffic 😉
• Buffed singletrack, bermed corners mostly through pine forest
• No climbs (other than up ‘n’ down stopbanks)
• Suitable for all abilities – great for families, even with quite young children (so long as they can cope with the distance)
• Suitable even in inclement weather
• 25 minutes to 1 hour per lap – the fast guys ‘n’ gals can do multiple laps!
Check out http://www.onyourbike.co.nz/ for details. McLeans Island is between Christchurch Airport and the Waimakariri River – the entrance to the MTB track is opposite Orana Park.
Port Hills singletrack in the afternoon
• 20+ kilometre loop
• 2+ hours
We’ll start from a car park above the Sign of the Takahe in Cashmere, so no huge climb: 5 minutes of tarseal up to Victoria Park, then climbing offroad for 15 minutes will have us up to the Summit Road, just below Sugarloaf Transmitter. Admire the view across the city and plains to the Alps and catch your breath before turning left (East) and ride flowing singletrack along Bowenvale Traverse Track probably as far as the top of Rapaki Track.
Return the way we came but continue past Sugarloaf, dropping down Thomsons Track past the Sign of the Kiwi (maybe an icecream?) and a short tarseal climb along the Summit Road to the top of Worsleys Road, then down Marleys Hill Track (aka “Flying Nun”) onto Old Dyers Pass Track then a short climb back to the waiting cars.
This ride is 80% singletrack, 10% 4WD track, 10% tarseal
I would describe it as moderately difficult singletrack – narrow, with frequent obstacles – a few (mainly very short – often only 10 metres or so) stretches may be easier walked. Some technical ability and confidence is required. If you aren’t comfortable riding the more technical tracks in the Scenic, you may find this ride challenging in places.
Check out http://www.onyourbike.co.nz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=30 for some good photos of what to expect on the easier sections of track.
Check out http://www.ccc.govt.nz/Cycling/TracksRides/PortHills.asp for more details on the tracks, and track reports. Note that as at yesterday many of the tracks were closed due to the recent rain, however the tracks I’ve selected above are very quick-drying (except for Old Dyers Pass Track, which we can avoid if need be). In the absence of any more significant rain, I’m reasonably confident the tracks will be open by next weekend.
Obviously, the Port Hills are exposed and so this ride is weather-dependent. It’s not a nice place to be in a howling southerly! We’ll keep Bottle Lake Forest as a backup – lots of great tracks with plenty of shelter.
More details next week as to car-pooling, meeting times and places
Hope lots of you can make it