James and I have been trail running together for some time now, although I should point out that, for James, there isn’t much actual running going on since he can walk faster than I run. Although we have tried trail running as a family, we failed miserably – Isabelle generally just hates running and Elias only knows how to run at full tilt for about 500m’s and then die whilst complaining loudly …
Suffice to say we needed to find something else to get them outside and moving and we settled on bikes. Elias (8) already had one and we managed to pick up another 3 cheap second hand bikes for the rest of us. On the day we collected James’ bike from Putaruru we (J, Elias and I) rode a small section of the Waikato River Trail and since we managed not to die and James said he could have (and I quote) caned that easily in 10 minutes, I’d been searching for a longer ride that James and I could do during one our regular weekend adventures together.
There are 22 great rides in New Zealand, 10 of those are located in the North Island and for our quick weekend get away I chose to ride the 86km long Twin Coast Cycle Trail for no other reason that it was the closest great ride to Auckland that we hadn’t already traversed (Although the Hauraki Rail Trail is closer to Auckland, James and I ran along it earlier in the year).
Since completing the full length of Twin Coast Trail over two days last weekend, I’ve since learned that people usually train for rides like this, often riding two days in a row to get used to getting back on the saddle with a fanny that feels like it’s on fire .. Obviously James and I (who have been doing stupid shit together without thoroughly thinking things through since ages ago) skipped all that training palava because quite frankly that’s what “how we roll”.
At the end of our first 61km day in the saddle (which we still had to follow up with 26km the next day) we quickly realised that 60km is a REALLY LONG way. My happy “length” would have been 40km, I found the last 20km quite a grind. James on the other hand said he was ready to stop after 20km, in fact he admitted that it was much harder than he thought it would be – although considering he hasn’t ridden a bike since he was 20 (bar that short blat along the River Trail), I’m not sure why he thought it was going to be a walk (or in this case roll) in the park.
Granted we could have made the ride much easier if we had just spent more time on our bikes. James had ridden his bike once before and on that day nearly threw the bike down the bank into the Waikato River after his chain dropped off repeatedly and I ended up on a bike that I’d ridden up and down our driveway a few times the night before leaving. In saying that, if we can complete the entire 86km Twin Coast Cycle Trail then anyone (who can ride a bike obviously) can, the trick is to not think too much and just turn up and pedal. 😉
That being said here’s 3 things I’d like to have next time I decide to ride long way on a bike ..
- Padded cycle pants (no one wants to feel like their fanny is on fire)
- Gloves – At times the pain in my hands took my mind off the fiery fanny, don’t death grip on descents!
- Sunglasses (because bugs have an annoying tendency of flying straight into my eyeballs)
So apparently my tip of the day would be to dress like a cyclist lolololol.
Till next time