A tail wind - Over the hill in Aotearoa - CycleBlaze

November 19, 2020

A tail wind

Day's Bay to Upper Hutt

It is late afternoon by the time we are ready to begin the ride. We wheel our bikes off the train deck of the inter-island ferry as soon as it docks and pedal to the central city to buy tickets for the cross-harbour ferry.

When it pulls alongside the dock, the skipper directs us to the top deck and suggests laying our bikes down on the deck under shelter as protection from sea spray. It's a typical breezy Wellington day, which means a choppy crossing.

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We wait for a gaggle of school kids and their scooters to disembark before wheeling our bikes off at Day's Bay. Bruce finds a discreet bus shelter to use as a changing room (I was more organised) and emerges in full lycra as Tour Leader. We're off at last!

The trail starts off alongside the road through the light industrial suburbs. It is not until we reach Petone, where the Hutt River flows into the harbour, that we join a proper cycleway. For the rest of the afternoon, we cycle upriver along the Hutt City trail - a pleasant enough ride without being spectacular, and one that we've done before. I find it somewhat surreal, though, because I'm riding through a past life.

There, to our right, is the Avalon park pavilion which hosted our wedding reception 43 years ago. (Hire fee $25.) Later on, we pass by the street I grew up on, obscured by a wide stopbank. And this shingle road we're riding on now is where a 12 year old me learnt to drive, and double-declutch, the family's ancient Austin 7. All too weird. 

We are happy to leave the trail in Upper Hutt in time to locate our motel accommodation (less than salubrious but it's the Hutt Valley) and find a great little Thai restaurant. Tomorrow we have a hill to climb.

My old stomping ground...The road where I grew up, notorious for many years as the worst street in New Zealand, is just over the bank.)
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Today's ride: 28 km (17 miles)
Total: 36 km (22 miles)

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