Motueka to Mapua - To and fro along the The Great Taste Trail - CycleBlaze

November 23, 2021

Motueka to Mapua

Short and sweet

It's good to get the daily drama over with at the start.  Yesterday, we dealt with the Great Chicken Incident. This morning, it was the Acute Separation Anxiety Event.

After a relaxing night at Bethany campground in Kaiteriteri, the plan this morning is for Bruce to ride to Motueka while I shuttle the camper to meet him. From there, we will both ride to Tasman then separate so that he can retrieve the camper and meet me at Mapua for lunch.

(This trip is so logistically challenging for me that I make a point of only asking Bruce for the itinerary a half-day at a time. Why clutter MY head as well as his?)

But first, we need to exit Kaiteriteri, no easy matter by bike, as Tricia Graham has recounted. Tour Leader has a plan. He does a reconnaissance  ride to the nearby mountainbike park, a place he has spent many happy hours in, to check if dogs are permitted on the tracks. The Great Taste Trail follows the green Easy Rider trail over the hill and onto the coastal path, a safer option than cycling on the narrow and busy road. He has a boy's look and reports back that all is well, so after a successful café visit this morning I deliver man and dog to the entrance of the mountainbike park.

Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .
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Now, we are aware that our dog doesn't like to choose between us if we go our separate ways.  Adorable, I know, but it has proved challenging when we want to ride different trails back home. Her idea of fun is to run in between us, checking that the tail-end Charlie, usually me, is still coming.

This morning, it takes four attempts to convince her to give up on me and to just get on with it. They disappear up the hill three times, Bruce walking his bike and holding onto her for a start - then, five minutes later, Scout races down the track onto the road to find me (followed by her increasingly frustrated parent). I am reluctant to drive off until I know she has submitted to Bruce's will, worried about the combination of out-of-control dog and speeding vehicles.

Eventually, I drive to the park's exit, leash in hand, to await the adventurers. Bruce continues his ride along a glorious section of trail to Motueka while Scout and I shuttle the camper there. 

While waiting, I see the NO DOGS sign. I did say Bruce had a boy's look . . .
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At Motueka, Team Richards reassembles to ride the next stage. The trail heads inland, at first following the Moutere River then turns off to climb the rough track up to Tasman View Road. At the turnoff, we ride past the Riverside Community, established during World War II as a safe haven for Christian pacifists. My troubled sister lived there for some time in the 1970s, eventually upsetting my parents by gifting the community all her material possessions. It was a sad chapter in my family's history and I had never known the exact location of Riverside until Bruce and I rode this section of the trail a few years ago. That time, when we rounded the corner and came upon the Riverside signage I just burst into tears, a reaction that surprised me as much as Bruce.

This morning, he checks that I'm OK (he may be hopeless at seeing what's in front of him but he's a great spouse) and we continue the climb to the promised Tasman View at the top of the hill. 

Keeping us company on the climb
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More rural humour
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Admiring the view
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It's a fast descent down to the settlement of Tasman,  where we separate. Bruce bikes northwards by road to retrieve the camper while I follow the Great Taste signage to Mapua. This is a lovely section of track, sometimes following the road, sometimes not. I know it well, having run the 10km Tasman to Mapua section for the past two years as part of a cycling/running/walking event called the K2M - Kaiteriteri to Mapua. It's a  pleasure this time to enjoy the trail from a cyclist's perspective.

Note the ferry to the left, waiting to carry cyclists across the estuary to Rabbit Island and the continuation of the trail.
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We rendezvous at our favourite Mapua café to enjoy a leisurely late lunch, tuckered dog at our feet, then drive back to Bethany campsite at Kaiteriteri. Bruce heads up to the mountainbike park for some Type 2 fun while I find a deckchair, wine, cheese and crackers. Each to his own.

Evening antics
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Today's ride: 27 km (17 miles)
Total: 92 km (57 miles)

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Dawn HunterLove it Robyn.
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1 week ago
Rachael AndersonI’m really enjoying your journal, the dog adds a great dimension!
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1 week ago
Robyn RichardsTo Rachael AndersonThank you! She certainly adds a new dimensions to our lives.
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1 week ago