Cycling – Wallaceville – Whiteman’s Valley Rd – Blue Mountains Rd – Wallaceville
27 October 2008
Labour Weekend Monday looked like the perfect day for a bike ride, possibly on my own, so I took advantage of the TTC Biking group network and found four other cyclists keen to do a few hours around the Whiteman’s Valley area.
We met outside the Wallaceville research station on Ward Street around 10 a.m. The trip heads up Wallaceville Rd, a bit of a grunt for starters, then descends and levels out to join Whiteman’s Valley Rd. (Another point of entry for those who don’t like a big hill is Plateau Rd in Te Marua via the Mangaroa Valley Road.)
This area is wonderful country rambling without too much traffic but for quite a large number of cyclists nowadays. It was warm, but not too warm, and with very little wind – very pleasant cycling conditions.
We kept together by checkpoints every few kilometres or so. Early in the trip, Peter unfortunately had a pedal snap off and he bravely continued with a bit of a clank but seemed to manage.
With lunchtime approaching, we took a side trip up a hill off the Whitemans’ Valley Rd at its summit before it descends to Silverstream. Unfortunately the road maps I have cut off at this point so I can’t name it but it winds steeply up on the left through a well-wooded cluster of semi-lifestyle properties. We stopped at the top for a bit of lunch, and it was here we were swooped closely by a fat kereru and I also heard a shining cuckoo. At this point there is a ‘Private’ sign, but someone told us you are indeed allowed to bike onwards (now off-seal) and indeed the clay route goes through to Wainuiomata – I fully intend to pursue this option in the near future.
A great cruise downhill and we were back on the main route, heading down to Blue Mountains Rd. Alan was our guide on this section, taking us along back roads that hugged the base of the hills past Rimutaka Prison, the army base and at least one golf course back to our starting point. It was a very pleasant few hours and 30+ kilometres.