Took 'Rapid Rob' on our first real ride yesterday.
From home headed up to the Scenic Drive where I went off road on the centennial Exhibition Drive track. It is a closed well formed gravel road which follows a water supply pipeline towards Nihotupu Dam for a couple of kilometers.
It continues as the Beveridge Track which is a single track shared use trail. Again, a gravel surface but much narrower but has a pretty steep switchback section climbing up to the Arataki Visitor Centre. It was the first time I used that, very grannie, low gear in anger but certainly won't be the last!
From there it was back on to the Scenic Drive towards Piha. I found riding a mountain bike on road ok but appreciated the front fork lock. Hate wasting energy bouncing up hills!
Hit 60km/h on some of the downhill sections, to the roar of knobby tyres, and gave the (now mechanical) disc brakes a workout. I turned left onto Lone Kauri Rd for the descent into Karekare. After a photo stop and podcast playlist top-up (1 ear only so can hear ambient noise too) it was time to head for Piha.
I listened to Dr Karl, This Week In Windows and The Nerdist episode with Tom Cruise podcasts on this ride. They didn't talk about religion on the Nerdist but can't believe how an obviously brilliant guy can believe such bollocks!
Karekare Rd has one of the steepest road climbs in the Waitakere Ranges. Sea level to ~280m in about a kilometre. 'Rapid Rob' wasn't exactly rapid up that bit but the other Rob pedalling was to blame! Grannie gear got some more testing on that hill.
Another fast descent to Piha Beach and along to the northern end. Rode back for a lunch stop at South Piha watching the surfers in a rather messy break. It wasn't sunny but was really warm even in the strong westerly wind.
Then it was time to head home. One memorable part was the stink of car brakes as I climbed the Piha Hill. Some more fun (tarmac) downhills tested those brakes but all was good.
70km around the Waitakere Ranges with 1540m of climbs was a good first run, for both of us!
Photos: Karekare Beach creek, 'Rapid Rob' at Piha & views towards Piha