A new section of the Te Awa River Ride (Waikato River) recently opened; from Hamilton Gardens to Tamahere. It links the Ngaruawahia-Hamilton and Tamahere-Karāpiro sections I've previously ridden so I shot down to Hamilton for the day to complete the set. This ride concentrates on the new part as already covered the Hamilton CDB and Cambridge path in those earlier posts.
Ann St Park
I threw my Tern BYB folding bike into AHBART (Abarth 500 Esseesse) and headed back to Ann St Park, Beerescourt, Hamilton, near the CBD. Found it when I rode the Ngaruawahia-Hamilton section and was a good place to leave the car. Off the main roads, quiet suburban riverside street and has a Exceloo Public Toilet.
Before Christmas I got a front rack for the Tern, to take a backpack when commuting. Found wearing a backpack on the short commute rides was ok but when the trains were unreliable and rode the Tern all the way home it was a pain. This little rack doesn't impact the folded size, even forms a good trundle handle, and frame mounts so puts no load on the folding handlebars. Today used it with my Aeroe front drybag in day-ride mode.
The bag fits a bit better after a re-pack :)
Sandford Park is where you go if carry on past the Cobham Drive (SH1C) Bridge...
It follows a stream, only a short loop and gravel after Peacockes Road, but was worth a look.
Cobham Drive Bridge | Waikato River
Crossed over Cobham Drive (SH1C) Waikato River Bridge but didn't take the path through Hamilton Gardens this time.
The new section...
Cobham Drive Interchange
The 'River Ride' follows Cobham Drive through this interchange, near Hamilton Gardens, but that will soon become more the direct commuter option.
This new Te Awa River Path Bridge (dashed arrow below) will soon link the path to an existing path through Hamilton Gardens as part of a new Peacocke Waikato River crossing.
A new boardwalk ramp accesses the widened path through Hammond Park.
That path connects to this short existing narrow Riverlea Boardwalk where signs request you 'Walk your wheels'.
The path follows the river behind an (unseen) industrial area before extensive bridging and boardwalks handle a section over and along Manganua Stream.
Aeroe bag and Tern Rack oddity
The Aeroe bag fits on the rack fine but it was my first ride with a frame, as opposed to bar/stem, mounted front bag. It was a bit odd turning the handlebars without the bag following, got used to it but in tight turns, like width restrictors, have to allow for the bag not following the front wheel!
Manganua Stream Boardwalk is long and wide!
Tamahere SH21 Underpass
The rest of the ride to Tamahere is pleasant enough but just follows roadside paths. There are a few café/restaurant options there, and other shops in a new centre, but I chose to ride on to Cambridge.
Also keep an eye out for Cy-Co The Cycle Coffee bike, didn't see them today but seems they sometimes pop-up on the River Ride.
The Tamahere Airport Road (SH21) underpass services the River Ride and provides access to local schools.
I re-rode the Cambridge path, unchanged since my May 2022 ride. I was listening to a Radiolab podcast which answered an intriguing question:
I guessed and was way wrong!
Paddock Café | Cambridge
Refueled at Paddock Café. It pretty much chose itself as on a public holiday and after three there wasn't much else open. Their BLAT Bagel, fresh 'orange' (actually turmeric, lemon, carrot, pineapple, and orange) juice, and 'plain' iced coffee (opted out of cream/ice-cream offered) were all good!
Then it was back along the Cambridge Path.
It runs through the back of farm and nursery land alongside, but well above, the river. It's great that people like Neil and Linda Porritt have shared their land so generously.
Back through the city...
Just retraced the River Ride back through town, below ANZAC Parade Bridge over Waikato River, folded up the little bike, and drove home. The new link is good, will be even better when the Peacocke bridge to the Gardens is finished and completes the longest concrete bike path (65km) in New Zealand.
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