16 July 2015

On two wheels

When I envisaged living in Cambridge one of the things I had hoped we would be able to do as a family was go on lots of bike rides together.




I think it's safe to say we have totally made this our new favourite activity, although we did get off to a bit of a false start on the first outing. We'd agreed that Mylo and I would take the car and the bike rack (which at that stage only held 2 bikes) and meet the boys partway along the Te Awa River Ride out to Lake Karapiro. However, a little miscommunication meant we missed each other for quite a while and with a cold breeze and rain showers passing over meant it was a short lived ride together by the time we finally managed to meet up.

Fast forward two weeks and now we had a bike rack that would take ALL of our bikes (the perks of working in a bike business!) so there was nothing stopping us driving somewhere to start our ride. I was a little worried that my little Suzuki would struggle with four bikes AND four people but she coped just fine - although it wasn't like we were driving hundreds of kilometres just locally.






This time we drove to the very end of the cycleway and rode back along Lake Karapiro. We just happened to time our ride to coincide with the North Island Cycle Champs that were on at the domain so it was heaving with people everywhere. But it was quite inspiring watching these teenagers ride their hearts out as we sauntered past slowly at our leisurely Sunday morning pace. This section of the cycleway ain't for the faint hearted though with a couple of knarly 10% and 12% hills to tackle - I was very proud of Noah for getting right up the steepest one without having to get off his bike.












It's such a scenic and varied track right riding along beside the lake - we made it to the dam and back again which was 6km, both riding on high with great views above the lake and then right down at lake level on the specially made board walks.
















Not content with one ride for the day we figured we would seize the moment and tackle another part of the cycleway from Cambridge to the Avantidrome - another 6km return. This is fast turning into one of my favourite rides as I'd already ridden it a couple of times on my own from home (12km return) and wanted to show the others just how scenic and interesting a ride it is.










It's a lot less hilly (if you don't count the last big long slog up to the velodrome) and Mylo even managed to get the hang of braking on the downhills just long enough to then let go and coast enough to get his speed up to get up the hills on the other side. I can see many more rides on this part of the cycleway in our future.




This past weekend we made the most of the opportunity to be able to ride straight from our front door and rode two 8km loops around our local area. It still amazes me that within a kilometre of riding we can be in the countryside patting horses - it seems like a bit of a dream. And on the Sunday afternoon we discovered the miniature train rides at the Leamington domain on our travels as well. It amuses me that little legs can easily ride 8km or more on this flat terrain without even realising just how far they've gone.





There are lots of things we are still getting used to in this new life of ours. Some things already feel as familiar and natural as wearing an old comfy hoodie and some things still feel itchy and scratchy and uncomfortable - a bit like wool worn too close to the skin.

But family bike rides definitely fall into the old comfy hoodie category.


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