Opotiki

Day 252, Monday 30 April 2018

I’m on a road trip with a group of seven others. We’ve come to Opotiki via a roundabout route. Some of it was very scenic: past the Rotorua lakes; but on a group ride that I’m not leading I don’t have the opportunity to stop to take photos.

Photos of Opotiki Town Centre, Otara River, and Opotiki beach added the following morning.

Distance travelled: 408 km. Total distance, so far: 32,851 km

Green Bay

Day 251, Sunday 29 April 2018

I rode to the Auckland suburb of Green Bay, and walked down a concrete path at the end of Portage Road through Karaka Park (where there was once a substantial Māori pā) to Green Bay beach. The tide was out, and several groups of people were walking over the mudflats, possibly looking for shellfish.

I followed a track going east, climbing steadily up the cliffs until it reached Taunton Terrace. A sign on the left says the land on the north is owned by the Air Force and threatens unpleasant things to anyone crossing the fence without authorisation. The map shows this land to be occupied by Motu Moana Scout Camp, who I expect would be more friendly. At Taunton Terrace, the track heads downward again, with a sign calling it “Te Awa O Tiwira” (The pathway of Tiwira), but the sign was mostly unreadable and I can find no mention on Google of this name. From the track, there are views over the Manukau Harbour.

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Distance travelled: 21 km. Total distance so far: 32,443 km

Bomb Point

Day 249, Friday 27 April 2018

I rode through Hobsonville today, where vast areas of new housing are under construction. Many of the roads I was on do not even appear on my GPS, but because no one actually lives on them yet, I suppose they’re not a priority for the map updaters.

Bomb Point Park (Onekiritea) is an 11 hectare park on a site where the Air Force used to store munitions. There are several bunker entrances visible but they’ve been fenced off. The park has great views over the upper Waitemata Harbour, but is mostly undeveloped and used as a dog walking area. There’s a few mature trees, but it’s mostly grassland. The bay below is Catalina Bay, earlier a site for flying boats to land. It’s muddy and there’s no obvious pedestrian access.

It will be interesting to come back here in five or ten years and see how it has developed.

Distance travelled: 55 km. Total distance so far: 32,405 km

Around the block

Day 248, Thursday 26 April 2018

A long day today, but not on a motorcycle. By the time I got home I did not feel like going for a ride. Since for the streak I have to ride, I did a very short ride, literally around the block. It felt good!

Distance travelled: 3 km. Total distance so far: 32,350 km

Far North Ulysses St John’s Ambulance ride

Day 247, Wednesday 25 April 2018

The Far North branch of Ulysses, based in Whangarei, has a ride each Anzac Day to support a branch of St John’s ambulance in their region. This year’s ride was to Dargaville. I rode up to Whangarei with a small group of Auckland and North Harbour members, and a total of 70 bikes rode from there to Dargaville. St John’s put on a lunch for us, and made money through a charge for the lunch, badge sales, and a raffle.

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On my way home, I found the usual North Harbour Wednesday ride in Wellsford. They had gone to Port Albert, but the shop there was closed for Anzac Day so they had come further north for lunch.

Distance travelled: 414 km. Total distance so far: 32,347 km

Native Tree Cafe

Day 246, Tuesday 24 April 2018

Another enjoyable ride with Auckland Ulysses around the back roads of the Waikato, ending at Native Tree Cafe for lunch. The weather is distinctly cooler than it was a few weeks ago, and I will probably put a thermal liner into my motorcycle jacket in the next few days. I used my heated grips throughout the ride.

Distance travelled: 258 km. Total distance so far: 31,933 km

Millwater

Day 245, Monday 23 April 2018

Millwater is one of Auckland’s newest suburbs, built on former farmland between Silverdale and Orewa. I rode around it today. There’s a mixture of houses of different densities, and a large central park, which appears to consist solely of grass and isn’t at all interesting. A couple of smaller parks appear to have mature trees.

My focus was on an estuary walkway, which was separated from Millwater by a wide stretch of wasteland. I found a road, Longmore Lane, which connected to the walkway, but although I could see the walkway entrance, I could see nowhere to park as the road was entirely lined by dotted yellow lines and bus stops. (I realised later on studying the map that there was parking just off the road in what I had thought was part of a school.) I rode back to the traffic light at the beginning of Longmore, and could see suitable parking across the road. I waited through a full cycle of light changes and realised that the traffic sensors had not registered my bike. I rolled back and forth over them to no avail. Since this was a short dead-end street, it was clear no other vehicle was going to come and trigger the sensors for me, so I waited until there was no traffic moving and turned left, riding through the red light. This road had a dotted yellow line preventing parking for a few hundred metres, so I gave up on the walkway, and rode home muttering under my breath.

Distance travelled: 79 km. Total distance so far: 31,675 km

Waterview Shared Path

Day 244, Sunday 22 April 2018

I rode to Soljak Place, a short street just off New North Road, and walked over the railway line on the Waterview Shared Path, which opened a year or so ago. I followed the path north until it reached Harbutt Reserve. There were many cyclists on the path including some family groups, and several other walkers. I expect it would be even busier on weekdays as people would use it to commute.

From Harbutt Reserve, I followed the Oakley Creek walkway down to the stream, then took steps up to Cradock St. The walkway was much more sheltered from the sun, and quite deserted.

Distance travelled: 12 km. Total distance so far: 31,596 km

Shelly Beach

Day 240, Wednesday 18 April 2018

Out riding with North Harbour Ulysses today, on back roads of West Auckland, finishing up at Shelly Beach on the south side of the Kaipara Harbour for lunch. It was just after high tide, so the mangroves were mostly underwater, and the shelly beach was also submerged. There’s a decent cafe here. We used to come here often, but last year the cafe stopped opening on Wednesdays. It has resumed since, but it took us many months to realise that.

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I’m on holiday out of Auckland for the next few days.

Distance travelled: 193 km. Total distance so far: 31,584 km