The Lakes/Pakahi Road Loop
A ‘proper’ cyclist was meandering along the road as Peter and I made our way down the drive for our first outdoor cycle of the year. The weather was not looking like it was going to stay fine so this was our window of opportunity for the time being.
The cyclist (Mike) stopped, asked how fast we rode, and then asked to join us. Our plan was to just cycle the Lakes/Pakahi Road loop. The loop is a mere 15kms - but long enough for the first ride of the year. Once The Gardener had wrestled his shoes on, off we went. Within a minute, I was alone with my thoughts as Peter and Mike became just specks of fluorescent orange and green ahead of me.
The Loop is, for the most part, a nice easy ride through stunning rural Waimarino countryside. The sight of Mt Ruapehu, on the Central Plateau, peaking out periodically between hills and trees is a sight so common to us now however we never tire of its beauty and strength. We rode on for half an hour – the boys stopping every now and then to wait for me – my excuse being I was on a mountain bike with big thick road grabbing tires and they on road bikes with skinny fast wheels. Nothing at all to do with me being slightly out of shape of course.
Green pastures with lambs suckling their mothers, rolling hills, fields planted in neat rows with future crops, and amazing gardens make up part of this landscape.
We had crossed three one-way bridges before we struck the hill. This is where my thoughts took over and I said to myself repeatedly I will not stop, I will not stop, and then I stopped! Hills are not my forte – walking, running or cycling - but I did need to strip off a layer before continuing – that’s my excuse anyways. Needless to say I was still alone.
The hill only needed one stop – its amazing how rested ones legs can feel with just a minute’s break. It seemed never ending but finally I did reach the top, sucking in much needed oxygen,where yes, my two fellow cyclists were waiting. We cruised down the other side and in a minute or two were back on the main road minutes from home.
We had made it and what a way to spend an hour – out in the fresh air, muscles well worked. Feeling exhilarated!!.
Can't wait to do it again.!!
We have two mountain bikes and helmets available for guests to use when staying at Ruapehu Country Lodge.