AOK report, Dunedin NZ

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From: Fridd Family To: AOKers Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 4:42 PM Subject: Everything's
AOK 23/4/03

everything's aok 23/4/03 Ah, isn't biking great! The attached cartoon is a reminder to keep
pedalling even though the days are getting shorter and there's a nip in the air most days. I like
that bit about "getting a feel for the land" - it was a bit like that on my Wednesday ride this
morning when I bumped down those steps on the Jubilee Park singletrack and got too much speed on.
Fortunately there was a nice tree waiting to stop me. By the way, the Jubilee Park track is great at
present - nice and dry and autumn leaves everywhere. Well worth a visit. It's off Maori Rd near
Rattray St.

ON SATURDAY a merry band of about 20 who weren't away for Easter assembled at Evansdale for the Mike
Parfitt Circuit and we decided to stick together in one bunch, with many of the Tuffnuts away. By
the end of the ride we'd have encountered "car traps" and a shirty farmer. Out thru Warrington and
up the Coast road we went, only to run into Lawrence AOKers Maureen & Peter Cummings, who had their
mobile mansion on the back of their ute as they shifted camp during their Easter break. Great to see
them again and to remind them it's about time we had a Lawrence ride.

From there is was all uphill, up unsealed, pleasant Church Rd to about 300m ASL (above sea level). I
got a surprise when I rounded Hammond Hill and found we were riding DOWN towards the top of SH1 on
the Kilmog - had we really climbed that far? Bevan C played the Easter bunny and dispensed Easter
eggs - a nice surprise. Steep Hill Rd awaited across the highway, but on it I didn't encounter any
really steep hills, thankfully, then we headed south on the interestingly named Mountain Track,
which is really just like a public road, although Mike warned us we'd encounter two "car traps"
further on. What the hell were they? Mountain Track through the Silver Peaks forest proved truly
undulating, as each nice wee downhill was followed by a grunty climb, but we made good progress as
we gradually climbed to about 400m ASL. Then around a corner I saw ahead a huge bog hole where the
road should be - this was the first car trap. Well named, as I doubt a 2WD car would have got thru.
Down the road a bit we had to cross another, and they were a real test of MTB skill. Most riders
emerged from the traps with bike and clothing liberally plastered in mud and I was pleased I'd
bunged on the guards before the ride. Shona, who'd been coming the other way, met us at the second
and got right thru without putting a foot down. Oh, did I mention she was in the Suzuki 4WD?
However, she did assure us she had done plenty of riding before she got behind the wheel and was
just supporting us.

Soon we were heading down Semple Rd towards Waitati, but Mike had mapped out a more interesting
route back to Evansdale which involved hooning along a grass track beside the forest marked on the
map as Wright Rd, meaning it was apparently a paper road, although I was a bit suspicious of the
huge chain and padlock on one of the gates we crossed. At the end of the track we came across a
second gate with a huge chain and matching padlock -- and who should be unlocking the huge padlock
but a grumpy looking farmer who was taking to task the riders he'd first come across. Obviously he
thought we shouldn't have been on that particular track and there was much discussion about whether
we'd taken the right route. As usual in these cases, we just smiled lots and nodded and said "sorry"
and went on our merry way, with the farmer yelling after us: "If you were 20 years younger, I'd boot
your arses!"

Form there it was down to Evansdale on Jones Rd, which was steep and fast -- too fast, as I found
out when it suddenly degenerated into a mass of corrugations on a steeply cambered corner and my
bike skittered sideways. Before I knew it, I was off the road and up the bank, praying there weren't
any boulders or big holes waiting. Fortunately, there weren't, and I was able to regain the road
without giving blood.

And so a muddy, tired but happy crew descended on the quaint Glenhouse cafe-bar for a drink and to
reflect on what was a nice ride. Thanks, Mike.

Dist 37.1km, av spd 13.63kmh, riding time 2:43, top spd 59.4kmh.


James sent the following report on the Easter egg-citement some AOKers enjoyed in the Upper Clutha -

On Friday Ricky & I eventually made it to "Batesy's Base Camp" At The Hawea Motor Camp. Here Graham
Collins, his son Bradley, Greg Paris, Russel & Later in the day Adrian Robinson, met us. Fridays
ride took us to Dublin Bay, around Lake Wanaka, through Albert Town & along the Outlet track. The
pedestrian traffic on The Outlet track as heavy, but both riders & Walkers were courteous & gave
each other plenty of room. (Surely this could happen in Dunedin?)

Craig bates had put a wager on the fact that someone would ride off the track & into the Drink. The
only stipulation was that the crash had to be decent & the rider would be rewarded with a bottle of
wine. We all agreed that a bottle of wine sounded like a good prize? Provided that the bottle of
wine was decent. The Outlet track is well worth a ride, Those that made it, all had a wide grin on
their faces. Hang on?? Where were Greg & Russel? Had they gone for a swim? What sort of wine should
we buy them? They eventually emerged & unfortunately they were dry. They had been rescuing a
six-year-old girl who had ridden off the track & into a bush. Now it was up through The Outlet Motor
Camp & onto part of the National Cross-Country course. We only spent a very small time on the tracks
but it was more than enough to whet our appetite for more. The ride home to Hawea was done at
typical Tuff-Nuts pace and it was a relief to make it back to camp, where we showered & cooked a
massive BBQ Tea.

Saturday was a fun day, we were going to spend several hours hooning around the National
Cross-Country Course. We took the wimps option (No surely not) by driving to the site as opposed to
wasting precious time & energy riding there. The first track Craig took us on was a wee bit Gnarly.
Okay it was very tricky & a great relief to make it to the bottom. Here we met up with several blue
eyed, blonde & beautiful British tourists. Unsurprisingly we all decided to follow them. After we
had wiped up our drool it back to the tracks. The next track we did was called "Venus" we have no
idea why but we realised that it is because anyone who rides it falls in love with it. Venus is a
great track, it's fast, flowing, technical & filled with banked corners. After a few hours we
decided to head to Wanaka for lunch. While we were riding along the lakeshore someone was whistling
at us. Alas it was not a British Tourist but fellow AOKer Barry Foote. Barry would join us after
lunch where we spent a couple more hours in Paradise. The perfect ending to the perfect day we'd
planned was to watch the Highlanders whip the Hurricanes while having another big dinner at the
Hawea pub. Alas that was not to be. Apart from the rugby it was a perfect day.

On Sunday we were to ride the Motatapu. (Well half of it anyway.) We would not be doing it on our
own, though. In true AOK style we had a sag wagon - Julie Collins had kindly offered, or been
coerced into driving Craig's 4wd. Our numbers also swelled by one as Raelene Bates decided that she
wouldn't mind too much to ride with us. The climb up the Motatapu seemed to be unrelenting, I have
no idea how anyone could race it. Any downhills were met with a mixed reaction, as we knew that we
would have to ride back up them. We took our time & cruised up the valley. About 18 Km up the valley
we came to a paddock filled with cows. It was at this point that Graham Collins graciously decided
to let Julie ride his bike. Or was it because he was scared of the cows? We all made it past the
cows in one piece. We then climbed a small hill & stopped for lunch. Raelene played the Easter Bunny
& handed everyone an Easter egg. We spotted a couple of rabbits that had evaded the Easter bunny
hunters. The rabbits were huge nearly as big as Labradors! We began the trek out & thankfully it was
a lot easier than going in. Everyone seemed to having a great time, the up hills were insignificant
& the downhills were a blast. The only incident was when Craig broke a chain. There was nearly
another incident as Rick showed us how not to take a corner. He must have been about 5mm away from
ploughing straight into a bank. We all made it back to base camp. We were all very tired & basically
mountain biked out. Still it was an awesome weekend.

NEXT WEEK: It's about time we tackled the Government Track again, so at 1pm on Saturday we'll gather
at the old Berwick School, on the Berwick road where it meets the Henley-Berwick Rd (just south of
the Waipori road turnoff). Easiest way to get there is to cruise down SH1 and take the road
signposted to the Sinclair Wetlands (this is the one NORTH of Waihola). This is Henley-Berwick Rd.
There are plenty of options from here, and those not wanting to tackle the Govt Track can just head
up the Waipori road, and those wanting more adventure can come down the infamous Kowhai Spur. If the
weather's a bit southerly on Sat, don't fret, as it's lovely and sheltered in the bush. Don't be
scared of the Govt Track - it's pretty much rideable and the bush is great. Gather at the Outram pub


Our encounter with the Evansdale cockie brought to mind an interesting article on cycling I found
while doing some research at the library recently. It says:

"In 1890, the first wheeled transport appeared on Dunedin roads. It was the bicycle, more commonly
referred to these days as the safety cycle. While this was welcomed in the township, farmers on the
Peninsula became concerned for the welfare of their cattle and sheep. They claimed their animals
would panick and bolt when the wheeled monsters passed by.

"To raise money [for the Portobello road] a tollgate was established where the Vauxhall boat club is
now. The heavy toll of 5 shillings meant bicycles were more or less blocked from the road and
consequently, the bicycle became a rare sight on this road. Farmers were able to move their
livestock at will without fear of them being driven into a panic and possibly into the sea."

The article continues that the toll was later reduced to 1 shilling for bikes and cyclists began
appearing on the Portobello road once more. The tollgate disappeared in the early 1900's.


An backwoods Irishman saw a priest walking down the street. Noticing his collar, he stopped the
priest and asked: "Excuse me, why are you wearing your collar backwards?" "Because, my son, I am a
father." The Irishman replied:"I'm a father, too, but I don't wear my collar backwards!" The priest
laughed. "I am the father of thousands." The Irishman shot back: "Well, then maybe you should wear
your underwear backwards!"

Spend time behind bars!

John Fridd
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