Central Otago Rail Trail - surface summary

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Patrick Keogh, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. A while back I asked a.b for advice on the surface condition of the
    Central Otago Rail Trail (South Island, NZ). I got sketchy advice, so
    now having ridden it I can at least update the group with more accurate
    information.

    I led a group ride (12 riders) mostly on MTBs, but with two riders (self
    and spouse) on road bikes with Continental Contact tyres, 32mm on
    front, and 37mm on the rear.

    The surface on the rail trail is entirely unsealed, and the is quite a
    bit of variability in the surface material and the ride quality.

    The best surface is sandy soil/clay that is level, and relatively well
    bound. On this surface you could survive on even a road bike with 25mm
    or 23mm tyres such as Gator Skins.

    The worst surface is aggregate (blue metal, basalt) angular loose rock
    with a particle size of around 20-30mm diameter. At one (and only one)
    place this resulted in my bike diving into the surface and coming to a
    complete stop.

    About 70% of the ride was "comfortable" on the Contis. For the remaining
    30% it was a matter of carefully picking the line, and dealing with the
    vibration. The MTB riders seemed to have it easy. Having said all that,
    on the hardest section we passed a guy coming the other way, also on
    drop bars, (tri bars no less) on what looked like 25mm rubber, who
    seemed deliriously happy to see other 700C bikes on the trail ;-)

    Section by section:
    - Clyde to Alexandra - good, no problems
    - Alexandra to Lauder - good to excellent
    - Lauder to Oturehua - pretty ordinary, bumpy, lots of rocks, riding in
    the tunnels on narrow tyres with no lights a little exciting...
    - Oturehua to Wedderburn - good
    - Wedderburn to Ranfurly - good (the fastest four had a pace line
    running at around 30-35kph, which is pretty good on dirt), of course my
    road bike gave me an unfair advantage in the sprint which I was happy to
    utilise ;-)
    - Ranfurly to Hyde - Variable, mostly good, but with some very rough
    sections
    - Hyde to Middlemarch - indifferent, with sections of good, and then
    lots of rocky bits

    Having said all that ... we met a guy en route who told us that there is
    a plan (and even funding) to bring the entire trail up to
    wheelchair-accessible standard. This would make it the equivalent of the
    Mountains to the Murray rail trail (easily doable and comfortable on
    touring tyres). So look out for things to improve over the next few
    months/years.

    For more info on our trip visit www.keogh.net.au/NZ
     
    Tags:


  2. Trevor_S

    Trevor_S Guest

    Patrick Keogh <[email protected]> wrote in news:44324380$1
    @mail.netspeed.com.au:

    > A while back I asked a.b for advice on the surface condition of the
    > Central Otago Rail Trail (South Island, NZ). I got sketchy advice, so
    > now having ridden it I can at least update the group with more accurate
    > information.
    >
    > For more info on our trip visit www.keogh.net.au/NZ


    <snip>

    Thanks for that

    Am thinking of going over in Nov/Dec (taking my MTB and staying for a
    month) and wated to ride this trail.


    --
    Trevor S


    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
    -Albert Einstein
     
Loading...
Loading...