This is the latest “cool” style of mature trout angler transport seen more often now on the Tongariro River Trail. It makes so much sense for effortless faster more comfortable access to the well-known pools located too far from the swing bridges. Then if some other angler has beaten you and already taken up residence in your selected pool and is not moving on, it is no effort to just cruise on to the next pool. It opens up the middle river pools on TRB (True Right Bank) from Silly Pool, Cattle Rustlers, Barlows Reach, Stag Pool, Kamahi Pool – all easily accessible in style. The only obvious problem I am sure you have spotted – the rear fish bin will not be large enough to carry the usual daily limit bag.
For many years TRM encouraged trout fishos to try bikes along the Tongariro River Trail. The only suitable bikes available are variations of mountain bikes. These have front suspension and sometimes rear suspension, and are more rugged for a pumice track. But one of the problems is the configuration as they are designed for speed, not comfort.
So many years ago TRM decided to find suitable bikes. The nearest we found was also the furthest away – on the Otago Rail Trail. We added pannier bags and rod tubes etc. for anglers’ use. Rental bike companies on the Otago Rail Trail were ten years ahead of the rest of NZ bike trails. They also discovered that the usual mountain bikes were unsuitable for tourists. The handlebars were level or lower than the seats to maximise effective leg power. This meant the biker was bent over and unable to look around to enjoy the view. The rental companies customised their bikes to make them more user-friendly and assembled the bare frames for tourist-style trail biking.
So TRM bought in their one-year-old rental bikes for use by inmates on the Tongariro River Trail. They had already raised the handlebars and had wide comfortable seats and were much more suitable than the usual bike shop racey versions. One of the advantages were that on the rail trail they had hardly used the gears as it was so level. Unfortunately, TRM bikes were so popular they were picked on and pinched by local kids so often that they have now been removed to remove the attraction. By now, many years later, anyone who wants to bike the trail already have their own bikes so TRM’s fleet is not needed and has now been “retired”…
But what we really want to comment on is so many instances where we introduced anglers to the advantages of biking. At first, they resisted as they had not ridden a bike since school days etc. and preferred the long rural walks (waddling in waders) to the middle pools, but once they tried biking they were instant converts. The next time they visited they had a bike rack attached. If you have not tried the modern generation of ebikes then we encourage you to visit any one of these bike trails and hire one to discover just how much fun they really are.
The most popular bike trail from TRM has developed from the easy-peasy 12 km Tongariro River Trail to the 50 km trail mainly downhill BIG DAY OUT from the Tree Trunk Gorge following the Tongariro River back to TRM with some very surprising features. Long after the bikers have forgotten where the trail led, they will always remember the pee stop/drink stop is compulsory. To keep it as a surprise we cannot comment further… as it may be illegal too? That makes it more fun…
Go on – live dangerously!