(Biking update from Timber Trail Lodge)
Biking is Booming
This past week they held an NZCT (New Zealand Cycle Trails) workshop in Taumarunui, and the NZCT AGM in Wellington. The whole cycling scene is so exciting just now, and the clear message is that it’s going to grow and grow into the future.
The government is seeing the benefits of its investment in creating Te Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycleway, and promoting cycling to the New Zealand public. Local councils, including the three in close proximity to the Timber Trail, are all supporting cycling, recognising the huge benefits to regional economies.
Tourism New Zealand is heavily promoting bike tourism. Internationally cycling is booming, and New Zealand is creating a special name for itself as a great place to ride and enjoy amazing scenery and have special journeys.
A few points that we felt are particularly interesting:
- Ebikes are going to be HUGE. In the next decade they could double the number of people using the cycleways, i.e. 50% of bikes could be electric assisted bikes! (and yes we will have charging facilities at the lodge!)
- 10% of Kiwis who will have a holiday in New Zealand in the next year are interested in using a multi-day cycle trail.
- Two thirds of people using New Zealand cycleways are over 50 years old.
- The Timber Trail is being seen as one of the real gems amongst the Great Rides, and there is lots of anticipation around our new lodge.
Photos from the weekend are keen “new” bikers, Winifred from Waiau Pa (South of Auckland) and Linda from Greytown, who met up at TRM for a ‘get fit’ weekend biking the trails. Wini is now considering the Great NZ Trek as the next challenge for 2017… more on that will follow.
As the warmer weather approaches the demand for bikes increases. For novices, wondering what the biking craze is all about (?) the nearby Tongariro River Trail is an ideal test track to try out.
From tTRM the loop trail follows both sides of the Tongariro River with loop distances varying from 3 km for the shortest loop with good lookout over Turangi and Lake Taupo, to the longer 12-13 km loop up to Red Hut Bridge. This longer track has several options available with very different characteristics.
The contours follows the river so could be described as gently undulating and ideal for novices (and elderly anglers). It mainly follows the original angler access tracks which were linked up about five years ago to provide a very pleasant tourist trail.
A focal point for a rest is the Trout Centre. Toilets are located at intervals around the trail. The surroundings vary from farm land to conifer groves to fern gullies to mature native forest elevated above the Tongariro River. In several places there are wide river scenic views to rest and watch anglers casting into the Tongariro River.
In addition there are several side tracks down to delightful picnic spots overlooking the river. Everyone who has tried this trail raves about it as ideal for family groups or novices getting into the biking scene.
The longer loop takes about one hour ‘riding time’ plus any stops for rests or Trout Centre, etc.
Photo on right is Philly & Annika from Hamilton as they finished their circuit.
A warning – last Sunday TRM had a family group – father, mother and son booked their bikes intending to complete the Tongariro River Trail. They collected their bikes late afternoon and we warned them to make sure they returned before darkness fell as there is no lighting on the track. It can be a spooky place on a dark night.
We drove up and down the river side streets wondering if they were lost. Then eventually they were discovered by SAR (Search and Rescue) still enjoying their ride in the dark back to the motel.
They caused a lot of anguish for everyone. So SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages everything in Turangi…) has introduced a new policy that bikes will not be allowed out within 2 hours of dusk. OK? Never a dull moment at TRM…
If you want more info enjoy the Tongariro River Trail video.
If you enjoy biking don’t forget the Waihaha Trail – one of our best kept secrets…