41st annual “Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge”
Tomorrow – Saturday is the BIG biking weekend for Taupo (& NZ) with the 41st annual “Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge” race, 7,000 participants, over 10,000 supporters, so we continue the biking theme – Turangi’s version.
Following our description of the bike trail from Tree Trunk Gorge we received this account from one of the bikers… TRM are reliably advised by those who know that this mountain bike ride through the Kaimanawas will definitely happen one day. It is not a matter of “if” but “when”. It is such a beautiful part of the world that the only mystery is why it has not happened before? See what one TRM biker has to say about it.
Many thanks for your hospitality over last weekend and the route advice, maps and transport to Tree Trunk Gorge. It was a great trip and an enjoyable time in Turangi. I have written a small piece below, for your website.
If you are looking for a mountain bike ride with a difference then Ross at Tongaririo River Motel in Turangi has the answer: a full days ride of 40 or 50 km taking in 2 native bush tracks, a surreal canal ride, a blistering forest road and a wiggly river trail.
Ross did all our organising for us, supplying maps, arranging our access permission, and even driving us to the start of the ride at Tree Trunk Gorge.
We headed off downhill on the Tree Trunk Gorge track which winds its way through beech forest to the valley floor where the ferns and tall trees are practically primeval. Some more sweet bush riding on twisty singletrack took us to the Tongariro river at the Pillars of Hercules. We then decided to add 10 km on to our ride by heading up the mountain bike track signposted, up to the Desert Road. We didn’t realise why that was a bit of a slog until we turned round to come back on what became a fast descent that needed concentration to avoid both the overhanging branches and the ruts beneath us.
Back at the Pillars we picked up the Forest road and climbed out of the valley leading us to a road with another bridge over the impressive Tongariro river gorge. From here, Ross had given us directions to pick up the canal outflow from the power station.
But if we thought that was fast, the next 5km downhill on a gravel forest road was even quicker.
Traveling at a steady 25 – 30 km/hr we were careful not to touch the brakes at the wrong time or catch a pot hole.
This was a fitting end to the ride as we weaved between the trees climbing above the river before descending back into Turangi.
The whole adventure had taken us 6 hours to cover 50 km. Thanks Ross, a great day’s riding!
Also other emailed requests asking for a copy of the TRM map through this region, to which TRM replied: