The Bike Husband’s Adventure: Part 1

June 17, 2013

By Scott Fellers

So most of you are pretty familiar with the Bike Wife by now.  Being her other half I figured I should get in on this blog stuff.  Well, the other weekend she unfortunately had to work and got left behind while I headed north for a bike riding trip.  This left me to document all the great adventures!  With the idea that we wanted to ride some amazing trails and have a couple of beers, we headed to Marlborough…  I had no exact idea what I was in for, but it definitely ended up involving a few surprises, lots of laughs and good times!!

A few bikes and an electric cooler full of craft beers and home-brew, dialed.  The cooler actually plugs into the cigarette lighter; cool huh?

Packed up with the essentials, we headed off up the coast.  Somewhere along the drive as we alternated between beautiful mountains and epic coastline my mate (kiwi for “friend”) asked something like “Hey, have you heard about the waterfall that has the baby seals playing in the pool below it?”  Well no, I hadn’t.  Then he described a place I was pretty sure was made up.  That is, until he mentioned it was just up the road and we may as well stop and check it out.  Sweet as, lets see some seals!!

So after a half mile walk up a creek we were greeted by this amazing sight!
Whatcha looken at?
Here is the link to a short video of the seals. It is REALLY worth a 30 second watch!!
…no really watch it.
After our visit to what may as well have been Pandora, we headed for the trails. If I could describe my perfect ride I’d say “well I would start on a beach ride, pedal up to a cool vantage point, and then finish with a ripping descent back to a different beach and have a beer.”  And thats what we did!  We headed up to White’s Bay, just north of Blenheim.  For you non-cyclists that read this blog: it is a beautiful area with a couple of scenic beaches, good picnic spots, nice grassy camping, and beautiful hikes. For those of you that ride, the trails are killer and thats all you need to know!!
So who wouldn’t want to start a ride here!
View from the first switchback.
The downhill is about to get real rowdy as soon as the trail goes out of view!!  Was having way to much fun to stop and take pictures though!
After a couple of hours riding and one hell of a descent, you pop out at the top of these stairs and drop down to the beach!
And then you have a beer and laugh about all the times you almost crashed!!  Job well done!
Oh, and notice the wedding party taking pictures in the background!!
We couldn’t let the wedding party get all the good sunset pics!!  Richey and myself having fun!

That night we set up camp in the dark. We awoke to the sound of sheep, and found that we had ended up in quite the nice little spot.  After a killer french toast breakfast we headed deep into the hills for what was supposedly going to be a 4 hour shuttle.

This is still Kristen’s blog so I had to get a sheep picture!
Our camp spot… Not to bad for being in the town of Blenheim.

Knowing my riding company, I knew this wouldn’t be some easy ride even if it was a shuttle. I filled the Camel Back full of water, chucked in the kneepads and got prepared for just about anything! After numerous creek crossings in the van and about 700 meters (2000 feet) up, we unloaded our bikes and headed out for a trek!

I had to hit this little drop to get things started on the right track!  From here we climbed another 1000 feet, and then descended back down to flats you can see way below!
One of the huts along the way.  New Zealand is famous for its huts deep in the backcountry that you can stay in while hiking or biking way in the middle of nowhere!
Mel making sure she climbed as far up the hill as she possibly could!!
A family of Wekas (a NZ flightless bird know for being curious and brave) came up to see if they could get any scraps.  We were pretty hungry by this point in the ride, but we couldn’t help but feed them a little.  Oh and they make a noise that sounds like a pig… real weird!!

Once again the trail was too fun and technical to want to stop and take too many pictures.  At one point (after the hut pictured above) we were descending and we chased a wild goat down the trail for a few minutes. Those things can haul ass!! I also learned that rocks in this area tend to be covered with the most slippery moss I have ever encountered, making some of the sections more than a handful! The 3 of us couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces as we charged over roots, slid off rocks, over drops and railed corners. Finally our arms hurt from all the descending and we had to stop and take a breather! Then we did it again….(I hope this post gets at least 1 person to book a ticket to come down here and ride!)

It tilts down quite a bit more after this point.  Once that happened it didn’t take long to start doubling up roots and green rocky lumps!!
After descending 3000ish feet of amazing trail through the woods, we stopped for some lunch.  It just so happened this old hut was lurking in the woods just off the meadow we stopped in.  I think it was appropriately called Devil’s Hut.
No beach to end this ride, just a beautiful creek!!

Pleasantly worn out, we were picked up by a friend some hours later.  We went off for a meat pie and a couple well deserved scoops of ice cream (a Kiwi lunch!) After 2 hard days in the saddle, it was easy to fall asleep early and get ready for the biggest, longest ride yet…  Tomorrow’s ride had the promise of a “pet eel.” You never know what you will find around here!

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of my sweet adventure!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Come on, you must want to tell me something!