Sunday, June 10, 2007

Great Rides - East Cape

Great Ride number two - East Cape
This ride can be taken as the long way to get between Gisborne and Opotoki or if as a big loop if you return via the Waioeka Gorge.

I've ridden around the Coast 4 times (twice as a part of the Rusty Nuts Southern Cross) and have done it in both directions. I've also ridden the Waioeka Gorge 4 times (twice in the dark on the Rusty Nuts Grand Challenge and once in the wet).

Both roads require plenty of rider attention: plenty of corners, roadworks and wandering stock (goats, cattle, sheep and even an emu!) Don't let any of this put you off - the road is a great experience and lets you use the edges of your tyres to the max.

One other thing to be aware of is fuel - there's not much on offer out there and they want plenty of cash in exchange. Coming from Opotoki there's pretty much nothing until Te Araroa, past here there's fuel in quite a few places - Ruatoria, Tolaga Bay etc.

The road out to the Cape from Te Araroa is about 20km long and is mostly gravel. I haven't actually been up to the lighthouse (bit of a climb in biking gear) but I'd say that the view would be pretty spectacular.

I guess the things that make this ride a great one is the combination of great biking roads with little traffic and some great scenery. Coming around the coast from Opotoki early in the morning on this year's Southern Cross the little bays and beaches looked fantastic - the sun was shining and the sea was flat calm.

Another thing that makes it a great ride for me is the getting there - the Napier-Wairoa-Gisborne road is also pretty great...

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