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The latest goRide stories

Hamner Forest Park – biking with kids

April 28, 2017
When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride at a fun destination, like Hamner Forest Park with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do. In this story I am going to introduce you to the idea of spending a ‘great day’ mountain biking with kids.  In this particular case at the Hamner Forest Park, Hamner Springs, South Island , New Zealand. Hamner Forest Park for Mountain Biking – Where is it? The main entry into the Hamner Forest Park is located 1km from the town of Hamner Springs on Jollies Pass Road. There is parking options at the forest entrance though with its close location to town and the village many choose to ride along Jollies Pass road to the Forest Park. There are a couple of small tracks the run along the road side so the 1 km  journey to the Park is a combination of off road and on road. If you need to hire bikes they are available at Hamner Springs Adventure Centre The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders (kids) you are biking with. The length of this ride is entirely at your discretion you have a few kilometers  of, easy, intermediate, advanced and expert grade single track trails to choose from. With a larger proportion of the tracks being easy or intermediate it makes the Hamner Forest Park a great playground for families with kids of all ages. If they can ride a bike there is something here for them. The Park is located on both sides of Jollies pass Road. If heading out of town the tracks on the right are relatively flat and where you will find the easy graded trails and the tracks on the left other than the ones close to the entrance are primarily intermediate and advanced trails. EASY SUGGESTED ROUTES From the forest entrance, on the right there is the 6.5km Easy Rider loop best ridden anticlockwise. This is a relatively flat ride,with some small pitches, trees and tree roots to negotiate. The ‘Easy Rider’ is  a perfect introduction to off road riding. You can vary the distance if 6.5km is too long. Ride a certain distance (maybe to the pump track) turn around and ride back or create a shorter loop with Alligator Alley. If they are have not mountain biked before they may not be able to negotiate everything on the track.. let them know it is OK to walk a section that is all part of the fun of mountain biking … is it doable? If they enjoyed the easy rider and were comfortable with the skills needed to do the trail you could try Camp and Base Camp (this is a new track and currently not shown on the Mountain Bike Map at time of writing) located on the left and both graded easy…is it doable?

The Homestead Run – St James Cycle Trail biking with Kids, Hamner Springs

April 27, 2017
When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do.  In this story I am going to introduce you to the idea of spending a ‘great day’ mountain biking The Homestead Run – on the St James Cycle Trail with kids.  A trail easily accessed from the popular holiday destination of Hamner Springs in the South Island of New Zealand. The Homestead Run –  Where is it? The start and finish is located  approximately 12km from Hamner Springs. You need to drive via Jacks Pass and Tophouse Road to the St James Homestead where off road parking is available. This road is primarily a gravel backcountry road, and is suitable for most cars. The St James Homestead is the finish of the St James Cycle Trail. If you need to hire bikes they are available at Hamner Springs Adventure Centre The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders (kids) you are biking with. The length of The Homestead Run is 15km and is graded easy by St James Cycle Trail. The Homestead Run is a cycle loop (starting and finishing at the St James Homestead) and is a combination of single track and 4WD tracks. The terrain is some gravel and rock but is generally well compacted. Section One:  Involves a 7km ride on single trail up the beautiful Peters Valley to Peters Pass. This is a very gradual sustained climb up the valley. The trail is not technical so the riders need to be capable of a gentle gradual sustained climb for 7km. The views and country side are rewarding as you ride up to the pass…so at least for the adults it doesn’t feel like 7km. Section Two: Involves a 4.2 km ride on 4WD track and some single track towards Tophouse Road. At the end of the single track up Peters Valley you come to a T intersection. Turning left will take you further into the the St James Cycle Trail heading towards Scotties Hut but The Homestead Run Loop has you turning right and riding towards the adjacent valley – Top House Road and the Clarence River (note the turning right for The Homestead Run  is not signposted).  Having reached the high point of Peters Pass this section is mainly downhill on compacted gravel and rocky road. After initially biking along the 4WD track you come to a section of single trail which is marked with St James Cycle Trail poles and runs adjacent to Tophouse Road. Section Three: Involves the final 3km ride along Tophouse Road. This is a back country 4WD road that connects St Arnaud (Lake Rotoiti) through the Rainbow Station to Hamner Springs. You can therefore encounter 4WD vehicles and dust. This back country road through the Rainbow is well used by bikers so the vehicles are warned

First Aid & Emergency Kit for Bike Touring

April 12, 2017
Are you thinking about going on a multi day bike adventure? You need a first aid & emergency kit for bike touring but you’re not quite sure what to put in it?  Well keep reading… With the development of so many off road trails it has become quite easy to be “remote” on your bike fairly quickly.  When you choose to go places on your bike that help can’t get to quickly there has to be some self responsibility.  A simple part of that is your first aid management. Get Ready – Women Learning What to Do What’s in a First Aid & Emergency Kit for bike touring?  To follow is a list of what is important to take with you when you or your family go riding for 2 or more days.  How much or how big your kit gets depends on whether your bike trail takes you through urban areas (access to medical help or a pharmary) like on the WestCoast Wilderness Trail.  Compare that to riding The Heaphy or Old Ghost Road. For information on a basic day or overnight kit for biking read this story.  It’s a good idea to start with a compact bike specific kit then add to it what you think would be helpful – depending on the size of your group.  Otherwise you could take 2 compact kits. triangular & crepe bandages blister plaster sterile adhesive & non-adhesive dressings sterile wound dressing sterile skin closures scissors cleansing wipes eye wash/wound irrigation strapping tape survival blanket (one for each person in group) pocket knife CPR shield splinter probe safety pins, cotton buds anti-flam cream chamois cream pain killers insect repellant (optional) whistle, cell phone &/or responder beaken if backcountry touring with no cell phone coverage Include any personnel medication Where should I carry it? Think easy, quick access so don’t pack it at the bottom of a bag.  A first aid & emergency kit would be best in a handlebar bag/frame bag/seat bag.  Positioned near the top. Not sure what kind of bike specific first aid kit would be right for YOU?  Take a look at our Bike First Aid Supplies Buying Guide for more help. So someones had a fall….What now? You will need to find and access the injury.  Have they lost consciousness at all?  How serious is the damage… don’t move anyone until you are sure that no neck or back damage has occured.  Get them comfortable, give them time, sort out any basic first aid that you can.  Now you need to make a plan If they can carry on riding:    Be patient, they may lose confidence, let them take their time. Turning back/fastest way out:   This means they will be uncomfortable, may need regular stops, keep accessing for shock, give food & water regularly Can’t move:   Get them as comfortable and as warm as possible.  Use emergency blankets.  Decisions will need to be made about alerting help – cellphone call to friends/family, calling emergency services, setting off a responder beaken which will summon a helicoptor.   Signs of Hypothermia If you are bike touring

Basic First Aid Kit for Bike Injuries

March 30, 2017
If you have a bike/bikes in your garage that get used, having a first aid kit designed to deal with bike related injuries is practical.  Don’t you think?  So do you have one?  A first aid kit for bike injuries doesn’t have to be huge just easy to access and ready when you most need it.  This means that 10 times out of 10 it should be with you on your big day rides or family rides. Every family has a story of the “best” one.  The accident that left everyone cringing or the near miss where you are sighing with relief.  We have a few in our family but the most memorial are the combination of a pre-schooler & a speed bump resulting in a badly split upper lip and a lot of blood a pre-teen not making the top of a rise, tipping backwards off the track into a fallen tree and fortunately impaling her t-shirt (not her body) on a broken branch WHEN should you take a bike first aid kit?  Well the choice is yours. It may depend on the type of riding you or your family enjoy to do the most and the level that you push yourselves to.  If I’m going anywhere with the kids that I consider slightly remote (in kid distances) I will carry a small first aid kit with me.  This includes into any mountain bike parks.  Small kits are so light and worth having immediately when kids need them.  It’s a magic water kind of trick where a plaster or a sterile wipe can make a world of difference. For myself, anything that takes me over an hour “out” on an off road/mountain bike track.  Especially if vehicle access is difficult. HOW should I carry a bike first aid kit? Here are some ideas for small, compact, day or simple overnight kits; in a packback/hydration bag in a seat bag that goes under a seat handlebar bags are ideal as they give quick access frame bags that attach inside the triangles your frame makes in the car at the end of the track.  There is obvious risk with this choice but it does mean your kit can be bigger than what you would comfortably carry.  We recommend carrying a small kit and keeping extra’s in the car especially if your family/riding group is bigger than 2-3 people   Broken bones and concussion can happen with bike accidents.  If you have any concerns take them to your doctor or accident clinic immediately. Warning signs of concussion include headaches, tiredness, memory loss, confusion, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, sensitivity to light or noise. At home waiting… At an absolute minimum have some kind of biking first aid kit ready to deal with injuries as the cyclists in your family arrive home.  Ideally what you would have at home waiting is a refill kit so that if you do need to use some products in your mobile kit you have spares to fill up the gaps.  This avoids those situations where you grab for the kit to find everything you want gone!! My last piece of advice involves knowledge

The Old Ghost Road – Choose the Challenge

March 23, 2017
In terms of jaw dropping, awe inspiring multi-use trails in New Zealand.  This track is one of, if not, THE best.  Run by the Mokihiuni Lyell Backcountry Trust since 2008, it offers you 85km of singletrack riding.  Visit the website at www.oldghostroad.org.nz to book huts (essential) and see up to date trail information.  Also visit their facebook page “The Old Ghost Road“. Advice & Tips I rode The Old Ghost Road with a group of women with really varied mountain biking experience which showed me that maybe life is too short to say no that’s too hard for me.  Fitness & food are key components in being able to enjoy your experience.  Lack of both means tiredness and this type of track is unforgiving of tired riders. The Old Ghost Road is definitely a mountain bike track – it’s rated grade 4, with two grade 4-5 sections.  There are several long grinding climbs, amazingly narrow ridgeline tracks, lots of steps to contend with and technical descents to deal with.  A few sections require you to dismount and push your bike between gates otherwise it’s up to your skill level but do expect to be carrying and pushing your bike through sections.  This is a multi use, two way track so expect to come across trampers. Because of the slow steady 1200m elevation gain from the Lyell end, it is recommended, for bikers, that the track is tackled from Lyell. Lyell is found on State Highway 6 in the Upper Buller Gorge.  It is 35km south of Murchison – the nearest town.  From the Lyell end a great day trip can be had up to the Lyell Saddle Hut (12km one way, 24km return).  Or if time and fitness permit an in & out adventure to Ghost Lake Hut (30km one way, 60km return). You should only attempt a back country ride like this if you are fit & confident on a mountain bike.  It’s a big ride however you choose to tackle it.  Start each day as early as possible to give yourself time for resting, viewing & eating along the way. The best piece of advice we were given before we left was to take it all in and not get focused on “getting” to our nights accommodation. What you will see! At times it seems like every corner gives you another view better than the last.  Even when the last view left you speechless…here is a gallery of my top 6 photos and my goodness it was hard to stop at 6. How did we go about seeing all that… TWO days riding, TWO nights accommodation, ONE day travelling Nelson to Lyell Reserve Carpark via van.  Lyell to Ghost Lake Hut 30km Ghost Lake Hut to Rough & Tumble Lodge 55km.  This lodge is right at the end of the track – Seddonville is a further 4km (Hotel & campground options) Travel, relocated from Seddonville to Lyell (2hrs). Swapping bikes & gear at Lyell Historic Reserve/Carpark (1hr), Lyell to Nelson via van (2hrs) Several transport partners offer a shuttle relocation from Seddonville/Rough &

How to Buy a Bike Tube

March 16, 2017
So you need to buy a bike tube?  But you don’t know what to buy…This simple story explains bike tube sizes.  It shows you where to find the information you need on your tyre.  Then it gives you a quick explanation of valves and pressure so you can use your bike tube properly. Women Learning Bike Parts – The Bike Tube What is it?  A rubber inner that sits inside the bike tyre. It is this inner that gets filled with air and gives you a comfortable, smooth ride on your bike wheels, if it is pumped up correctly. Why do I need a spare one?  A lot of people choose to carry a spare bike tube with them as part of their bike tool kit.  This means if you happen to get a flat tyre you can simply replace the tube and get on your way rather than repairing the puncture with a puncture repair kit.  Having spare tubes at home, that match all the bike wheel sizes you have, makes any repair/replacement jobs quicker & less frustrating. What size is your bike tube?  Embossed on the side wall of your tyre you will find all the information you need to know about your tube. This is represented in diameter x width e.g. 26 x 2.0 (see the photos below).  The diameter is the diameter of your wheel – this changes depending on the type of bike and size of the bike e.g. kids bikes come in a range of wheel sizes starting at 12inches…16 inches..20 inches…up to 24 inches.  This is where the adult sizes kick in 26inches, 27.5 and 29inches. Road bikes are different again their diameter is 650 to 700C (this is not a cm measurement but millimetres, the C is an A to D system).   Width is the width of your tyre.  Remember that your tube sits inside your tyre and when it is full of air it is the tube that allows the tyre to hold it’s intended shape.  The width changes depending on the purpose of the bike – generally the wider the tyre the rougher the terrain it is used on.  Skinny tyres give you smooth fast riding so are great for the road – flat, smooth, even surfaces. More about your Bike Tube VALVES – PRESTA & SCHRADER.  The valve is attached to the tube and it sticks through the rim of your wheel.  The valve is where the air goes in to inflate your bike tube. You will either have a presta (skinny) or schrader (fat) valve.  Your bike pump needs to match your valve.  Most bike pumps can work with both valves the process is just slightly different – watch our Pumping Up a Bike Tyre video to learn more.  Also note that a presta valve has a nut on the tip that must be unscrewed to allow air to flow.   PSI – POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH. The pressure to inflate your tube up to is called PSI (pounds per square inch). You will generally find a range from a minimum to a maximum PSI, again, written on the sidewall of

Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with Kids

March 2, 2017
When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride at a fun destination, like Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park with kids, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike with kids there are simple things to think about, plan and do. In this story I am going to introduce you to the idea of spending a ‘great day’ mountain biking with kids.  In this particular case at the Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park at Kaiteriteri, Tasman. Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park – Where is it? Located 1km from the Kaiteriteri main beach on Martin Farm Road.  Alternative entry/exit at Bethany Park Holiday Camp or on the main road into Kaiteri following The Great Taste Trail. Parking can be difficult right at the park entrance, 100m further up the road is entry to a trailer park which gives you direct access to the beginning of the tracks.  This trailer park can be extremely busy in summer and not open in winter. There is parking on the Kaiteriteri water front – again in summer this is very busy with holiday makers and tourists. The Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park is run by an incorporated society of volunteers and is also part of The Great Taste Trail.  It does not require a permit to ride in but donations for track maintenance and development are appreciated.  You can either buy a Park Tag for $20 or put a donation into the box at the park entrance. If you need to hire bikes see Trail Journeys on the Kaiteriteri waterfront….   The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders (kids) you are biking with. The length of this ride is entirely at your discretion you have approximately 30km of grade 2, easy, to grade 5, advanced, single track to choose from but if your kids don’t mountain bike as a sport they will be restricted to the easy to moderate tracks. EASY SUGGESTED ROUTE From the main entrance, Easy Rider gives you access to the park and as the name suggests ‘Easy Rider’ is wide, smooth and gently undulating – a perfect introduction to off road riding.  Easy Rider takes you 3km (6km return) to the eastern edge of the park with the last 500m being a downhill switchback (tight cornering) section until it stops at the road.  Your only option here is to continue along The Great Taste Trail cycle track back towards Riwaka (approximately 5km) or to turn around and go back the way you came.  So before taking on the down and up assess your kids energy levels!! Easy Rider is one of the only two way tracks in the park so expect riders coming towards you and use your bike bell on blind corners. To enter onto any of the other tracks in the park basic mountain biking skills will be needed but again the easiest tracks are well designed for beginners.  Just be aware that the tracks will be narrower, have more challenging undulations, climbing sections and tighter corners so ideally your kids should be riding a bike with gears.

Kids Bike Pants – Do they need them?

February 24, 2017
When kids are doing something they love they can just keep at it forever.  My task orientated boy highlighted this during the recent summer holidays when he basically never got off his bike.  For 6 mornings in a row the first words out of his mouth were, ‘Can we do “Jaws” today?’ (Jaws is a super fun, flowing track in Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park, Tasman).  On would go his kids bike pants and off out the door to get his bike ready. Now this is great but boy, his poor wee body.  Spring time had bought with it a lot of wind and rain.  This meant we had spent hardly any time on the bikes and now here he was practically attached to it. What helped?  Well for all his bits down there, his bike pants. Do they need kids bike pants? Protection In my experience kids bike pants provide protection where it’s needed.  Yes they add an element of comfort but because children are so light weight they get less of a pain in their sit bones than adults.  What I’ve heard families talk about for both girls and boys is squashed bits (think soft tissue on a bike seat for a long time).  Also chaffing around the soft tissue area because of sweat and cotton underwear (see our story on Fabric for Activewear).  This is the main benefit of kids bike pants, and an important one.  It really influences the ability of your kids to enjoy longer distances and/or multiple days riding. Do they need kids bike pants? Places to go With the huge advances in bike technology over the past 15 years, kids can now ride bikes with gearing & suspension.  This allows them to go long distances and places they wouldn’t have been able to get to before. The infrastructure has changed dramatically with so many purpose built, safe, off road options to ride on.  Children are now regularly riding on trails or in areas like: one of the fantastic NZ Cycle Trail rides.  Read these stories about riding these trails with kids Alps to Ocean, WestCoast Wilderness Trail, Nelson to Kaiteriteri cycle pathways around your city or town mountain bike parks catering for beginners.  Read our Craters of the Moon, Taupo story for an example of families mountain biking together family biking holidays to cycle hubs e.g. Nelson/Kaiteri, Rotorua/Taupo, Queenstown Do they need kids bike pants? Being like Mum or Dad Like adults children enjoy wearing clothing that is designed for a specific task and if riding is their main sport or a big part of what you choose to do as a family padded riding pants should be considered.  It prepares them mentally for what’s about to come and makes them feel a part of the group.  They see adults wearing bike pants so want to be a part of that coummunity too.  The fun colours of goUnders also makes them smile…

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