Spring Riding Tips – Enjoy More Time On Your Bike

Spring Riding Tips – Enjoy More Time On Your Bike

Welcome to Spring riding tips.  It is easy to enjoy this season on your bike or as we like to think enjoy more riding in the warmer weather.  You just need to be aware of what conditions you are potentially riding in and have solutions to any challenges.  

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
handlebar bag

Spring – the season to ride more 

To enjoy Spring on your bike you need to get ready with some extra gear or bike accessories.  Some additions are for safety, others to help with your temperature management.  During Spring you may choose to ride more often and go a bit further than you have been in Winter… what does this mean for your comfort & safety?

Everyone will have a slightly different list of requirements to keep them smiling while Spring riding.  Just pick out the tips you think apply to you, in terms of how you would like to ride in Spring.  If your bike of choice is an E-Bike all this stuff applies – perhaps more – as you can go further and the weather may change on you.

It’s always the right season to check over your bike and make sure all the parts and components are good to go.  Things will wear out over time.  Check tyre treads, handlebar grip surfaces, saddles, chains & sprockets, brake cables…

The Bike & Your Comfort

Warmer weather and longer days naturally leads itself to more time on the bike and more opportunities to enjoy that time.  Prevent any issues arising from this increased riding by protecting your contact points.  Choose products that support comfort or prevent problems.

At your saddle you can add padding in the form of a chamois sewn into padded bike underwear or bike pants.  You could try out a gel seat cover to help adjust to riding again if you have taken a bit of a break over winter.  You could try some natural Chamois Cream to prevent any problems from starting or to help with any issues.

At your hands choose to wear some gloves that will support good hand placement and give some cushioning if you are now planning to ride off road on bumpier surfaces or just over longer trails.

FURTHER READING:

Chamois – How to choose the correct chamois for the riding you do

Chamois Cream – When do you use chamois cream?

Chaffing – How to prevent chaffing on the bike

Sit Bones – How to manage any aches or pains

Women riding bikes

Contact points with your bike should be protected as you ride further in Spring

Unpredicatble Weather

Spring brings with it the challenge of unpredictable, changeable weather.  So we recommend whenever you ride to go prepared.  Temperatures can fluctuate and if the sun suddenly disappears, or goes down earlier than you where expecting, you can get cold rather quickly.  Light, breathable layers are always a good choice when riding.  Things that are easy to take off and get on.  Be aware of your temperature and keep yourself protected from wind chills with thermals or lightweight jackets or vests.

FURTHER READING:

Waterproof or Breathable: Jackets Explained

Riding Clothing: Fabric choice

Choose the correct chamois

Lightweight, easy to carry packable jackets are great to have if Spring weather changes

Be Safe When You Ride

Bells, lights, taking water, packing a first aid kit… what do you need to be safe in the environments you are planning to ride in?

As you ride more, you will need to clean and check your bike and riding gear more.  This will keep you and the family safe every time you choose to head out on a bike.

FURTHER READING:

Mountain Biking – Am I Safe to Ride?

Bike Cleaning for You & the Kids

Choose a challenge

It is always great to have a goal in mind or something that will inspire you to go somewhere you haven’t been.  Whether this involves a series of small rides in fun places or building up to a bigger challenge.  This can be individual, with the family or you can involve others, whatever suits.  You could even simply choose to ride your bike more around town, leaving the car at home.  We invite you to read through our extensive range of riding stories… RIDE MORE PLACES

 

youth mountain bike helmet

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

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The Coppermine Trail – Nelson NZ

The Coppermine Trail – Nelson NZ

When we make the effort and take the time to go for a ride, we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To have a ‘great day’ on the bike there are simple things to think about, plan and do.  In this story I am going to introduce you to riding The Coppermine Trail in Nelson, NZ

 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
Where is it and how to get there?
Located a short way from Nelson City Centre this track is easily accessed.  You can start the track up the Maitai Valley (around 5km).  Parking space is available just before the Maitai Campground.  From here cross the bridge and head left up the 4W drive road which will take you up onto the Tantragee Saddle and you can join the start of the Dun Mountain Trail.

Alternatively you can park up Brook Street at Codgers Mountain Bike Park.  If you head into the MTB park the main climbing track is the Dun Mountain Trail.  Parking here means you will have to come all the way down the Maitai Valley, back into Nelson, then head back up to Brook Street to complete your loop.

The ride – is it doable for you?

The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders you are biking with.
The Coppermine is approximately, a 38km loop and is one of the best day rides in New Zealand. It is a remote alpine track that offers stunning views of Tasman Bay and surrounds.  For the average rider, 4 to 6 hours is needed to complete the loop.

Classed as a technical Grade 4 track because of the 10km downhill section.  It is best suited to fit, experienced single track riders and we strongly recommend riding in a group.   If you don’t feel your riding has reached a grade 4 level you can climb to the top (Third House) and return the same way.  This climbing track offers a steady wide downhill ride.
The biking surface varies from compacted dirt, gravel and rocks as you climb through a native beech forest up into rocky alpine tussock.  The downhill section involves a lot of switchbacks then opens up to flow along side the river – stunning!

The trail is best suited to riding a full suspension or hard tail mountain bike.  For enjoyment a good gear range is needed for the climb.  This day ride is a favourite with Electric Mountain Bike riders.  You will need some way to carry extra gear.  A 10-20L day pack, large frame bag or a rear carrier suitable for attachment to a mountain bike are ideal.  See the following links for what we think are best matched to your carrying needs – Womens Hydration BackPackThe Rear Lightweight Carrier (compatible with full suspension mountain bikes).

Please be aware that The Coppermine is a dual use track.  Day walkers and trampers will be on the trail so watch your speed and be in control, especially on the downhill section.

Windy Point is very well named!
Coppermine Saddle, 878m, looking back to the track just climbed.
View of the river from bridge crossing
Safety

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you will always want to be safe. Check out the guide ‘Mountain Biking – Am I Safe to goRide?’ for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.  It has some great tips for this kind of extended day trip.

The Coppermine is an isolated back country ride.  You will need to be prepared to complete this ride safely so you must carry extra gear yourself or within the group.  This includes water, food, tool kit and sufficient clothing.  It can be very cold across the exposed top section of this ride even on a sunny day.

Ride in a group and always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back.

 

Will this ride work for your friends or family?
Does the ride fit with what you want to achieve? This trail can be split into three distinct sections.

  • Maitai Valley/Brook Street to Third House – @ 12km of steady up hill climbing on a Grade 3 track. One to two hours.
  • Third House to Coppermine Saddle, past Windy Point – 6km.  Single track traverse across rocky, exposed trail.  Thirty minutes to one hour.
  • Coppermine Saddle to Maitai Valley/Brook Street – @ 20km.  From the saddle there is a 10km fast, flowing Grade 4 downhill section that pops you out at the Maitai Dam.  From here the trail follows the river all the way down the valley.  One & a half to two & a half hours.

Here is a link provided by the Nelson City Council –  map of Coppermine Trail ride

This ride is suitable for kids who are bike fit and into their bike riding.  If you are considering taking children around this loop you MUST prepare them well and they should be confident riders who aren’t put off by a big climb.  Throwing a bike tow rope into your bag would be a great way to offer them assistance, if needed, on the climb. We know of local Nelson kids as young as 8yrs old that have completed this trail.

 

Enjoy the experience and have fun

If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride.

Some things that you could plan to discover on the Coppermine Trail:

  • The trail begins on the Dun Mountain Walkway and you will see various information boards telling you the history of this area. This section of the trail is known as the old tramway. A narrow gauge, horse-drawn operation that is considered New Zealand’s very first railway. It was used to transport chromium copper from hillside mines – hence the name ‘Coppermine’.
  • The Maitai Caves. After crossing the Maitai South Branch Bridge at the base of the downhill section, there is a left turn on the track signposted to the Maitai Caves. This is a worthwhile side trip!  You will have to lock your bike to a tree as the 30 minute walk is not suitable for bikes. We recommend taking a light to explore inside the cave.
  • Swimming.  The close proximity to the river offers easy access to multiple swimming holes.  So if the weather is on your side it is well worth the experience of a refreshing dip!
  • Codgers MTB Park.  If you choose to start up Brook St and have the energy for extra riding, the MTB park is a fun place to ride with trails to suit most abilities.

 

Resting, refuel at the bottom of The Coppermine Trail downhill section.
There are multiple places to take a swim along the way.
The Maitai Cave walking track.  A rewarding addition to your ride.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Maitai Valley Trail – Nelson

Maitai Valley Trail – Nelson

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 riding with kids along the Maitai Valley Trail in Nelson, NZ

 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

Where is it and how to get there?

Located a short way from Nelson City Centre this track is easily accessed.  You can join the track along the banks of the Maitai River in town or you can head up the Maitai Valley and park.

The ride – is it doable for you?

The ride needs to be doable for you and any riders you are biking with.
The ride is approximately 6km in length one way. It is a one way ride so you can determine how far you go by deciding when you turn around.  How much time do you have, how far should you go and what are your riders capable of? Answer these questions then work out your start and end point.

This trail is a great safe introduction to single track riding. You will only need basic biking skills. Riding the trail will build on these skills and riders will gain confidence in; steering – sticking to and choosing your path,  changing gears – riding up short sharp rises, braking – riding going down these rises, negotiating obstacles – tree roots, stones, bridges. 
The biking surface is compacted gravel, some loose gravel, compacted dirt with tree roots.  The ride is very gentle uphill riding, next to the river. 
Remember the weather on the day will effect your ride

Easy Grade 1 & 2 riding

There are several gates to make your way through

The playground at Black Hole.

Safety

It doesn’t matter what ride you are doing or where you are going, you will always want to be safe. Check out the goRide guide How to have a “great day’ on the bike for general information on how to make sure you are safe on the bike.

You and safety – Am I safe to goRide?  A checklist to complete that ensures you are safe to goRide
Your bike and safety – goRide pre ride bike safety check – is it safe? A checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order

 

Enjoy the experience and have fun

If you have worked through the points above then you will be more likely to enjoy and have fun on your ride. There is so much fun to be had on a bike – the pace you go, being close and connected with nature, your ease to detour from the trail…I wonder what is around this corner, and your ability to stop and get off your bike means you get to discover all sorts of things along the way. Sometimes you will know about and plan to enjoy things and then there are those wonderful surprise discoveries.

Some things that you could plan to discover on the Matai River Trail.
Swimming holes – You pass some great swimming holes along the way.

  • Black Hole – playground, fields, toilets, barbeque
    Dennes Hole – cricket fields
    Sunday Hole – playground, field, toilets
    All great places for a snack or picnic, or just stop for a swim. If it is too cold for a swim and it is safe there are good places for paddling or throwing stones or dam building in the river.

Playgrounds – At both Black Hole and Sunday Hole

Playing fields – Maitai cricket ground, Branford Park at Sunday Hole and Black Hole.

Walk to Centre of New Zealand starting from Branford Park. See here for map.

 

Will this ride work for your family?

Does the ride fit with what you want to achieve? Up to 12km (6 km each way) of  single track riding. As discussed you can alter the start point and turn around point to alter the distance.  Could you get a car with a bike rack to the end point – a small carpark approximately 5 km up the Maitai Valley Road just past the Maitai Campground at the Pipeline Bridge.  This ride  can be linked to other rides if you want to go further

Here is a link provided by the Nelson City Council –  map of Maitai Valley ride

If you don’t have your own bike or are a visitor to Nelson – you can still enjoy this ride. You can hire a bike from  Trail Journeys at MD Outdoors just near the Information Centre. Note: Trail Journeys are in multiple locations throughout the Nelson region so if you plan ahead and let them know what you need, they will get it for you.

 

Over looking the Maitai River

Throw stones, swim or build a dam…

The river is easily accessed in multiple places from the trail.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

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Biking the Paparoa Track Dec 2021

Biking the Paparoa Track Dec 2021

When we make the effort and take the time to go on a biking adventure with the family we want it to be an enjoyable experience. To help plan your adventure read about the John whanau experience riding the 56.2km Paparoa Track in December 2020…

The Paparoa Track is part of the Department of Conservation  (DoC). It is a purpose built shared use hiking and mountain biking track so you can ride this trail all year round. See more information here and view the associated brochure 

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

Where is it and how to get there?

The Paparoa Track is located within the Paparoa National Park. You ride from Smoke-Ho carpark (8km north of Blackball) to Punakaiki on the West Coast of the South Island.  You can ride it in either direction but it is most commonly ridden from Smoke-Ho through to Punakaiki.

We stayed the night prior to starting our ride at the Punakaiki Beach Camp. There is a range of accommodation available and they offer Paparoa Track transport options to get you to Smoke-Ho carpark or have your car relocated back to Punakaiki from Smoke Ho. 

The ride and is it doable for you?

The Paparoa Track is 56.2km in length. It is suggested that you complete this over a 2 day journey. There are many that have completed it in a day… not something you would want to tackle with a family and you would definitely want a good weather day for your one day ride.

We have chosen to do it over a 2 day journey. With multiple hut options along the track this could easily be ridden over 3 days. Remember you need to carry your own food, so the longer it takes you the more food you will need. Check out the facilities at the huts so you know what you need to carry. (Note: there are no pots/utensils at the huts so you will need to carry these)

DAY ONE – Smoke-Ho Carpark to Moonlight Tops Hut = 20km – is it doable?

This is an uphill ride to Ces Clark Hut, approximately 10km from Smoke-Ho carpark, before it levels out along the tops to Moonlight Hut. Up to Ces Clark Hut is the roughest part of the whole track and our whanau found that we were on and off our bikes quite regularly.  This made it slow going. It took us about 3 hours to cover the 10km to Ces Clark Hut… so you may need to plan for this.

Accommodation – Moonlight Hut. There is a lot of demand on Moonlight Tops hut. There is an option to stay at Ces Clark Hut. This would have definitely been achievable for our whanau. We found our speed greatly increased once we got past Ces Clark Hut. Hence we would have been comfortable riding from Ces Clark to the track end at Punakaiki in a day. It would have been a long day but very achievable. 

DAY TWO – Moonlight Tops Hut to track end = 39.6km is it doable?

You travel across the tops before starting to descend to Pororari Hut (19.1km). From this hut you have a fantastic descend to track end – other than the little hill you need to get over right before the end of the track (there just to remind you that you have tired legs)!

What skills will you need to do this ride? This track is graded as an advanced grade 4 track. There are rough and rocky parts to ride. As well as narrow and exposed track. Some steep and some long climbs. As a family we definitely found the ride to Ces Clark the roughest with lots of rock and we walked our bikes quite regularly on this section. From there the track was good but you do need to be comfortable going up and down some steep sections and comfortable with narrow tracks, heights and exposure – Is it doable? 

What level of fitness will you need to do this ride? You will need moderate to advanced levels of fitness. Whatever direction you start in you will have a sustained uphill section that is a good rideable gradient. When you are on the tops there is also short up and downhill sections to negotiate. Consider the distances you are travelling and how long that will take you each day. Make sure you have ridden for that length of time with some load prior to riding the Paparoa – Is it doable? 

How could the weather effect the success of your journey?  Expect the weather to play a part in your biking journey when you ride the Paparoa Track. You are on the West Coast of New Zealand and thus likely to experience rain and you are in the backcountry so you need to be prepared for all types of weather –  Is it doable?

What to consider to feel comfortable and safe when riding the Paparoa Track

To have an enjoyable experience riding the Paparoa Track you need to make sure you are comfortable in the weather conditions while riding your bike.  You also need to be comfortable carrying gear and have access to the food and water that you will need.

Comfortable in the weather conditions

You will be riding for a number of hours each day so clothing choice needs to not restrict any movement. It also needs to protect and regulate temperature. The Paparoa Track is a back counrty track so you need to be prepared for all types of weather conditions.  See gear list for multi-day mountain bike riding

Comfortable on the bike

The right type of bike.  You are going to be riding on undulating terrain with many obstacles, so mountain bikes are ideal. Our whanau had three full suspension mountain bikes and one with front suspension only.

Comfortable at the contact points on the bike.  You will be on the bike for a number of hours each day, for consecutive days.  The surface is bumpy, being comfortable on the bike is a MUST. Make sure you are comfortable on the saddle, at your handlebars and on the pedals.

Comfortable carrying gear

You are riding in the back country away from support so you need to be completely independent and self-reliant. Your accommodation in DOC Huts requires you to carry sleeping bags, and cooking and eating utensils. We carried one pot between the 4 of us.  See Gear List for multi day mountain biking.

To help with balance and control of our bikes on challenging terrain, we are carrying our gear in a small backpack, frame bags, handle bar bags, seat bags, and a rear carrier with a dry bag. Trying to keep our weight within the dimensions of the bike.

Access to water & food… You will need to carry food and water for several days. There are numerous huts along the way which have cooking facilities and water for refilling and rehydrating at. Our food is nutritious including dehydrated meals. We are taking 4 meals per day when riding back country – breakfast, lunch 1 and 2, dinner and snacks for each day of riding.

Gear set up – Jo (Female adult)/Sam (15yr old boy)

Thule Carrier with dry bag and tie downs – pot, food and spare clothes

Backpack and hydration reservoir (Camelbak low rider 10L) – warm top, snacks, water

Frame bag – tools and spare tubes

Dry bag – tie downs used to attach to handlebars – sleeping bag, jacket

Our bikes loaded and ready to go

 

Gear set up – Nic (Male adult)

Handlebar Bag containing lightweight gear – sleeping bag and clothes

Touring seat post bag containing heavier items – food

Backpack – with emergency gear – First Aid Kit, PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), toilet paper

Drink bottle cage – drink bottle with water

Your bike and safety

Clean and prepare the bike and the chain. Do you need to do any maintenance work? Change the brake pads? Check the tyres for tread and any wear. Carry tools split between the group to help ensure that you can fix most problems or challenges along the way.

What tools will you need to take and carry? Check out our tool kit suggestions for a multi day mountain bike ride.

Before you head out on the trail each day you will need to do a pre-ride bike safety check  – is it safe?  A checklist to complete pre-ride so that you know your bike is in working order, and then you can prevent and/or solve any issues before you start the day.

You and safety

When you ride in the backcountry you need to tell someone when and where you are going, how long you are going for and when you expect to be back. Carrying a cellphone is always a good idea but there any many areas of the New Zealand backcountry that do not have cell phone coverage. If you are in a remote area it is suggested that you carry a personal locator beacon. PLB.

You have checked your bike now you need to know that YOU are safe. See Am I safe to Bike Tour? A checklist to complete that ensures you are safe to goRide.

Safety in the environment

Respect other users – This is a shared use great walk so you will come across others enjoying this as a walk… be respectful let them know you are coming. Tell them how many in your party. Bikes must give way to walkers.

Carry a Map – The Paparoa is a great walk/great ride and well signposted right throughout the track. We carried a map showing distances between huts etc. To help with planning and motivation along the way.

Carry a First Aid Kit – Accidents can and will happen. We were prepared with a compact first aid kit for mountain bikers to help us deal with minor injuries.  See First Aid Kit for Bike Touring.

Enjoy the experience and have fun

There were many highlights enjoyed along the way. We had a lot of cloud on the tops but the weather cleared about an hour before it got dark at Moonlight Tops highlighting the spectacular landscape and views. We felt privledged as we watched the sun set over the Tasman Sea. The ride down from Pororari Hut was just pure fun and rewarding after the climbing. The exposed track and the rock formations were a neat experience.

There is certainly lots to do around the Paparoa Track in the Westcoast region… you pass through Blackball famous for Blackball Salami so worth a stop… staying in Punakaiki is a highlight and visiting the Pancake Rocks. The track is positioned closest to the town of Greymouth.

Sunset from Moonlight Tops.

Hollie on the top… a good view of the track.

End of the Paparoa… Punakaiki.

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

NZ Made Bike Gear by goRide

NZ Made Bike Gear by goRide

Finding the right bike gear for women & families can be a tricky thing.  The bike industry serves male riders first and foremost so we often can not find the solution we are looking for.  This has lead us to making some of our own products which has been a hugely rewarding journey.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

Choosing NZ Made is Important

There are lots of great reasons why we choose to have goRide bike gear made in NZ.  Here are a few of our favourite…

Keep NZ talent working – supporting local people to continue to do what they know and love.  Unfortunately the NZ manufacturing sector has seen a major decline in factories so the people out their still trying to make a living need to be supported.

Quality guaranteed – with everything we make being overseen here in NZ it is easy to maintain a high level of quality.

Made for Kiwi women & families – being designed, tested and made here in NZ means that each product is well thought through before reaching the market.  Small batch runs allow us to vary colours and make quick design changes that react to the feedback we receive.

Choose the correct chamois

Good for the planet & minimises waste – again with production here in NZ we can be confident in how the process is run. This allows us to minimise waste and choose fabric & accessories that are kind to the planet.

Proud – Making bike gear that is not only practical but colourful & fun is a really important part of what we do.  We want women & families to be comfortable and feel confident when they choose to ride in our beautiful country.  We want you to be able to choose NZ Made and wear or use it proudly.

NZ Made Bike Gear by goRide

We started our NZ Made journey way back in 2015 with our Kids goUnders.  Both Jo & I had young kids at this time who we loved to take biking.  We wanted to take them on some biking holidays but couldn’t find padded bike pants that were fun & be interesting for them to wear.  We decided to make our own.

From there our vision grew and now includes padded bike full briefs for women.  These full briefs will have a high waist version in Autumn 2021. The padded underwear range continues to expand and will soon include boy leg padded underwear for men, women & teenagers.

We have always aspired to making riding more fun for kids.   This has led us to make our own hand painted bike bell range, along with a cute handlebar bag for toddlers to take exploring.  All of these products are intended to make kids smile when they ride.  These simple products are made in our studio in Nelson by Annette and her talented artistic daughter.

Who We Support – Other NZ Made/Designed Brands

Whenever we can we support NZ Made products so we have some great NZ brands in our online shop.

This includes the amazing natural Biomaxa Chamois Cream. Which is made from Manuka honey and lanolin – a very special mix of ingredients to support your skin.

Other companies based in NZ and using some incredible design talent include; Scribbler Jackets, Therm Kids Outdoor Active Wear, DoLittle Kids Bike Seats and Loose Line Mountain Bike clothing (coming soon).

Our Commitment to NZ Made

Made in New Zealand is a goal that we will maintain for as long as practically possible. We will continue to support the talented, skilled, generous specialists that are part of our team.  From digital pattern makers, to cutters, the construction girls and our hand painting artist.  Every time you buy NZ Made bike gear you are helping us to keep this dream happening… so thank you & please spread the word!

Your bike riding success is different to others… use our stories and support, get the right solutions.

Support and inspire other riders and families to ride

Share your riding outings, adventures and experiences on our quick and easy question and answer forms. Join us in helping others ride bikes. All entries receive a free shipping coupon and go into our seasonal prize draw.

goRide supporting women and families to SMILE when you ride

Alps to Ocean – Family Sharing

Alps to Ocean – Family Sharing

Riding the Alps to Ocean – With Kids

We are collecting and sharing family experiences of riding the Alps to Ocean so you can see what others have done.   This will give you some confidence and understanding of whether your kids may be capable of doing the same type of ride. The age is only a guide – you are better to focus on matching your families capability or riding experience, with this in mind you may have to read more than one section.

This story is an active resource (we will be constantly adding to it) and sharing family experiences and comments.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.
tow rope

Have you ridden The Alps to Ocean with family or a group?  Your story could appear here or in the individual riding section…

Simply hit the goRide Sharing button above and complete the questions.

Alps to Ocean – Towing a Child Under 2yrs using a Bike Trailer

Family Details & Date of Ride

October 2020 from Lake Tekapo to Oamaru in 6 days with our daughter Matilda, 18 months. We’ve spent quite a lot of time cycling with her previously and she was always happy to go back in the trailer, often putting her helmet on herself signalling she was ready to go.

Bikes/Gear/Kids Bike Seat – Attached or Towed

We towed Matilda in a Thule Chariot double behind Colin’s mountain bike and she did really well. I rode my Surely Long Haul Trucker with 4 pannier bags and 2 bags on the rear rack. Colin has a rear rack on his bike with a bag too.

Describe how the ride was done – multi day ride

Originally we planned 10 days expecting to only do 30km a day, but we ended up doing it in 6 days because everyone was happy!

We rode Tekapo – Lake Pukaki Doc Campground – Ohau Lodge – Lake Benmore Holiday Park – Kurow Holiday Park (a big day because the council campgrounds we meant to stay in around the lake were quite yucky with lots of broken glass – the chariot got a puncture!) – Duntroon Domain – Oamaru.

alps to Ocean with kids
Canal roads between Tekapo & Lake Pukaki
Adult Comments/Kids Comments:

It was a glorious trip and we’re so happy to be able to spend times like this as a family.

The campgrounds were actually really great because Matilda had so much space to play. also used the washing machines to wash our nappies. Even if you weren’t camping I think cabins might be preferable to other accommodation options as you can relax and not worry about a toddler breaking anything!

We camped every night in our tent and we’d leave camp around 11:00 after Matilda had a good play and she’d fall asleep soon after. We’d then ride until she woke up, have lunch for a couple of hours and then she’d nap again. Often she’d wake up about an hour before camp and we had plenty of snacks to get her through. She had gone to one nap a few months ago, we certainly weren’t expecting so much sleeping, but it certainly made it easier.

 

After climbing Tranbrae Pass, heading to Omarama
Tips for Other Families

Matilda got bounced around a bit, but she only got upset by it twice in the rockiest sections over the pass out of Ohau, which makes me think she was happy with the rest of the bumps. Colin is a keen mountain biker and I think that certainly helped to have the control to be able to ride the best lines.

To get through the barriers we’d slant Colin’s bike under the arch then I’d line up the trailer and it would just squeeze through.  On about 2/10 occasions we had to disconnect the trailer.  Then I’d push my bike through the pinch gate and then Colin would lift the back wheel over because the panniers wouldn’t fit through! It was a bit tricky but we got quite efficient at it.

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