Friday, January 12, 2007

Otago Rail Trail


http://www.otagorailtrail.co.nz/
Our family holiday was a bit of fun this year. We headed off to the South Island and the picturesque Otago Rail Trail. A couple of hundred Kms between Clyde and Middlemarch on old abandoned railway lines. There were big questions to be asked of our family. Could I ride that slow - and could the family ride that long on the one bottom!
Francis at Jville Cycles said the following. Its not about how comfy your seat is, its about being able to change your seat, when that part of your bum gets tired! He was dead right. Swapping bikes on the last day helped two of my family immensely. The one in our family that did it the easiest was the one that rides horses, not complaints at all. Its all time in the saddle!

We did about 30kms a day for 3 days, and that was about all my troops could handle. Folks with a bit of grit and/or fitness would do a lot better.
We met a little guy called Paelo, a 7 year old with an awesome attitude. He liked to lead from the front! He spanked us on the leg from Oterehua to Ranfurly, but it rained the next day and apparently he said he would rather be at school!

The scenery was surprisingly green, and overcast. No baking in the sun for us. We saw heaps of people, many of them over 50 years of age, none of them what you would call hard-core cyclists, and most of them with hire bikes, or doing trips that had been pre-planned for them by a company.

Accomodation along the route was good with many different varieties, Pubs, back-packers and bed and breakfasts. We only did 3 legs in the middle of the trail, due to time constraints. Alexandra to Omakau. Omakau to Oterehua, and Oterehua to Waipiata. Each day was roughly 30kms.
At the end of each day I would ride back and pick up the car, usually partly on the trail, and partly on the tar-sealed road, this way we didnt have to carry much gear. Some people had their gear picked up and forwarded each day by a bus that comes through the trail.

There was nearly a revolt amongst the crew on our last day. Bums were sore and after 36 kms, the back packers that was promised turned into a series of signs saying, 3 kms, 1 km and then 1 km again! It wouldnt have been so bad except there was a slight hill, and there are no hills at all on the trail! The Pubs are really good in Central Otago too. Some of them even have ice-creams for sale and they are very children friendly. This photo is of The Iron-Horse B & B at Waipiata. Its very rustic.