Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rapaki - the short way up

The Port Hills, edge of a long extinct, enormous volcano. Moutain biking heaven for those of us lucky enough to live in Christchurch. Kilometres of single track trace almost the entire length of these ~500m high hills. Rapaki is the most direct way to the top. It's a lovely 4WD track that gradually climbs 400m to the summit road.

A ride up Rapaki after work is a great way to end the day, usually. Friday's ride was definately great with a whole group of us heading up, which meant I got to bike with someone. Usually my husband races up to the top and comes back and meets me, while I pouttle up at my slow pace. Its definately nicer having someone to chat to the whole time. It currently takes my about 41-45mins to get to the top, and I don't have to stop anywhere now. It's not technical riding, except in winter when it can get rutty and testing after rain. About halfway up there's a big rock on the side of the road that has a tricky wee drop-off on it. One of my friend's from work who is a really good rider showed me how to ride it, but it alwys scares the be-jesus out of my and a usually end up just riding past. Not this time! I just went straight for it and rode it perfectly. There's nothing like the adrenalin hit you get from doing something scarey on your bike.
Once at the top I was pretty knackered so no Mt Vernon on this occassion. Instead a group of us headed round the road to the Farm Track. This is a very fun, very fast 4wd track leading back down the hills. Near the bottom the gradient increases a lot, making the last section a good test of your brakes. Me and my husband parted company with everyone else here and continued round to the Bowenvale Traverse.

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