The bike in the photograph above shows what was taken – that’s right, TAKEN – from me two weeks ago right in front of Christchurch Hospital. She was my sweet, little purple riding machine who never failed to get me to work five minutes late. Now, I’m assuming she’s off somewhere in the strong, capable hands of whoever ripped off my cable lock and is currently dinging her bell repeatedly for help. What really grinds my gears though is that Mr./Ms. Anonymous has also stolen my supertastic children’s snowboarding helmet!
Let me now rejoice instead on her two-tired marvels and take a jubilant ride down memory lane.
Little River Railtrail Our first team effort long-distance track! Originally constructed for cycling enthusiasts, I lih (laughed in head) a bit at this one. Everyone says, once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget. Still, I won’t pretend that I haven’t had my generous share of intersection mishaps, runaway footwear, invisible road signs or rainy day mudmasks. My bike has put up with a lot of crap from me over the year, so naturally, it felt inevitable taking her out to the valley to test things out on new terrain.
Starting from Motukarara, we biked past Kaituna Valley on the left and hugged Lake Ellesmere all the way to Birdlings Flat. From there, it was another good stretch along the railway embankment with views of Lake Forsyth on the right. Stupidly, I didn’t think to pack more than two granola bars and started picking up pears, plums, and apples off the ground and from low lying branches. When the trail finally ended at Little River, my stomach reflexively did a happy jig when it saw an open pub on the other side of the road serving up cold drinks and food. One fried fish, curry roll, donut, sundae, berry beverage and some fries later, we were back on the track heading back. This time I noticed my puny pedaling limbs were feeling a lot less motivated about finishing the 40km trip.
The red algae was a first and the speed cop chickens showed up whenever I changed gears. Above all, my bike triumphed! Besides the occasional stop for sheep and having to avoid profound mounds of dung, I have to say that she handled the trail really well and made it easy to spin. She might not have had shiny new discs or any kind of suspension, but on that day, homegirl was queen of the mountain! Please let me know if you happen to see her around the city, thanks!