Story of some Brits living in New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere Winter in 2004
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Friday, July 09, 2004

Mountain Biking in the Port Hills - Castle Rock Reserve to the Bridle Path is ok

I still struggle on these Port Hills cycle tracks. Because they often contour around the hills, very often it would be a very bad idea to fall off to one side in particular and this totally ruins my concentration. This skittishness is not helped much by being on a new bike. Nor is any comfort gained from the quality of the single track, which whilst nice enough, it's narrow and dug-out enough to cause your pedals to catch now and then.

So, I cycled from the QE2 Hospital, up Hackthorne Rd to Victoria Park. I then got quite lost amongst the "Mountain Biking Tracks" in the park, which have grades of from blue (quite nice but challenging enough), black diamond (difficult/national standard) to double diamond (insane drop-offs).

Eventually struggling to the top of Victoria Park I headed along the single track parallel to the summit, which was ok. Then got a bit tired and took to the Summit Rd. I was persuaded back on the single track parallel with the road at the Castle Rock Reserve sign. From there the path gently descends to the bridle path. This is actually a very nice section of singletrack with enough gradual gradient that you can just stand on the pedals and coast down there hardly pedalling at all.

When you reach the bridle path, it is quite steep and you need to hang on the brakes all the way down pretty much, so not that much fun really. The path is in good condition though so it's not a big deal to get down it. The path comes out in Ferry Meade - quite handy for Redcliffs!

Perhaps I need to write a guide to the Port Hills for mountain bikers more used to trails than stunts!


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