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Bastille Day ride POSTPONED for a week!

July 11, 2014

Bastille_SmlDue to this wonderful weather we are having, the Remuera Business Association have decided to postpone the Bastille Day festivities until Saturday 19th of July!

New flyer attached to the left (click for big), and there will be no changes to the meeting place or time – Remuera Library, 11am!

We very much hope you will be able to join in the fun!

Nic & the Frocks

CINÉ CLUB: TOUR DE FORCE – JULY 7

July 1, 2014

Out of the bleu I get an email from John over at Alliance Française Auckland. Turns out there’s a movie on next week down in Takapuna sure to entertain a large slice of our bike-friendly readership.
With Le Tour starting this week and Bastille Day a week later, France is top-of-mind at the moment.

Cycling tragics like myself can’t wait for the monkey-blood-boys to commence their three weeks of toil, and on many stages I’m as captivated by the scenery as the pharmaceutical and athletic achievements.

If it’s got a cycling angle we’re always keen to promote such events (and simply love French cinema), so read-on for further details…

la_grande_boucle

Family man François Nouel (Clovis Cornillac) is the number one fan of the Tour de France – an obsession that costs him his wife and his job. At a loose end, François meets a former sports manager, Rémi (Bouli Lanners) who encourages him to take the plunge and do the Tour himself.

With nothing to lose, François sets off, always one day ahead of the race, attracting fellow amateurs, media coverage and cheering crowds. As obstacle after obstacle is thrown his way, and his family comes back on the scene, François discovers what is really most important in his life.

Screens at the Berkeley, Takapuna, Monday 7th July at 6.30pm … one night only …

Subtitled in english for that authentic european atmosphere!

Bookings for the general public are available:

@: Berkeley Takapuna / 32-34 Anzac Street / Free and easy parking

Ticket: $11.50 / +$3 with a glass of wine

Information : (09) 488 6000 / www.hoyts.co.nz

More information about the movie and the CineClub:
http://www.alliance-francaise.co.nz/cin-club-tour-de-force-july-7/

 

 

Frockalicious French-Style Cycle Ride

June 25, 2014

Following close on the heels of their recent frockstar outing, the Frocks on Bikes gals have another fun event lined-up.

Join this friendly group for a leisurely ride around Remuera coinciding with the Bastille Day Street Festival, followed by coffee & croissants at a local café.

Awesome, I’m tempted to frock-up myself, “now where’s that lippy?”

FOB Bastille Day Ride

As part of the Remuera Bastille Day Street Festival, our next ride is coming up in three weeks on Saturday 12th July! We love any excuse to dress in French inspired garb, so dig out that favourite trench coat, scarf and some stripes and head along to the Remuera Library (429 Remuera Road) for an 11am start.

We have a gentle 20-min ride around the village planned, then can all meet at a local cafe for coffee and croissants. Mmmmm! It’ll also be a great way to meet other frocks and share ideas with like-minded ladies.

We very much look forward to seeing you there! Please RSVP so we can get loose numbers for a café.
frocksonbikes.aucks@gmail.com

UPDATE: POSTPONED A WEEK. Same time, same place, now on Saturday 19th July!

It’s Black And White

June 10, 2014
Te Awa Cycling Stripes

Karapiro – Te Awa Bike Path

My bicycle obsession has rekindled an interest (obsession) in photography. It’s now difficult for me to go for a ride without a camera in tow. Obsessive Compulsive? I don’t “think” so, far too much joy involved in both activities, although I do get anxious when I leave home without my camera!

If you want to cut to the chase, capture the emotion, nail the composition without any distraction, it’s hard to go past black and white images. I’ve compiled some of my favourites below, all taken by me, and most are local spots I ride regularly.

Viewed all at once that OCD diagnosis is not looking flash, but on a case-by-case basis I’m kind of proud of them…

Ritchey McCaw

Woodhill Forest – Ritchey McCaw (AKA Muz)

Footloose

Woodhill Forest – Footloose

Balls

Woodhill Forest – Balls

Shadowed

Westgate – Motorway Overbridge

Hobsonville Point – Frosty Start

Useful Tool

Hobsonville Point – Useful Tool

Beached Cruiser

Gold Coast – Beached Cruiser

Any Old Iron

Albany – Parking Provided

Pesky Trees

Albany – Factory Wall

Playcentre

Albany – Playcentre Wall

Black Heart

Mairangi Bay – Love on the Share With Care Path

Share With Care

Mairangi Bay – Seeing stars on the bike path

Happy 21st

DIY in the Bike Friendly North Shore Workshop

Real Grown-up Mountainbiking with Pink Sequined Chuck Taylors

Northcote – Tuff Crater Trail

Mist rising from the Poo Ponds - Winter is Coming

Albany – Mist rising from the Poo Ponds

Chasing The Sun

Wairau Valley – Chasing The Sun Home

Manuka

Bethells Beach – Manuka Singletrack around Lake Wainamu

Riding to Lake Wainamu

Bethells Beach – Riding to Lake Wainamu

Cave Parking

Bethells Beach – Cave Parking

Remnant

Bethells Beach – Last Nights Fire on the Giant Dune

Fall

Devonport – Mount Victoria Singletrack

North Head Coastal Path

Devonport – North Head Coastal Path

Magic In His Hands

May 28, 2014
© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

I lost a dear friend this week. A friend I never met in person, but it hurts no less.

Ezra Caldwell and I crossed paths eight years ago as bike-nerds often do, via the internet. He laughed at my fat-wheeled adventures and watched my children grow-up from the opposite side of the planet. I gawped slack-jawed at his beautiful photographs, his beautiful bicycles, his colourful friends in their colourful city. Half the time these New York domiciles were riding bikes, half the time they were dancing around naked, I had no preference. It was a window on a world far different to mine.

© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

Across those eight years the dance instructor transitioned to bike builder, the bachelor married his beautiful girlfriend, and everything was documented on film and in pixels as only Ezra could.

Photography, bicycle fabrication, wood-working, cooking and writing… he excelled at damn near everything. This renaissance boy had magic in his hands.

Along the way he got sick, more than once. All the pain, the brutality, the physical and emotional scars of fighting cancer were openly discussed on his blog and through his photography. It was excruciatingly honest and a tough read for those who loved him.

© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

© Ezra Caldwell

Every time I lean a bike against a wall, camera in hand, I think of Ez. Every time I step outside my comfort-zone in the kitchen I think of him too. People like Ezra who seep into your life, delight your senses and influence your thinking are to be treasured, dead or alive. Rest in peace Fast Boy.

Take the time to read through the links below, soak-up his photos, watch the films. I’m guessing a little bit of Ezra Caldwell will rub off on you too.

A life in Pictures • The Bicycle Builder  •  The Photographer  •  The Battler

Bike Friendly North Shore goes to Titirangi

May 18, 2014

Inspired by Clair’s last post I dragged Thing-Two and a friend halfway across town to try out Exhibition Drive and the Beveridge Track for ourselves.

As promised it was a cruisy 35 minute drive from the Shore and we scored the last park at the reservoir trail-head. There’s a dozen or so marked spots and some “creative” parking opportunities on the grass verges.

Smooooth gravel on the Beveridge Track.

Smooth roll’n on the Beveridge Track.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and I assumed we would warm-up nicely spinning uphill to the visitor centre, as is normally the case. We didn’t!

Although Exhibition Drive gradually gains altitude it is essentially flat, so the riding is very easy, you can’t tell you’re going uphill at all. Children of all ages will manage this section no problem.

Along the majority of the route you’re shrouded by trees and it felt a lot cooler in there than the weather forecast led me to believe. The sunshine at Mackie’s Rest was welcome relief and we warmed-up a couple of minutes before heading up the Beveridge Track.

Fat Cheese

Some guy at the Arataki Visitor Centre.

While Exhibition drive was wide and flat, Beveridge Track narrowed somewhat and was a lot more serpentine. Apart from the last couple of hundred metres it was a gentle climb with plenty of room to pass walkers and fellow cyclists. Little dirt-groms with off-road (or BMX) experience will have little trouble and I think riders of modest ability over the age of eight will enjoy it. The gravel surface is in good shape with just the odd puddle, I think you could ride there year-round.

Adult mountainbikers will negotiate the steep(ish) switchbacks near the top without stopping but my 13 year old accomplices got caught-out on the hairpin turns. Never mind, by then you’re nearly at the top and it’s an easy walk.

Hunter & Matt at Mackie's Rest

The lads at Mackie’s Rest, start of the Beveridge Track.

The fabled Danish ice-cream hut was shut when we rolled across the car-park to the visitor centre but by the time we’d explored the facility and taken in the views the shutters were up and he was back in business. I saved my pennies for cheapo Mickey-D soft-serves on the drive home but they sure did look good, maybe next time.

It wasn’t a long ride, maybe 10 or 12km return (felt a lot shorter) but was well worth the drive across town. Riding in the forest on a groomed trail with no roots, rocks, mud or steep hills is great fun and won’t put the young ones off mountainbiking for life. I need to get back there with my eight year old daughter and some of her mates, it’ll be just perfect.

Great Rides: Exhibition Drive & Beveridge Track Combo

May 6, 2014

This week we have a guest-post by Clare, who prised her boys away from the computer long enough for a family bike ride over the easter break.

Clare’s the Energizer-Bunny of our neighbourhood. If she’s not running past my house at high-speed she’s mountainbiking, riding trail-bikes or thundering off to work on a big orange motorbike. How’d you like to have a mum that cool?

Easter Holidays Adventure

We were looking for a wheeled adventure to try out the eldest’s new bike, an adult sized 29er, and stumbled upon the Exhibition Drive + Beveridge Track route on the Auckland MTB site as a fun 90 minute/12km bimble with ice cream at Arataki Visitor Centre in the middle.

Beveridge Track is named after the 20-year head Waitakere ranger, Bill, his father Joe (who worked in the early years of the development of the Ranges water supply), and Bill’s wife Joan, who passed away soon after Bill in 2010.

So after a 35 minute drive from the North Shore, we arrived at the carpark on the junction of Scenic Drive and Woodlands Park Road, just outside Titirangi.

Exhibition Drive entrance.

Exhibition Drive entrance and carpark

There’s parking for a dozen cars and Exhibition Drive starts right beside the water reservoir as shown above. It’s a shared use trail, so you’ll be sharing it with parents with pushchairs, folks out dog walking, trail runners and other adventurous types.

Exhibition Drive - Nice wide gravel track

Exhibition Drive – Nice wide gravel track

Exhibition Drive is a gentle grade most of the way, slightly uphill from Scenic Drive to where it joins the Beveridge Track at Mackie’s Rest.

There are lots of great information panels & points of interest to stop at as you walk or ride.

Exhibition Drive info panel

Exhibition Drive info panel

 Jacobson’s Tunnel

Jacobson’s Tunnel

Once you get to the end of Exhibition Drive, you’ll need to turn right for the Beveridge Track. Take some time to look at the views from Mackie’s Rest and read the history – Legend has it that in the late 1800′s a trader named Mackie used this place to rest on his journeys into the ranges. In 1912, the Auckland City Council built a shelter there, and a local farmer, Marshall Laing, added a bench bearing the inscription “Stop. Mackies Rest”.

Mackie’s Rest Viewpoint

Mackie’s Rest Viewpoint

Mackie’s Rest Info Panel

Mackie’s Rest Info Panel

Once you get onto the Beveridge Track, it is narrower and you’ll need to keep your eyes open for walkers, runners and other cyclists coming the other way.

Beveridge Track – narrower, but a nice surface and Nikau Palms

Beveridge Track – narrower, but a nice surface and Nikau Palms

Looks pleased with his new 29er

Looks pleased with his new 29er

Just before you get to Arataki, there is a steep-ish, switchbacked 200m climb up onto the ridgeline, which may require some short legs to get off and push their steeds up – but don’t worry, there’s an awesome reward of views of the Waitamata and Manukau harbours and a picnic table at the top!!!

Looking back down the switchbacks

Looking back down the switchbacks

From the picnic table, it’s only about 500-600m of easy undulating gravel track to Arataki Visitor Centre, more views, secure bike parking (if you brought your lock!) and Danish Ice Cream!!!

Arataki Visitor Centre bike racks

Arataki Visitor Centre bike racks

Once you’ve had your fill of ice cream, views and Arataki, it’s time to turn around and head back down the way you came – making the most of the downhill gradient where possible. There is a sign requesting cyclists to dismount going down the switchbacks, but most people seemed to ignore this, so with a quick chat to the team about taking it slow because it’s narrow, steep and other people could be coming up, I let them go and work it out for themselves. They did me proud – pulled over to the side to let a trail runner have track space for his run up & he commented on their great bike control!

Caution – downhill ahead!

Caution – downhill ahead!

Once past the switchbacks the track is gently downhill all the way back to Exhibition Drive – so you can take it as slow or as fast as you like. Total time for these two petrolheads – 1hr 20mins.

Unconventional technique! [Ed.]

Unconventional technique! [Ed.]

Thanks Clare for the great write-up and photos, I’m now champing-at-the-bit to pedal those trails with my family. - Antoine

We’re very happy to publish ride-reports like Clair’s and they don’t have to be this comprehensive. I can see by the search-terms used to find this site that Aucklanders are hungry for safe places to ride, especially with children. Drop me an email from the BFNS Contact Page if you’re keen.

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