Simon was not keen for this ride, not at all. He thought it was going to be boring. He’d wanted to go out on a Mountain Bike Ride. When Ruby said ‘can’t we all go, it’s the last day of the holidays’ I could see his heart sink a bit but I knew he wouldn’t say no. So we headed out on a group ride – with Millie in tow, literally.
There were a few words exchanged on where we should go. Simon was keen on the lower part of the Hutt River trail which we’ve done a million trillion times. I was keen to try something new. When I said ‘nah, let’s not go here’ as he pulled in to the carpark at the start of the part of the trail we would normally do, I could tell I was grinding his gears, but, to his credit. He went along with it. ‘So, do you know where we’re going?’ He kept asking. Bemused. ‘Nope’ I kept saying. Enthusiastic. By the time we reached the Akatarawa Hill Road and gone backwards and forwards a few times so that I could check out the lay of the land I could tell it was probably time to make a decision on where we should go. We found a sign on the Akatarawa Road pointing north up a graveled track saying ‘Hutt River Trail’. Obviously a piece of the track that we’d never done before.
As soon as I saw it, I knew that this was our new adventure. After unloading the car, Simon set the trailer up for Millie, and we were off. We made the mistake of initially deciding to take the far track as opposed the track on the Hutt side of the river. Bad move. Dead end. Don’t do that if you’re on a bike. If you’re walking it might be fine. But you won’t get far on 2 wheels. Especially not with a trailer in tow. So we hightailed it back out and took the track on the other side of the river.
The trail starts out wide, flat and graveled running between the river and the back of houses. Not overly scenic but enjoyable all the same. It’s when we started to hit the more rural , lifestyle blocks that we decided this upper part of the River trail was definitely worth doing. Farm animals galore graze the fence lines – such a treat for kids. Lambs, Alpacas, Shetland Pony’s. It’s like a free miniature Staglands experience. Overall it’s a really interesting and diverse little trail. There’s open fields, graveled tracks, windy, twisty bush portions, road side bits, a couple of bridges and the best part – a dairy at the turn-around point for ice cream and lollies before turning to go back. OK, with the trailer there were a couple of challenges.
Perhaps Hutt City Council need to rethink the way they design their turnstiles in terms of their width. It was a tiny bit of a struggle with the trailer, but other than that – it was great. Lots of fun and a family bicycle ride I would recommend for the shear variety of terrain which is all very doable no matter what age or fitness level. Not only that, we got to pet the animals on the way. Bonus.