Sunday, February 20, 2011

Whakarewarewa Forest

Today we loaded up the van and left Auckland behind for Rotorua. The anticipation was building and after a couple of hours on the road we rolled into Rotorua. We checked some of the many bike shops and scoped out some lunch. Next it was time to find our accomodation and saddle up for a poke in the forest. We met up with Rich ,who had flown in from Brisbane this morning, at the motel. After a short amount of time we were ready to roll.
Our digs are literally along the road from the forest entrance so it wasn't long before we were standing at the foot af a huge Redwood tree. Very impressive even at the young age of these trees.

We intially rode The Grinder and a couple of close in tracks to warm up and get a feel for the trails. The first thing I noticed was how rooty the trails were. We were lucky it was dry as it would be very interesting with some moisture on the ground. The bermed turns had us all whooping and even the pine needle surface was grippy.

From here we consulted the map and decided to swing past A-Trail and up to Tickler, which we knew was closed for logging.

A-Trail proved to be an awesome roll and pump through rainforest with berms galore. Unfortunately for Rich, one of these berms had a tree growing out of the end of it, which neatly clipped his bar end and sent him skittering into the leaf litter in a tangle of rider and bike! If only I had a video rolling! To my (and Rich's) relief, he jumped up totally unscathed due to the soft landing.
At the end of A-Trail we climbed up to the start of Tickler to plan out next trail attack.

We decided to climb Katore link trail then up to Gunna Gotta trail. This proved to be quite a solid little climb with the kicker being that when we crested the hilltop at Gunna Gotta we were greeted by a scene of desolation. The area had been logged in the last few days and the trailhead was obliterated. We searched around for twenty minutes and finally spotted a fleeting glimpse of some riders in the treeline above us. There was only a small stand of trees on the hilltop after the logging (think bowl haircut here) and we needed to hike a bike up to the trail. The trail was steep,eroded and rooty with the odd section getting us whooping again until we popped out down on the fire road.

We rode a few more trails then after about three hours decided to head for home via the appropriately named Exit trail(we are going to love leaving via this trail each day!!) and home to clean up and eat.

So day one in the Redwoods saw us cover twenty five kilometres with 550 metres of climbing. Not bad for an introductory ride by a bunch of old blokes in Whakarewarewa Forest.


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