Club ride – Oropi and Summerhill

The day before the Whaka we put on a club ride to take on some of the trails that Tauranga has to offer. To most of us, the trails were a new experience and Tim Farmer guided us around, leading the way and finding a great little cafe for lunch too.

Starting the day under grey skies at Oropi -all smiles though 🙂

The trails at Oropi were great – some fast flowy sections, bermed corners and short sharp hills with some off camber and root sections thrown in for good measure too. It would be a great venue for a race and also caters for the dirt jumping crowd with some big bad jumps and a little pump track. Not sure it would be as much fun in the rain but the day was geting better by the minute and by the end of the ride we were under clear blue skies. After racking up 12 or so kms on the few trails there, we decided to save the legs for the next destination – Summerhill.

After a light lunch (the all-day breakfast option was taken up by one of the group but proved to be a bad idea!) we hit the superb trails at Summerhill in the Papamoa Hills. If you’ve not ridden here before, it is well worth a visit. We started on the left side of the road where the main trails are and headed around the Sram route. There are some great sections on this trail and we headed back a few times to repeat what we’d just done, re-grouping every now and again. Carl who tends to these trails has done a great job with well-drained fast and flowy trails that suit a range of abilities.

If you can wave, you're not riding hard enough....

After a bit of play on some of the structures, Some of us headed to the other side of the road to sample the GT trail. A raw, less polished trail that contains a few jumps, fast switchbacks and lots of fun cut into the hillside.

Short sharp XC style downhill. Lots of fun.

There were some little bridges to navigate, as expertly demonstrated by Edd below:

Making it look easy

The downside? A tough climb back up to the top…..

Hike a bike...

A great day of riding was rounded off with a BBQ in Papamoa while some carried on to Vegas for more good trails on the Sunday. A huge thanks to Tim and Belinda for organising the day. I’ve got loads of pictures from the day and will get them up on Facebook soon. Some are already up there.

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