“The best ride in the north!” That’s how I would describe the Moerangi track. The day started well: a little overcast, perfect for some serious hill climbs! We headed off up the road, and even this was looking promising (and I hate roads! Haha)! We got to the start of the four wheel drive track feeling pretty good …until we hit some hills. After a while it got me wondering what the hell I was doing and why I didn’t go on the shuttle bus … Got a little encouragement from team member Adriano (“Just take your time, it ‘ s not a race!”) …. that’s when I got off the bike and started pushing up the hill. Just as I was really getting over it, we finally got to the start of the single track . What a relief! Once there, some kind chaps had freshly brewed coffee waiting for us – fantastic! Just what I needed, too..
Then the fun started. Once through the cute entrance and past a small push up over steps, we hit beautiful native forest and flowing single track .. I was trying to take my time so I could keep my eyes on the trail and look at the amazing surroundings. The first hidden obstacle I hit was a large rock in small murky puddle; my back wheel left the ground about half a meter – almost end over – and my heart rate went up a notch! From here on, the trail was running along side a stream with a few narrow wooden bridges to cross. It was quite dark under the canopy of huge trees and punga, and made me feel like I was deep in the heart of the forest and as far away from city life as possible.
The huts along the way were a welcome break and an escape from the rain that was starting to set in. After a few breaks and more amazing scenery and trails, we made it to the last hut. Here we had lunch in preparation for the last hill climb of the day. I was plodding along over to the ridge line not hurting too much when i was greeted by the others and told it was the top. I didn’t believe them since it didn’t seem that hard, so I started to set off again expecting another hill to climb – but no, it was all downhill from here, yeah! What goes up has to come down – and fast :). It was a great downhill section, where I was trying to keep the handle bars from latching on to trees as I was weaving in and out a from them. Holding onto the breaks for dear life, my arms were now starting to feel it. Then it leveled off (phew). I didn’t think I could hold on for much longer!
The final few km were a very pleasant end to an epic ride, very dense forest and a quick peak of the canyons; all at an enjoyable level after 60ks on the saddle. At the end was a quick downhill on gravel road back to the camp ground, with big juicy blackberries on the way, yum 🙂
Back at the camp and thoroughly exhausted, we had an open fire with lots of yummy treats and stories to tell.. Thanks to Simon for organizing and to the Team for making this truly the best day ride in the North Island I’ve ever had..