Leaving Taupo today, after a beautiful, hot summer day we headed toward Tongariro national Forest via Turangi. Our plan was to beat the rain, rent bikes, and bike the Tongariro River trail, described as family-friendly, grade 2 (which in PA rail trail terms is gentle). We were anticipating a ride by the river on flat terrain.
The ride began beautifully. Exactly what we expected!!
And for the next part of the journey we found ourselves pushing our bikes up winding, steep, rocky, single track paths, scratching our heads, wondering if we read about the right trail. We held our breaths and our brakes as we descended, zig-zagging between trees and rocks. This seemed more like mountain biking.
A welcome break was the National Trout Museum. Mike’s an accomplished fisherman, so we stopped to gawk at the trout but didn’t feel a great need to pay $15 to go in.
Onward. Back on the trail, we continued the challenge, realizing that what we had anticipated as a fairly simple 10k ride was not at all what we were getting. Granted,there were a few very easy, gentle paths. And then we’d be back on a single dirt track dodging roots and rocks. We were tired but we pressed on.
Coming down an incline and riding between two rocks with gravel at the bottom, you guessed it, I crashed. But I was lucky . . .just a brush-burned knee and a hole in my tights. And a bit of bruising to my ego. . . .
Although I yelled to Don, who was behind me, I wasn’t quick enough and he also crashed where I did. UGH!! Scraped elbow and holes in his pants knee.
Dang! As I was riding i was thinking, “How many 67 year old women would be riding on a single lane mountain bike path on their birthday?!” See where that thought got me!
So after “Turangi FALLS” which no one saw except for Don and me (!!), we drove on to Tongariro National Forest and Chateau Tongariro, our digs for the next 3 days. The rain was pelting, and we congratulated ourselves for good timing. A nice glass of merlot by the fire with my “bump on a log” (hidden but Mike got a log so I could prop up my leg), then some dinner with a birthday surprise dessert. . ..well, I’d honestly say it was one of my best birthdays ever!