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Saturday 25th Feb Arapuni -> Timber Trail (60 miles / 7100 ft elevation!)
The elevation profile for today’s ride said it all. Although it was only 60 miles the > 7000 ft elevation gain was evidence enough that it was going to be a hard day.
But before any riding would be commencing it was breakfast time!
It was whilst I was packing away my gear that Stuart and John road through the trail. After a quick chat the pair of them disappeared into the dense forest. The first part of the ride followed a tarmac road, before joining a trail that involved a series of 37 switchbacks downhill to join the track that follows the Waikato river to the Waipapa dam.
After the dam the trail became pretty hard going and it was another roller coaster ride along narrow trails. Great fun, but tiring. By the time I reached Magakino it was baking hot and it was really welcome to find a wake boarding competition on the lakefront with added sunshades on the grass. The competitors were doing some very impressive aerial antics on the water and it was pretty fun to watch.
Relaxing too long was not an option and the decision was made that it was back out under the beating down sun to continue riding. The riding from now on was tough going and initially followed 4wd tracks before the trail head widened into fire road trails. The section also involved a very precarious river crossing via a narrow rickety bridge made using wire fencing!
The stage for today involved a slight detour to locate and photograph the centre of the north island marker (apologies for the blurry photos).
Camping for the night was at the DOC campsite at Pureora which was right by the start of tomorrow’s Timber Trail ride. Dinner, one again was the usual Uncle Ben’s rice, Tuna, Tomato and Avocado mush!