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I’ve never been a cyclist but I like the idea of freewheeling along the road with the wind whipping past my face so I decided to give it a go.
Not one to let a little thing like not owning a bike get in the way I called Jenny from Takaro Trails for help. Takaro Trails offer a variety of one to five day cycle tours throughout Hawke's Bay and incorporates all the elements Hawke’s Bay is famous for (great food, wine, landscapes, nature, art-the list goes on!)
I gently eased my non cycling legs into it with her ‘Havelock North and Cape Coast Wineries’ day trip. Jenny offers a pick-up and drop-off service so we met at Clifton Car Park. It’s a good place to start as there’s lots of parking and plenty of room to do a few practice laps.
It was a beautiful mild Hawke’s Bay day and we set off early weaving our way along Clifton Road on the off road pathway. By the time we reached Beach Road the landscape had changed from rustic farm buildings and rural landscapes (complete with the worlds biggest black Bull grazing in his paddock!) to the modern architecture of Elephant Hill Winery with vines on our left and coastline on our right.
Continuing on the off road pathway down Beach Road we veered away from the coast, past the fire station into Grange Road before going through the cattle gate to get back onto the pathway. This led us up a slight rise where we were greeted by the wetlands and whitebait spawning area. It was such a ‘wow’ moment because it was so picturesque and peaceful.
After soaking up the scenery we carried on to Black Bridge encountering other cyclists and walkers along the way-all smiling and saying good morning to everyone they passed. (If they are typical members of the cycling society then sign me up!)
Totalling 8km, this route is good for beginners because most of it is off-road on the pathway and the small sections that are on road are in quiet residential areas with lots of room for cars to pass. It is also impossible to get lost which is great for people who have never visited Hawke’s Bay.
The remaining leg to Havelock North is all off road and also really scenic. Orchards vistas are aplenty and you can’t go past the “Beware of Frisky Cows’ sign without snapping a photo.
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