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If you're one of the many people - young and old - who now enjoy cycling for fun, then Hawke's Bay is where you should be heading!
Evidence of the cycling revolution is obvious everywhere in this region and it's not just because of the number of cars bearing bike racks that are rolling into town and the scores of visitors taking to the trails. Take the cafes with names like 'Tandem' that have popped up around the place, and other businesses not just offering bikje racks for customers but also pumps and tools so cyclists can make a few running repairs as they navigate their way around the 200km of easy, off-road cycle trails now completed. Cycling is the new 'big deal' here and the region is embracing it with fervour, keen to accommodate however they can, to ensure our cycle tourists have the best stay possible.
Much has been made not only of the extent of the trails network but also the smooth, limestone surface that the majority of the trails are made of, and rightly so! I've heard it described as 'like cycling on carpet' so there's no bone jarring, bouncing over gravel here. With ribbons of white linking the highlights of the region, cycling is the perfect mechanism for leisurely exploration. And that's exactly the point. Cycling Hawke;s Bay style is not about starting in one place then striving to reach another place further down the line. Here it's about pedalling through stunning countryside punctuated by long lunches at acclaimed wineries, refreshing dips in sparkling rivers, fresh fruit snacks at orchard gates and sound sleeps at quality accommodation. We like to think of it more as the European style of cycle holiday; easy, active, fun!
So pack the cycling clothes - although lycra not necessarily required - and experience the new 'New Zealand Cycling Utopia'. The Hawke's Bay Trails are no longer our special secret, and that's just fine by us!