Martin on the road to Thames
Monday 17 January
We looked forward to today with a little trepidation as our first day riding with loaded panniers.
I had heard that we could get out of the urban area by using the Auckland suburban rail network. We headed to the Britomart Transport Centre near the ferries and took a lift with the bikes underground to a gleaming trains terminal. There were a few last minute platform changes but we did notice that the the train operator had just changed to Internationally renowned company Connex!!
The bike arrangements were good with a bike sign on a carriage and 2 rows of tip up seats. We took a train about 40 miles south to Pukekohe and then south on a minor road to stop for elevenses at a cafe in the small town of Tuakau. We went on to join the busy route 2 but this had a good hard shoulder. We stopped for lunch at a cafe in Mangatawhiri and
then joined a quiet minor road towards Miranda on the coast.
Martin and I stopped at the top to take pictures of the view down to the coast while Peter continued on down. A local pulled up in a pickup and we got into conversation about our trip. We told him we would be cycling up the Coromandel Peninsula. He asked if we had anything between our ears and Martin answered no. We debated whether to tell Peter that the next few days might be hard but in the end did so.
We stopped at a cafe in Waitakararuru and then a flat ride to Thames a small town at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula. 53 miles for the day and 1276ft of climbing at an average speed of 10 mph