- New Zealand
- The Queen Charlotte TrackMountain biking the Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sounds
- History on the Heaphy
- Suppressing the Competitive UrgeMountain biking in Malborough
- Northern ExposureMountian biking the Coromandel
- Hurunui Hot SpringsWinter mountain biking to Hurunui Hut in the Lake Sumner Forest Park.
- Craigieburn Conservation ParkMountain Biking Craigieburn
- The Brevet ClubGuy and Laurence recount the suffering and intrigue of the inaugural Kiwi Brevet... a 1100km mountain bike race around the top half of the South Island over six days. Informal with self-enforced rules, no entry fee, unsupported, and... well, hard.
- Wharfedale TrackThis is arguably the best and longest stretch of single track in Canterbury
- Double FencelineThis classic trip snakes along the summit ridge of Banks Peninsula.
- One Night StandsOvernight mountain biking trips in the South Island
- Fool's GoldMountain biking in Central Otago
- All that Glistens... the Croesus and Moonlight Gold TrailsMountain biking on the South Island's West Coast
- Otago GoldMountain biking - Bannockburn, Central Otago
- Loop de LoopGreat mountain biking can be found in most corners of this flat earth and New Zealand boasts its fair share of classics.
- Magnetic WestMulti-day mountain biking, Kaikoura to the Tasman sea
- Romping Round the Marlborough SoundsMountain biking Marlborough
- Rambling Around the Marlborough SoundsMountain biking Marlborough, Arapawa and D'Urville Islands
- Off the Beaten Track An off road traverse of the South Island on mountain bikes
- At Peace with PureoraMountain biking around the Pureora Forest in the Central North Island
- Taranaki for NeophytesMountain biking in Taranaki
- South Pacific
- West meets EastAfter riding all morning through the tail of a typhoon, we didn't want to slosh into a Japanese restaurant in that state. I tried drying out by standing under the vent outside the kitchen. I got no drier, but now I smelled of noodles...
- Tien Shan TraverseWhat do you do in the middle of the mountains when two large, thuggish Chinese men get out of a car and stride purposefully towards you? You smile and say thank you for the stale bread and peaches they are offering you!
- One Gear, One Continent, One Hero.Hero Cycles is the world's largest manufacturer of bikes, spitting out a whopping six million a year. You're unlikely to find one at your local bike shop but as any seasoned traveller can attest, they are the 'people's car' of India.
- Laid-back LaosMountain bike touring in Laos
- The Road to MandalayCycle touring in Myanmar
- Vietnam on Thirty Dollars a DayCycle touring in Vietnam
- A Short Ride in the Hindu Kush Cycle touring in Pakistan
- On a Wheel and a Prayer FlagCycle touring in Tibet
- Shanti Shanti - Across the Himalaya by BikeCycling across the Himalayas
- Biking the Hidden HimalayaCycle touring in North West India
- Pedalling Patagonia"Wow! Amazing! You're cycling to the bottom of South America. Is it all downhill?" Alan and I looked at each other in amusement and suggested that we expected a few uphill sections.
- Cycling Cuba with Fidel and Ché
- Dirt Roading in Colombia'The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay', promises Colombia's latest tourist advertising slogan, printed over glossy photos of idyllic Caribbean coastlines, perfectly preserved colonial towns, rolling, lush coffee plantations and a Latin couple dancing hot cumbia.
- Famous Potato Recipes from Idaho
- My Private Idaho
- Donde Estan Los Pollos
- Alaska - the Last Frontier The Alaskan Iditasport Human Powered Ultramarathon
- In Search of Maple Syrup and a Decent National Anthem Mountain biking in Canada
- All You Can EatMountain Biking in Northern California
- Caffeine and Singletrack in the USA Mountain biking in South West Colorado
- Bici Dolomiti Cycle touring around Italy and the Dolomites
- A Slice of Swiss CheeseMountain biking in Switzerland
- London Calling The London Cycle Show
- Stairway to Heaven - biking Spain's Camino de SantiagoCycle touring in Spain
- Albania for BeginnersIn the summer of 2009, our route from Greece to Germany crossed the small country of Albania...
- Fat Tyre Touring in ItalyCycle touring through Italy.
- Corsica- touring the scented isleCycling in the Mediterranean
- A Scottish Coast to CoastCycle touring in Scotland
- Crouching Tiger - Cycling Ireland's South West Coast Cycling Ireland's South West Coast
- The Italian Job Mountain biking around Lake Garda
- Double DutchA cycle tour of the Netherlands.
- A Rather Big Swedish RaceMountain bike racing in Sweden
- French ConnectionCircumnavigating Mont Blanc on the "Sentier Pedestre" hiking trail.
- A Month in Provence Cycle touring in the South of France
- A French PilgrimageTouring with the Tour de France
- End to End, the Long WayCycle touring in Great Britain
- Steve's SabbaticalCycle touring in France
Helen Priest, UnderGround Issue 5, December 1995
Updated 8 March 2012The Coromandel is an absolute mecca for mountain biking. And the Yuletide is a great time to indulge in some leisurely touring of the area, sampling the best rides while dedicating heaps of time to eating, drinking, swimming, reading and other essential activities as defined by Maslow.
Day 1Bust out of Wellington and head north (if you're from out of town then add a couple days to sample the city's great tracks or boogie back for the Mountain Bike Festival in March). Hit the emergency stop button at Paraparaumu and cholesterol load on a Kapiti ice cream. Further on, stretch the legs at Tree Trunk Gorge - a great track just off the Desert Road. It takes about 2 - 3 hours, has blow-me-away scenery and seems like it's downhill for the entire loop. If you've got time then put the Tongariro Forest Crossing on your list as well. It's handy to have a couple of cars though to shuttle between the start and finish of the track.
Day 2Taupo. Check out Rainbow Lodge Backpackers for accommodation. Nowhere else can you get as many Far Side cartoons in the toilet for such a reasonable price (but there's often a queue for the loo). There's tons of biking. If you're feeling up to a longish day head out to the western side of the Lake and explore the Pureora Forest Park. Closer to town are the Craters of the Moon. This playground of single track is usually bone dry and a hoot for screaming down dips and slaloming through trees. After a couple of hours of adrenalin at the Craters, head to the Spa Park (a couple of klicks up Spa Road on the left) for a soak in the hot stream. You'll find them at the start of the Aratiatia walkway - look for the steam rising where the stream flows into the Waikato. Mmmm.
Day 3Rotorua is on the way to Coromandel and it's sacrilege not to stop and play in the Whakarewarewa Forest. Score a map of the forest from the Forestry Corp Visitors Centre in the Redwood Grove and go wild. Afterwards chow down at the excellent Fat Dog Café opposite the Court house on Arawa Street.
Day 4, 5, 6...Whangamata is a good base for riding and beaching around the Coromandel. Unfortunately over Christmas the place swells to the size of Auckland (mainly because most of Auckland seems to be there) and accommodation can be tricky. Avoid the usual free camping spots - you're likely to be served with a trespass notice at some anti-social hour. This of course didn't happen to us, so the following year we wised up and rented a little house. We squeezed heaps of us in to reduce the cost (around $20 a week) and eventually recovered from the nostalgic decor. Pick up a Saturday NZ Herald (careful not to strain your shoulder) and check for places.
The Nitty Gritty> There's a bundle of excellent rides around Whangamata. Check out the Kennett's book for a summary or visit Larry at the local cycle shop - he's dialled into the good tracks and the current status re logging. Avoid the heat of the day and ride in the early evening. Beside there's all that snoozing, swimming and snorkelling to occupy the day.
> The pick of the rides are Luck at Last, Pauanui Trig, Wentworth Shortcut (check with DOC, this may now be closed to bikes) and Neavesville. Take the appropriate Topo maps, it's easy to get lost and kinda handy to know where the bigger mines are.
> Whangamata is pretty barren on the café front. It's best to arrive fully provisioned with the epicurean essentials. Once they run out it must be time to head home. If you're from Wellington or Nelson you'll be hangin' out for a HUGE hill climb. So go via Te Aroha - 1000m vertical grunt in 7km. It hurts and the downhill is wicked.
> You'll need your biking stuff (of course), a car (the older and bigger the better), juggling balls, esky, Baroccas, Visa card and Classic New Zealand Bike Rides by the Kennett Bro's (available from Ground Effect for $39).
> Follow the Mountain Bikers' Code. Respect Others; Respect the Track; and Respect the Rules.