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The Timber Trail - A Family Affair

11 August 2020

Words: Sam Shaw
Photos: Martyn Ross Davis

Sam Shaw and his mum Sarah, take a weekend out from their day jobs as ecologists to ride the Timber Trail, star in a 'What to Wear' video, and check out a couple of lux accomodation options.

Friday 22 June 2020

Finished up a job in Ohope testing out some new technology and making sure people know where some weeds are (ecology stuff). Quick visit to Grandaddy before heading to the barber for my first cut (ahem trim) since ‘corona virus.' Feeling fresh and ready to hit the road to Pureora for a Timber Trail mission (New Zealand's current number one bike trail destination). A quick-stop in Rotorua to pack in the Ground Effect gearsies and my bike, before going to Wildlands to collect Mumsie who was joining me for the weekend. We rocked up to the Timber Trail Lodge in the dark to meet up with Lyndsey (our host/organiser), and Martyn (our media guy). We had a few beers and a very large dinner with fellow bikers (and walkers). Lots of interesting people at the dinner table including one who had just finished the length of New Zealand TA walking trail in three months.

Early sleep before an early rise.

PS Mum always has chocolate ginger, which I always find, without fail, and eat all of it, resulting in 1 x upset Mumsie.

Saturday 23 June 2020

Mmmm, morning coffee

Up at 5am to head over to the Timber Trails 'glamping site' (a very fancy camp that I would prefer over a house, nearly) for a coffee and breakie with a little bit of media then back to the lodge and in the shuttle to get to the start of the Timber Trail at Pureora.

The pre ride faff

A quick catch up with good mate Leigh (stationed in Pureora Village working for DOC), before setting out with Mumsie to ride the first half of the trail. We cruised to the top and then jumped off our bikes and hiked to the top of Mt Pureora. Our timing was perfect as the clouds parted and we got dat view. Back down the hill, back on the bikes and off again.

Track highlights. Photos: Sarah Beadle

Wheelie good

A helicopter passed overhead which seemed a little out of character, but not long after we came across a mob of bikers, one of whom had just been heli-ed out with a suspected broken arm. While everyone was wondering how to get the injured person's bike out, a woman was wandering around supplying chocolate which I politely declined (having already eaten Mumsies chocolate ginger earlier). She then said “do you know I’m the voice of Whittakers,” which I then replied “well, it would be rude not to have some chocolate then wouldn't it", followed by “how about a demo of what you do in the ads” (new friend made).

Forrest views

Mumsie and I carried on to our destination at Blackfern Lodge for a spa, some pool, and way too much food - I'm in my happy place. After a few chin wags and beverages it was off to bed.

Luxury lodgings

Sunday 24 June 2020

Waking up at 7 felt like a huge sleep in. Into the dining hall for another round of way too much food, and coffees. We found a scenic waterfall and fed some trout and some eels, before saying our goodbyes to our ace hosts Lyndsey and Martyn.

Quick waterfall detour. Photos: Sarah Beadel

Jumped on the shuttle headed back to the Timber Trail midway point and begun to ride the final 50km of the trail. Luckily it's mainly downhill to the end and we smashed it out before 3pm.

Happy campers

At the end we chatted with a few riders from yesterdays antics, washed our bikes, jumped in the car and pinned it back to smelly old Rotorua (my favourite place).

11/10 would recommend the Timber Trail adventure to anyone.

View Timber Trail Map here.

Four-legged locals