Our district offers a number of tracks that make cycling both accessible and fun. Let’s face it, we are on the Canterbury Plains which means most of our cycleways are flat, great for the individual and family.
Flat is not boring and if you are thinking it is, then head out to Oxford Conservation Area and cycle the Wharfedale Track, one of the longest single track rides in Canterbury, varying from easy to difficult and is a 30km, 7 hour return ride. Or extend the journey and stay overnight in a Doc Hut.
Meanwhile back on the ‘flatter’ trails, there are three established parks to choose from. You will be treated to great views and smells including pine, willow and beech forests, waters of the Pacific Ocean, Pegasus Lake, Te Kōhanga Wetlands, the braided river beds of the Waimakariri and Ashley and the internationally significant Ashley Estuary.
Waimakariri River Regional Park, utilising Kaiapoi Island’s 18.5km of tracks. Follow the trails as they take you in to forests, waterways and fun tracks. The tracks will bring you back to where you started from. You can access from Ravens Quay, Kaiapoi or from Wrights Road, just off North Road.
Tūhaitara Coastal Park. Enjoy the variety of trails from all surface to hard aggregate. Take a side trail to one of the sandy beaches for a quick dip or walk. Then back on the trail stop. Take a breath. Have a look around. This park is undergoing a lot of change, in the form of logging and rehabilitation of the environment. The plan is for 200 years with the vision to restore the park to indigenous coastal forest. Watch this space for future recreational opportunities and updates at Friends of the Tūhaitara Coastal Park.
Whilst in the Tūhaitara Coastal Park, take a side track to Pegasus Town from the Tutaipatu Trail, ride around the lake and wetlands before heading to the cafes and restaurants.
Ashley Rakahuri Regional Park boasts the Rakahuri Trail with 13km of all surface tracks, utilising stop banks and single tracks (one way in parts) with fun twists, turns and undulations. Reaching from Waikuku to Rangiora. Take it fast or slow to suit your ability. You will be treated to the views of the Ashley Estuary at the east end of the track at Waikuku Beach, and views of the Ashley River along the way. Stop for a swim at the water holes, or for a snack at the picnic areas and soak in the serenity this park has to offer.
If you aren't tired yet, then join the trails together to loop your way back to wherever you started by utilising the urban connectors of Passchendaele Memorial Path between Kaiapoi and Rangiora, or the Rangiora-Woodend Path between Rangiora and Woodend.
Now, on your bike!