Today was a big day day for everyone. Lea and Stacie were going for a hike together while Peter and I were going to rent mountain bikes and try out the legendary trails of Queenstown.
We had a nice breakfast and then Peter and I geared up and walked down the hill to the bike shop. It took about 5 minutes to rent our bikes and we were off. We had a 7 mile ride out to the trail system (aptly named 7 Mile) and we started off at a brisk pace. It was so nice to be back on a bike again. If there is one thing I really miss on this trip, it is exercising on a bike. My knees are really taking a beating with all the hiking and skiing we have been doing.
We jumped off the road as quickly as possible and took the Sunshine Bay trail, which runs right along the lake. The trail is well maintained, but I knew quickly we were going to be in for some technical riding for the day. Loads of tree roots, exposed granite and a constant up and down flow made for challenging riding. All this while getting used to new bikes which have the brakes reversed (in NZ the front brake is on the left). We had a few moments of frustration, but about 45 mins later we were at the trailhead for 7 Mile.
We jumped on the main connector trail and slid down a steep rocky hill. At the bottom we started working our way along the lake and quickly thought we were lost. The trail was even more technical and the going was rough. About 15 minutes into the trail system we started seeing other connecting trails and felt better about where we were. We stopped and tried to get a picture, at a viewpoint over the lake, but the lens was a little foggy.
Once we got on the main trail systems the riding improved greatly and we started having a wonderful time. The 7 Mile area is a big series of interconnected trails for advanced riders, which made it equally challenging and enjoyable. We wandered around trying different trails and found our favorite (Kachunk).
Then we stopped for a little snack and a rest.
In total we spent about 2 hours exploring the 7 Mile trail system and then headed back out to the road for the 7 mile slog home.
The ride home seemed to take forever with hills continuing to challenge our tired legs. The entire ride took 4 hours and for a couple of guys who have not been on bikes in 6 months, we did pretty good overall. A couple of falls, a couple of scrapes and bruises, but overall we came home safe and smiling.
The rest of the day was mostly recovery for us. The girls had a great hike and a good day of getting things done.
I love having an adventure that tires you out, and today certainly falls in that category.