Mark and Amelia did an excellent job of arranging perfect weather for this lovely excursion over the Rimutaka Incline and down the other side to Cross Creek. The ride up is fairly cruisy, even for a rider with no stamina like me.
We stopped at the summit to ponder about life in general and have lunch. I was convinced my bike was heavy to ride and first aid was administered by the two Daves, pumping up the tyres and suggesting I turn off the suspension. I felt like I had a completely new bike but had to immediately let air out and switch suspension back on for the bumpy ride downhill.
It must have been a hard life for those early pioneers who built the track and maintained the trains. I am grateful for their efforts which have left us with the rail trail. We took our time reading the sign posts and admiring the views which were beautiful, despite being largely scrub in a lot of directions.
Despite knowing we would need a torch, I think there was one working torch among us and fortunately that person was in front of me for the long, cold ride through the summit tunnel. The two Daves said they cycled down Siberian gully, which I would like to have seen. I reckon they dismounted like the rest of us as instructed by the signs. On second thoughts, the wild Canadian may have ridden down.
At Cross Creek, someone had left markers in stones and a message that 2.2km remained. Moving the decimal point rock was very tempting.
There were plenty of other walkers, joggers and cyclists out on the track that day. Personally I don’t know why you would walk it when you could ride it. It is the perfect bike route. It was a great day with great company and nice weather.
I was delighted to be able to stop for photos. The last time I did this trip privately, we were concerned about catching the train in Featherston. Consequently we took very few photos of the incline and lots of the train platform in Featherston (where we arrived 3 hours early).
The only downer of the day is that an unfortunate family will have returned to the car park to find their car broken into. This was a sobering reminder not to leave enticing items in a car at a road end.