Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Makara Loop

I rode the Makara Loop today for the first time in a long time today. I rode up Ngaio Gorge, through Johnsonville, then blasted down the Takarau Gorge to Makara Beach, then slowly struggled back up over Makara Hill to Revolution Bicycles in Northland for a while to regain my equilibrium/composure/breathing, then fanged down Glenmore and home around the Bays...very sore now, and enjoying a beer.

Back in the early 80s and right up to the late 90s this loop was a staple Saturday afternoon training circuit of my friends and I. I have fond memories of barging shoulders with Chris Taylor and Andy Bray, racing for primes with Henry Chlebowicz, attacking Antos Kowaleski and Bruce Stewart through the Paris-Roubaix gravel, racing the downhills against Wheels and Jonathan Neill, and simply riding with many, many other good friends...

I probably sound about 90 years old, but I couldn't help but reminisce about how the Loop has changed/is changing since the halcyon days of my youth - the Takarau Gorge is sealed (apart from the wee taster of olden days), all the pines have been logged, opening out the lower Gorge, the cool old macrocarpa tunnels on the way to the village have gone, and now they're widening all the roads in preparation for the wind turbines going in.

I know it's all for a good cause, and that eventually the trucks will be gone again, but I can't help but feel sad that this classic road loop is being irrevocably altered. We have too few rural style circuits around Wellington as it is. Oh well, that's progress, I suppose...

I still had fun and reveled in being able to escape the city for an hour or so...lovely.