Cycling the Bridge to Nowhere
The Bridge to Nowhere (part of Mountains to Sea) was the last North Island NZ Cycle trail that we hadn't completed and we were rapped when a fine weather window presented itself just before New Years 2016/17. We had accommodation in Ohakune and cycled down to the Mountain Bike Station to get their 8am shuttle to the start of the track. We ate the dust of a completing shuttle as we made the hour long journey along a remote backcountry metal road thru Ruatiti to the start of the track. The twenty cyclist from the two shuttles quickly spread out on the easy 6km ascent to the Morinui Trig before a undulating ridge traverse to the Mangapurua Trig. This was a great spot to regroup and enjoy the views out to Mt Taranaki and check out the information board of the Mangapurua Settlers. From this 12km mark we now had a great descent for the next 20km with only a few small ascents. The shelter at Johnsons proved to be the ideal lunch stop with plenty of shade from the heat of the midday sun. No mud so far but as we started along the valley floor the track surface starting developing a few little mud holes that proved a challenge for some. There were a few compulsory get off and "walk your bike" sections around the many bluffs. The bridge appeared unexpectedly out of nowhere and provided spectacular views to the stream 40m below. A short 15min ride had us at Mangapurua landing in time for our 4pm pickup and 60 minute jetboat ride down the Whanganui river to Pipiriki. Our shuttle had us back in Ohakune just after 6pm with big smiles on our faces and with us looking forward to a bit of re-hydrating.