We recently hosted our first 'Brother in the Wild' event in Wellington, getting out for an epic day of gravel riding in the Hutt Valley. We got very lucky with the weather, as it was a scorching day with hardly any clouds in the sky. We met at Queens Wharf and after a little bit of fiddling to get all the bikes on the ferry, we were away.
Once we arrived in Days Bay we set off on the route. The route was designed to be fairly simple, staying off road as much as possible. From Eastbourne we rode around the bays, cut through Seaview and followed Waiwhetu Stream to the start of the Te Whiti Riser, which we then climbed to get up to the ridgeline. This track was ideal as it was flowy, dry gravel and not too steep, with lots of switchbacks to keep things fun.
From there we continued north-east along the ridgeline, where we were met with even more challenging climbing. The terrain was undulating and featured a slippery, overgrown bushy singletrack section but also had some steep, rocky climbs. These were challenging for all riders, but especially hard for those who had brought bikes with narrower tyres or taller gears along.
After some pushing and fence hopping, we had finally made it to the top of the hill and it was 10km of downhill from there until our lunch spot. The descent was a mix of different terrain, from rough 4x4 tracks, pine needles, big puddles and smooth clay, all of which were suitable for some serious fun. We didn't get mamy photos of this section as we may have got a little carried away on the descent.
The end of this track dropped us into Stokes Valley, where we stopped by the Thomas Street Playground for lunch which was a couple big salads as well as some bread and fruit. After doing a few laps on the pump track and relaxing for an hour, we headed off down the Hutt River cycle trail. This section was flat and cruisey, especially after all the offroad we had been doing earlier in the day and took us all the way back to Days Bay. Having arrived at our final destination, we stopped for some beers and chips and relaxed in the late afternoon sun. Finally, we caught the ferry home as the sun set on us, which was a perfect close to an already great day.
Below you can find a bunch of photos from the day, as well as the full route if you missed out and want to have a go at it yourself! We had a blast planning and facilitating the ride and are definitely keen to come up with some more adventures for the future, so keep an ear out for those. If you have any good ideas of some places you'd like to explore or some beautiful riding locations you can recommend, then please let us know as well.
Finally, we'd like to thank the team at Brother Cycles for their support of this event, in suggesting that we hosted this ride as well as helping us flesh out the details to make it a true 'Brother in the Wild' event. We'd also like to thank Splendid Photo for providing us with the point and shoot film camera used to take some of the images below, as well as developing and scanning these for us.