Peter and Denise are enthusiastic new owners of two MeloYelo ebikes: The FAT20 and the TeeBike. They’ve just completed over 365 kms on different bike trails throughout the South Island over a three week period. Here’s their story:
“Team Chunky” we called ourselves as the bikes were so distinctive with their fat tyres that we attracted attention and comment everywhere we went.
We had organised a group of nine for the first trail – The West Coast Wilderness Trail. We arrived at Ross in the midst of an extreme weather event. After dinner the barmaid in the Empire Hotel entertained us with a video of the Waiho Bridge further south being washed away just a few hours earlier. This had the effect of cutting off the highway to the glaciers and the Haast Pass for several weeks.
For us it meant the Trail had suffered a number of washouts and lost several important bridges. But it also meant there was barely anyone else on it. It was gloriously sunny in the morning and we had come so far…..so we decided to ignore the trail closed signs and proceed as best we could. That meant portaging the bikes across washouts, avoiding rocks that had been washed onto the trail, and wading calf deep over the boardwalk though the Mahinapua swampland ( for fear of throwing water up into the electrics). However we actually managed to do the whole trail and some parts twice, except for a small section near Cowboy Paradise where the bridge had been washed out and the river too deep to cross. A stunning trail and a wonderful West Coast experience.
A few stalwarts continued on with us to Hamner where, although drizzly and a bit slippery, a friend showed us a number of Intermediate mountain bike trails with evocative names like the ” swamp trail ” and the “swoop trail.” The bikes performed well and at this stage Peter thought we should be renamed “Team Muddy” rather than “Team Chunky”.
Then it was down to the wide open spaces of Central Otago where we rode the river track from Clyde to Alexandra and into the Roxburgh Gorge in brilliantly clear autumn weather – through swathes of colourful leaves between Clyde and Alexandra onto the moonscape of the Roxburgh Gorge with the river carving a turquoise path through the rugged rocky landscape. Further down we connected with the Clutha Goldtrail which follows on down alongside this awesome river.
For contrast we headed over to Arrowtown and biked along the Arrow River through more stunning autumn landscapes down to the Kawerau Bridge. Heading back towards the North Island our final ride was out to the peninsula in Kaikoura where we stopped for the night.
Our bikes performed magnificently and we directed numerous admirees to the MeloYelo website!! We are already planning our North Island sorties, plus a return to the South Island next summer. New Zealand is truly a bikers paradise…..so many off road trails…and so much more accessible with ebikes!