Escape to Banks Peninsula with the Catholic Brothers

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by kiwimorgan, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    So, l was starting to feel that my fairly newly acquired GasGas 450 Pampera might be better replaced with a scooter. So far most of its use had been commuting to and from work in East Christchurch (the road cone capital of the world), what a waste. Too bogged down with domestic stuff at the weekend. Then I heard that Dominic, the middle Catholic Brother, was replacing the 1985 XL250R he's had forever with a brand spanking DR650. A plan was hatched! Kevin, the youngest brother has a huge fleet of 50's, scooters, mopeds, 1980's road bikes and post-classic racers. Almost everything but a dual sport. But the XL was still there, a ride for Kev. Oldest of the Brothers, Chris, the coolest priest in the country, rides the wheels off a DR-Z400. Monday was the day..... priest's day off. We met up at Dominic's place. Kevin took one look at my matt-black adventure helmet with mirrored visor and said "Hey Morgan... You look pretty menacing .......... for a fat old guy!" The tone of the day was set.

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  2. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    First stop up in the Port Hills

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    The Sign of the Kiwi tearooms used to be a great place for an ice-cream, but like so much of Christchurch the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have left it broken and fenced off.

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    Looking down the hill towards Governors Bay.

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  3. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    This the kind of road the Brothers like but we'll find some gravel too.

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    If you've ever wondered what sibling rivalry looks like here's a picture of it!
    Dominic on the other hand is real gentleman and rides like one.

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    #3
  4. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    So down through Teddington and out towards Diamond Harbour, I saw this and thought "What a positive place to be!"

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    Dominic's about to sell the XL250 so I took a few artistic pics (with great scenery in the background) for trademe.co.nz (think NZ's better Ebay equivalent for the non-kiwis)

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    Further round the bays and we catch a glimpse of Ripapa Island, an old fort that served as a prison in WW1 for one German prisoner.

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    Round the corner is Purau Bay where we'll head inland again.

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    #4
  5. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Up over the hill and we're in the heart of Banks Peninsula, The peninsula was named by the great explorer James Cook after the naturalist on his ship, Joseph Banks. Cook was a skilled cartographer, but made a couple of blunders. His map show Banks Peninsula as Banks Island and Stewart Island (at the bottom of the South Island) as Stewarts Peninsula! Here's the road down into Port Levy.

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    On a road like that you just sit and wait for Kev and Chris to to go by and then watch the sparks till they disappear round the bend. You'd think a newly married man and a man of the cloth might be sensible.... NO chance. From Port Levy we headed up the hill again onto our first gravel section, Western Valley Road. I'd hoped to get a few more photos through here but the road's so narrow in places that I (leading) mistook the driveway to a farmstay for the road. I was almost at the farmer's front door before I back-tracked, not knowing whether the Brothers were ahead or behind. Didn't see them at the the top. Didn't see much actually as the clouds we'd seen around the hills became fog but I did get one shot away as I headed down into Little River.

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    #5
  6. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Caught up with the boys at Little River. Kev was hitting us all up...looking for a bike swap. Chris, Dominic and I considered it.
    We had the youngest, craziest, and fastest rider on the slowest, second heaviest, least powerful, oldest and worst braked bike.
    We decided we were fine with that. Somehow it seemed the safest option!

    We bypassed the twisties up the hill (Kevin's favourite playground) and followed the valley to Harmans Track (sign-posted 4WD Only)
    Of course we aced the track even though we're only one wheel drive!

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    Chris and I chewed the fat at the top while we waited for Dominic (aka James May)

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    In the meantime Kev got bored and went back down to attack the gravel hill again.

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    #6
  7. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Again we bypassed the usual tarmac to Akaroa and took the old stock route down into Duvauchelle.

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    We'd planned to go up the Robinsons Bay Stock Route and back down via the Old Le Bons Bay Track but stomachs were rumbling and we headed into Akaroa via the main road. A great lunch of chowder made with locally harvested seafood. Here's the whole crew, all the Brothers and a token grey-bearded Baptist.

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  8. kiwimorgan

    kiwimorgan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    After lunch we tried to go up the Old Le Bons Bay Track but although I've been down that track several time in a 4WD we couldn't figure how to get onto it from the bottom. When we reached a sign saying "Trespassers will be shot, survivors will be shot again" we gave up! Chris and Kev were hanging out for some more snaky tarmac anyway. So we headed back to town. As you can see the main road isn't exactly a boring motorway.

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    Not a bad ride considering We never left the Christchurch City Council boundaries! Banks Peninsula has lots of gems still to be surrendered and I've realised next time requires many more photos. If you guys enjoyed this I'll give another report after the next ride.
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