Brent & Claire Ruru

T.I.M.E. Habits • Minimalists • Travel Enthusiasts ... while the bodies still can and we still have our marbles!

Category: Mountain Biking

1/9/19 The Blind Mosquito

When our biking buddy Maree asked if we would like a face mask to use when cycling the Little River Rail Trail from Motukarara to Little River, we thought she was taking the piss.

Often, we see Asian’s wearing them around the cities and wondered if it was because of bad acne. Or to reduce pollution inhalation.

Her warning that the flying bugs would be in hordes along the edges of Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere and Lake Forsyth warranted nostril and mouth entry points coverage. Otherwise, you ain’t gonna need carrot cake or a sausage roll reward from all the protein you would be sucking in.

Jeezus, she was bang on.

The black clouds swarming ahead were like those birds you see on National Geographic documentaries that twist and turn in dark shapes on a sunset evening in the sky. Except our clouds were just hovering from ground to three-five metres on the pathway we were riding along. And into.

By the zillions.

They are called the NZ Midge, or Lake Fly, or the Blind Mosquito because they look like a mossie, except they don’t bite … thankfully.

You felt them hit, they clung onto apparel, skin and hair and we have never in all our time that we have ridden bum on bike seat, ever encountered such an awe of protein like we did today.

The face mask worked … thankfully and we got to munch down cake and roll.

Before we had to repeat the experience to return the same way we had come!

The best of the worst now under out belt. And close to being in every orifice that wasn’t covered up!


It was a long weekend in Chch and as the hordes of Saturday & Sunday campers headed our way, we headed there’s and took off to Hanmer Springs – a micro adventure spot just a couple of hours north.

HS1 - Charles UphamAmberley houses a bronze statue of Charles Upham – he won not only one, but two Victoria Crosses for bravery during WW2 – an inspiration to both old and young.

HS6 - View from Connical HillConnical Hill walk gives you spectacular views of the valley with pastures green and Alpine heights. The meander through the tall forest up with bird song drowns out the chat of meaningless gossip.

HS12 - Mtb up JacksHS14 - Where we summit Jacks PassHS16 - BC still climbingHS24 - Heading towards MolesworthBut the real huff and puff is always left for the mountain bike ride – up Jacks Pass, north on the Clarence Valley floor and then down Jollies Pass. Legs are tested climbing and hands tested keeping fingers on brakes ascending as the steepness of down is adrenalin focus not to go over the side.

HS28To sit and soak in the thermal pools relieves pain spots braved – a ride worthy of crossing off your list and take solace, the victory is worth it.

Upham and over – wasn’t just bronze, it was golden

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