Embark on a Rail Biking Adventure – The Gisborne Herald

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 10:23 p.m.

Eight years were spent planning, negotiating and designing.

Now the brainchild of engineer Geoff Main, Gisborne Railbike Adventure is finally ready to hit the track.

As GRA cyclists will experience, their bikes designed and manufactured by Universal Engineering are lightweight and hitched together to be ridden side by side on rail lines.

The adventure tourism business opens to the general public on Boxing Day, but ahead of the explosion in summer tourism, Mr. Main is offering residents of Gisborne and the east coast the opportunity to be among the first to try at greatly reduced prices.

Gizzy Locals Week offers a one-hour round trip between Awapuni Road-Macdonald Road and Browns Road, Muriwai, at $ 30 per person.

From Monday to Sunday of next week, vélorail rides are available at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Reservations are essential and can be made on Gisborne i-Site. The minimum age is 10 years old and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

When the GRA opens to the public on December 26, adventurers will meet at the corner of Awapuni Road and Macdonald Road to be transported to Muriwai where their rail bikes await them.

Once on the track, the seven-kilometer, three to four-hour tour (including breaks) through a bush-covered valley leads to a winding 1.4-kilometer tunnel before the rail cyclists burst into a lush green landscape and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 140 meters below.

The first leg of the adventure stops at Beach Loop where riders descend for lunch, “ooh-aah” panoramas and photographs.

Mr Main arranges the delivery of pre-ordered lunches to runners at Beach Loop.

Once fed and refreshed, cyclists can turn around and return to Matawhero Station to be picked up by the shuttle.

The descent travels through native bush, farmland, several streams, the Waipoaa plain, crops, market gardens and vineyards with the limestone cliffs of Te Kuri a Paoa – Young Nicks Head on the right.

The final stretch of the 28km adventure takes cyclists across the 500-meter Waipaoa River rail bridge rebuilt after it was destroyed by Cyclone Bola in 1987.

Bike-rail tours will start with up to 20 people per day before increasing to meet demands of 30 people per day.

Mr. Main also plans summer evening rides that start from the corner of Awapuni Road / Macdonald Road.

Meanwhile, Mr. Main would like to alert landowners and the public that rail cyclists will be passing through the Browns Beach Road, Muriwai Beach Road, Coop Road and Nicks Head level crossings.

For full information, maps, video footage and photos visit www.railbikes.nz

MAIN TRUNK LINE FOR RAIL BIKES: Geoff Main (right), engineer and founder of Gisborne Railbike Adventure (right), stands next to his line of rail bikes waiting for riders to launch on Monday. Track operators Kerby Coleman (right) and Shoney Grace rode the twin bikes. Some of the people who made the business possible are (left to right) GRA co-owner Phil Matthews and Universal Engineering employees Lonnie Larby, Tim Brown and Rama Te Are. Absent is Steve Mann of Universal Engineering, who Mr. Main says has been instrumental in the project for the past eight years. Photo by Liam Clayton


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