Arthur’s Pass and Craigeburn Forest

20 km mountain biking and lotsa driving

Despite the cautionary tale spun earlier about the rear spokes, we just couldn’t resist the chance to make a final mountain bike ride on the way to returning Chandra’s bike in Christchurch. So, we headed up toward Arthur’s Pass in heavy rain. We decided that if we could find a camping spot and if the weather cooperated we would try to crank the Craigeburn Ride also known as The Edge (see photo below!). I figured that if I had trouble with the spokes I could replace them in Christchurch once again and still roll the bike onto the ferry.

We pulled into the picnic area/campground at the base of the ride and found the familiar home feeling of a climbers’ ghetto – all chalk bags, crash pads, and shoes. A few mountain bikers were around too and we totally felt at home! We had a bunch of leftover food from Christmas that we unloaded on some appreciative climbers and crashed for the night ready to shred in the morning. The climb up to the ski area was really long, but the ride once on the edge was spectacular! There were definitely some sections in the scree that were sketchy with huge cliff-like dropoffs to the side, but in between the singletrack was sweet! I got stuck under a tree briefly, but no big thing.

The wheel held up, and the only bummer was that we missed a 3-km section called The Luge and instead backtracked a bit for our descent. All in all a killer ride and we were both stoked to get a final mountain ride in before returning Chandra’s rental bike and heading out to Akaroa for some sailing and visiting friends.

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