Peen -noun \ pēēn \ (also see Jank ) 1: Steep, continuous, and technical trail.
The perfect ride for me has to have the right ratios - Gravel:Peen:Beer.
The kind of ride that really makes you question why you decided to bring a drop bar bike but somehow you still can't manage to wipe that smile off your face.
I’m pretty stoked to call Christchurch, New Zealand home. You know, that small little country in the South Pacific that is 100% not connected to Australia. Christchurch is a massively popular spot for outdoor frothers. The fact that you can surf, ski and mountain bike all within the space of a couple of hours is a massive win.
I mainly ride in the Port Hills, which is an area formed by two large volcanoes a few years back, offering a large amount of trails to pest around. I couldn't decide on just one loop to brag about being the ‘best ever’ or even the classic ‘this is my go to ride’. So, I decided to link up a bunch of my Port Hill favourites and spin a yarn about it all.
The ‘Traverse trail’ is a quintessential Christchurch track - truth be told a tad boring on the latest enduro bikes but jump on the drops and link it in with the likes of ‘Witch hill’ ‘Captain Thomas’ and ‘Anaconda’ and then you have a party. Bonus points for stopping in at The Brewery Bar on the way home to get a Woolston pale ale down the hatch.
Peen: 8.5/10 Gravel: 5/10 Beer: 10/10
If I'm feeling a tad more adventurous and really want to work for the correct ratio, a jaunt over the hill is required. Drop into the Governors Bay downhill track to tick the peen box straight away, a few necessary road KMs are quickly sweetened by the fresh gravel and harbour views while you sidle around the bay.
From here we pop into Orton Bradley park for your quick singletrack fix and a rip amongst the trees then venture back out to the tarseal, thankfully the gravel road ends upon a deserted beach.
The bonus to this trip is that it's only a short ferry ride back to Lyttelton where Eruption Brewing will sort you out with the Haziest of IPA’s.
Peen: 10/10 Gravel: 9/10 Beer: 10/10 (take one to have on the beach)
Overall I’d say we’re pretty spoiled in Christchurch with options aplenty. However if whole day excursions aren’t your thing, Vic park is renowned for its rugged jank, and across the valley there’s even a lift access bike park - can confirm drop bars & skinny tires do fit up the lift.
The joy of being a small country floating in the South Pacific is that we’re not currently bound by any domestic travel restrictions, which means plenty of gravel adventures are planned so watch this space - there’ll be more from me soon.
Big thanks to: Doctor Bike Ground Effect Clothing Odin Woods & Fin Watt (Photography )