2011-12-13 19:17:13+0000 - Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Distance:
  • 83.3km / 51.7 mi
  • Duration:
  • 1:27:57

A stunning wee day ride of approx. 85K (55Ml) one way or 170Ks return ride, depending on where you start & finish. It has a great mix of short straights & windies. This ride takes you over & through 2 extinct volcanic cones, Lyttleton & Akaroa, on Canterbury's Bank's Peninsula.

Akaroa is what remains of a French whaling settlement, following their attempt to colonise New Zealand back in the late 1700 - early 1800's. The story goes that a very cunning Maori gentleman sold the rights to Akaroa to 50 or so people, getting paid by each of them. It has a rich history of Maori settlement, wars & whaling. Now a great destination for a short or long day ride.

It is a very lovely (quant) wee town with a French flavour, where you can buy stunning Fish & Chips, or a Latte & muffin for the Java brigade. For those over-nighting it has great accommodation & restuarants, scenic boat cruises and eclectic shops for the ladies all in a lovely location.

Hilltop Hotel (B), overlooking Akaroa & the harbour is a great place for a comfort stop, scenic view, local beers & food.

The horrible thing is after arriving in Akaroa, having finished your Fish & Chips, Latte what ever, you have to ride back to Christchurch the way you came, or take the Summit Road scenic route (maybe drop down to one of the beach settlements on the Peninsula for a nosey, Okains Bay Settlers Museum) on your way back to The Hill-top & Christchurch.

Ride often, ride free


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It is 2 years since the beginning of that terrible period, somewhat overshadowed by japans devastating Tsumani. We have so much to be greatful for. The 3 Britten's you speack of are on display at Casbolts our local Ducati & Honda franchise. Johnny B was an early member of BEARs racing, riding his evil handling 1948 alcohol burning Tiger100. At this period in time a number of us started building TT2 replicas working with 500-650 Ducati/Cagiva) motors. John (the dreamer)stepped outside our comfort zones & started from scratch, developing Aero-d-Zero, a 900ss powered aerodynamic masterpiece as a proving ground. He went on to get Bob Denson, speedway motor builder, to create a 1000cc V-twin motor. Alan Cathcart has a little to say about this machine after racing(& crashing) it at Ruapuna Raceway. What happened from then on with the development of John's masterpiece, the Britten V-1000 is now history. Something to remember about John's successes, John had a loyal bunch of friends & supporters with benefits. All experts in their various fields. "One Man's Dream"was really the dream of many.

  • alex
  • 2012-09-03T06:27:28-04:00

I saw the article in Bike (UK) recently about the Britten stored there and how they got them out. Amazing none of them (3 of the 10 remaining) we pretty much undamaged. Glad to hear the shaking stopped and hope it doesn't start again for a while


Christchurch is a wee bit munted these days. 2 earthquakes back in late 2010 & early 2011 changed the way our city will look forever. The shaking has stopped as we settle back to a new normality & rebuild. Happily no major problems to the Nth of Christchurch. Business is all go as usual.


Prev. comment should've read, 'Why do we even live in this country?' The shame.

  • alex
  • 2011-12-13T17:35:12-05:00

I only ever flew over this area (to Dunedin - it was work). Now, I wish I'd landed and ridden around :(


We do we even live in this country? I rode a mtn bike around the North Island for a month in '89 and can tell you first hand that that country was made for motorcycles, and not bicycles


Kia ora Marina, these are just hills, the mountain roads (Southern Alps) are to the west.

  • marina
  • 2011-12-13T15:07:19-05:00

@champers @alex we gotta do this road.

  • marina
  • 2011-12-13T15:06:54-05:00

I switched to satellite view and saw the mountains! Incredible landscape.