The Gentle Cycling Company is sited in a rural oasis in Stoke, a sleepy suburb just 15 minutes by car from the center of Nelson. We share a site with Nikau Gardens, a native plant nursery. The established trees are a great addition to our environment here. Our building is an old farm shed, built when this area of Stoke was still agricultural.
Thinking of doing our Art and Food Ride? This route is all ready to ride now – contact us for a detailed map of the ride. Below are a some photos taken along the route, just to get your tastebuds going.
If you are a lover of Craft Beer and you can ride a bike we have a brilliant beery bike-ride for you! New Zealand’s only Great Taste Beer ride is a no sweat way to visit 3 breweries, taste the brews and chat to the brewers, using the bike to get from one brewery to the next. And it’s almost all on cycle trails around the sleepy suburb of Stoke.
The section of the off-road Great Taste Cycle Trail from Stoke (that’s where our HQ is) to Mapua via Rabbit Island (that’s where all the locals go to swim and picnic) is now open. That’s great news for cyclists looking for a ride that combines lots of Nelson’s best things – beaches, fresh fruit stalls, cafes, wineries, a craft brewery, what more would anyone want? Continue reading
The Great Taste Trail just got even greater, with the opening of the newest section to Brightwater, a pretty little village 21 km from Nelson city centre. The beer at the village pub is chilled and ready for some serious thirst-quenching, the impressive new blue suspension bridge is primed and ready and the blue trail markers are up.
Autumn, the season of mellow fruitfulness, has been almost unbelievably beautiful here this year. The warm, calm days are going on and on, providing us with tip top cycling weather. The hop harvest is long gone and the grapevines are starting to drop their leaves and hunker down for the winter. The warm afternoon light makes for some great photo opportunities.
Cycling in Nelson just got even better with the official opening of the first section of the 175km Great Taste Trail. This section of the Great Taste Trail is at Rabbit Island Reserve (20 kms from Nelson airport). The connecting section, to link with Richmond (on the outskirts of Nelson city) is due for completion in October 2012.
This autumn harvest consists of feijoas, chestnuts and mushrooms, all harvested in the heart of Nelson city. Our council is actively planting fruit trees for community use, so it’s been feijoa crumble, feijoa pie, feijoa sorbet and just feijoas eaten with a teaspoon au naturelle all April.
March is the month of the hop harvest in Nelson, when the fields that were curtained in green lose their flavour-laden curtain – until next year. At Kentishman Hops in Upper Moutere, the hop harvest rekindles images from my past, when tractors were smaller and closer to the ground and farmers still wore straw hats (yeah!)
Whenever I spend time cycling in the Moutere area, just half an hour out of Nelson city, I come home feeling I have been somewhere special. Not only is it my favourite sort of landscape (soft, green and gently rolling) it is also dotted with lots of reminders of its agricultural history. The old farm buildings seem to be hidden behind hedges and under trees everywhere you go. The oak tree sheltering this little shed must be even older than the shed.