GLCC Inner City Loop Ride
Start this ride in the home suburb of Grey Lynn Cycle Club (GLCC). Starting at Urban Jungle café, make your way along Great North Road. You’ll pass numerous wooden villas, but the shops are dominated by Countdown, an Aussie behemoth of a supermarket. Once you’re past this monstrosity, you’ll be heading past some new high-rise developments. While most are attractive, some definitely need an architectural makeover.
Continue along Great North Road, through Karangahape Road. This is one of Auckland’s most colourful streets. The juxtaposition of on trend arty types, both shops and people, against the backdrop of prostitutes and dance clubs. There’s nowhere more diverse in New Zealand. You’ll eventually reach Grafton Bridge. Cross the bridge onto Park Road.
Park road takes you past Auckland City Hospital, and then onto the domain. It’s worth checking the domain out. Auckland museum sits pride of place on the highest part of the domain. This area was once the crater of Pukekawa volcano. Some parts of the volcano are still visible. The museum is also worth investigating, too.
Remuera to Pt England
Once you reach the intersection of Khyber Pass road and Park road, take a left until you reach Newmarket’s Broadway. Newmarket was once the heart of Auckland’s suburbs shopping, but now just looks and feels the same as a Westfield shopping mall. Skip here and turn left up Remuera road.
Remuera is where Auckland’s old money is. Where the neighbours don’t speak, and you can hear the sound of jewellery before you see the trophy wife. Where they consider you an outsider by the sound of your car. They really can identify if it’s European, and especially German or Italian. Nothing else will do. And unless you’re just passing through, they’re more likely to call the cops than to chat.
At the end of Remuera road you’ll arrive at a roundabout. Take the second turning along College road. Then take the first turning at the next roundabout down Merton Road. Let your bike run free. The descent down Merton road is fun. And if you’re like most riders you’ll end up doing a Froomey (sitting on the top tube trying to reach peak aerodynamics).
Follow Merton road straight through the next two roundabouts, but be careful on the second one. You’re aiming for Pt England road. It’s a tricky turn. Allow cars to slow before following the road around to the right. Many cyclists have had close calls at this junction. From Pt England take a turn left at the next roundabout onto Elstree Avenue. There’s not much to see along this stretch. Turn right on the next roundabout and swing up Taniwha Road. This climb, albeit short, is tedious. It’s a it of nothing, and a bit of everything.
After Taniwha you’ll turn right, left and then down Roberta Avenue. It’s a steep drop, and if you take the correct line it’s great fun. Just remember to test the brakes if the roads are wet. Take a right turn and head up Riddell road. This is also a bit of nothing and a bit of everything. There’s no consistency to the grade, but it’s definitely more enjoyable than Taniwha. That’s possibly because it’s the last hill for 20km.
Once you reach the end of Riddell you’ll head down Glover road. The junction between the two is treacherous. Make sure you stop if you’re unfamiliar with he area and no what to look for. Cruise down Glover following the natural way of the road. You’ll soon end up on Tamaki Drive. From here it’s detailed in the GLCC Tamaki Drive Ride, just in reverse.
The City and Herne Bay
At the end Tamaki/Quay Street, take a left and through the viaduct harbour and Westhaven. This is probably the most beautiful part of the ride. Westhaven at sunrise is hard to beat. With the backdrop of boats, the Skytower, and cityscape, the sun really does light up this place and is of true majesty. Make sure you’ve got a camera ready, even a phone will do.
Once you go under Auckland Harbour Bridge make your way up the cycle path alongside the ride hand side of the road. Just be careful, it’s just not that easy to navigate. From here head along Sarsfield. This is the area of the 1%. A mixture of old and new money, and style of houses. Cut through until you reach Marine Parade, one of Auckland’s most prestigious roads. When riding it, you’ll understand why.
Climb your way up to Jerviois road, pronounced ‘Jer Voice’, you can understand why visitors can be hard to understand sometimes. Get to the roundabout and take your second exit down West End road. Go past Coxes bay, don’t swim unless you want to lose weight, and get Giardia. Now just head back up along Garnet road, making sure to stop at one of the numerous cafés. Just make sure it’s not Garnet Station, as they’re not exactly bike friendly.
Enjoy your ride and coffee.