The Wanganui Tramping Club's magazine reported in May last year that a clutch of members had embarked on "dignified, sedate bike rides around the city. Just a couple of hours with plenty of laughs and diversionary coffee stops." Fifteen months later the group, now known as the BOMBS (loosely translated as Bottoms on Mountain Bikes) is thriving.
Each Tuesday at 9am up to 20 cyclists gather at the i-SITE on Taupo Quay before setting out for a ride of about two hours around the city or nearby countryside. It wasn't long before they started going further afield, using the club's purpose-built cycle trailer. So far there have been day trips to the Whangaehu Valley, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and recently to the new Pekapeka Expressway Cycle Path.
Their most ambitious trip which occurred last summer was to complete the multi-day Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail from Aoraki/Mt Cook to Oamaru. At 320km, this is New Zealand's longest continuous cycle trail. There is now a rumour going around that the BOMBS are eying up the Timber Trail, an 83km ride in Pureora Forest Park.
Meanwhile, the group's "midwife", Barbara Gordon, has announced "the baby has now grown beyond toddlerhood and was put up for adoption". As a result Carolyn Shingleton is the new facilitator/co-ordinator/general guardian of the BOMBS Tuesday bikers.
The Waitahinga Trails, which have been closed for pest control, will reopen on September 1 and the club has scheduled a walk there.
The club's September weekend programme is:
■ Sat-Sun, Sept 2-3, Pouakai hut or Rangi hut, leader Mike
■ Sat or Sun, Sept 2 or 3, Otaki Forks, leader Dorothy
■ Sun, Sept 10, Waitahinga Trails, leader Dorothy
■ Sat-Sun, Sept 16-17, Ruapehu tramps, leader Bruce
■ Sat, Sept 16, Dawson Falls circuit, leader Graeme
■ Sat-Sun, Sept 23-24, Pouakai hut or Rangi hut, leader Mike Cole
■ Sat or Sun, Sept 23 or 24, Lake Rotokare/Cardiff Walkway, leader Dorothy
■ Sat or Sun, Sept 30 or Oct 1, Sat or Sun, Tongariro summit, leader Esther
Make all inquiries about trips to Barbara phone 348 9149 or Dorothy phone 345 7039.
The midweekers have a full programme of interesting trips every Wednesday. Those who get out on Thursday are in two groups, with longer walks on September 7 and 21 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on September 14 and 28. The Wednesday contact is Margret, phone 344 3899, and the Thursday contact is Val, phone 345 0456.
To join weekend trips call the leader by the previous Tuesday at the latest. Call by the night before for day trips. As some trips have limited numbers, leaders have the final say about who to take as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of everyone on their trips.
The next meeting at the Deerstalkers' Hall, Peat St, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 6 will feature Heather Grady, chairwoman of Outdoor Training NZ. She will give a brief introduction to OTNZ and legal aspects of leading trips and running clubs. All welcome.
For information contact Barbara at 348 9149 or visit our website www.wanganuitrampingclub.net