The Gladfield Rd ford across the Silverstream. This is
usually a fun splash, which is easily rideable because of
the ford's concrete base. If a fresh has deposited deep
gravel on the concrete, or the water level is up, the
pedestrian bridge is a good option. Photo by John Fridd.
Some mountain bikers don't like scary single tracks and
exhausting hill climbs, so I thought I'd throw a cruisy ride
into this series.
This 23km Taieri Tour is an ideal ride for a newbie or
perhaps someone training for a leisurely outing on the Otago
Central Rail Trail. It includes one little challenge, but
don't worry - there's a detour.
Start in Mosgiel, at the corner of Factory Rd and Reid Ave,
which leads to the sportsgrounds. We usually start our AOK
Social Riders Mosgiel outings here, as we like to finish at a
cafe/bar!Ride inland (west) down Reid Ave and turn right on
to the Silver Stream track. This trail is a delight, as
there's always something to see, whether it be a noisy
barbecue party in a backyard or a bunch of kids skylarking in
the stream on a hot day.
Follow this track north out of town to its conclusion at a
gravel car park (2.3km from your starting point), turn left
on to the road and cross the bridge by the airfield. Follow
this sealed road around past Fonterra (formerly Fisher and
Paykel) and when you reach Dukes Rd at 3.6km, turn right and
head towards Dunedin.
At 4.9km, turn left on to quieter Puddle Alley, then left
again on to Milners Rd and head south. At 6.8km into your
trip, you'll see an intersection at a corner - here, turn
right on to unsealed Waironga Rd. This tranquil back road
winds under the hills for a short distance before climbing
ever so slightly to cross the Taieri Gorge railway - watch
for trains! Down the hill, the road morphs into sealed
Tirohanga Rd, another quiet rural road popular with cyclists.
After a pleasant pedal south, you'll come to busy SH87, 13km
into your ride. Turn right on to the highway, keep as far
left as possible, and ride single file.
You are only on this sometimes busy highway for 600m
(just as well, you'll say) before turning left on to unsealed
Gladfield Rd, another quiet back road.
Stay on Gladfield Rd until you reach our little surprise -
the concrete-based Silver Stream ford, at 16.5km.
Usually, this is a fun splash achievable by all and you can
blast through, with feet up if you don't want to get wet
However, for those not so sure about a ford crossing, or if
the stream is well up and there's a lot of deep gravel across
the concrete, there's a pedestrian bridge here, too.
Just over the ford, on the left you'll see a stile beside the
gate, which takes you on to the Silver Stream track once
again. Head back into Mosgiel on the trail, the condition of
which varies depending on the season. It can be hard and
fast, soft and slushy, or even coated with fresh sheep
droppings if neighbouring farmers have been grazing stock on
it. Lovely!When you reach the Riccarton Rd crossing, avoid
the traffic by taking the track down the bank, which crosses
under the road bridge. Soon, you'll be back in Mosgiel, where
you can cross the main drag and stay on the stream track for
the short ride down to the sportsgrounds, where you turn
right on to Reid Ave and return to your starting point.
Time for a cappuccino!
At a glance
Main climb: Just 10m.
Estimated riding time without stops: 1 1/2 hours.