Top 10 Summer Cycling Tips

  • Thursday Jan 11 2024

Title: Enjoying Your Summer Cycling Adventure on the Otago Central Rail Trail: 10 Tips for a Great Ride!

With the summer sun cranking up and gracing Otago, it's the perfect time to hit the Otago Central Rail Trail. To make sure you have an unforgettable and enjoyable experience, we've put together our top 10 tips.


1. Start Early, Finish Early: Beat the Heat

To make the most of cooler temperatures, kickstart your ride early in the day.  It usually light by 6:00 am during the summer months. Plan to wrap up your adventure by around 4:00 pm to avoid the peak afternoon heat when temperatures can soar well above 30 degrees.


2. Hydration is Key: Carry Plenty of Water

While bike-friendly towns are spaced every 30-40 km, it's wise to carry enough water for you daily journey. Aim for a couple of litres per person, as there are no taps or drinking fountains on or the trail. Hydration packs are a convenient and popular way to store water.


3.Sunscreen: Protect Your Skin

Slip, slop, slap! Apply sunscreen generously to shield yourself from the sun. Even though helmets provide some shade, it's essential to ensure comprehensive protection against harmful UV rays.


4.Cool Off with a Swim

Explore the local swimming holes, typically rivers. Check on LAWA's swim if your swimming spot is good to swim in:

• Stay out of water for at least 48 hours after heavy rain, as it may be tainted from contaminants on land.
• If you're at the swimming spot and can't see your toes in calf-deep water, wait and come back when the water has cleared before taking a dip.
• If in doubt, stay out of the water. 

The Manuherekia near Alexandra is currently safe, or opt for public swimming pools in Alexandra and Ophir if river swimming isn't your style.


5.Try Indoor Curling: A Unique Experience

Take a break from the bike seat and try indoor curling, a delightful sport played on an ice rink. It's not only a fun group activity but also a fantastic way to beat the heat and give your body some rest from biking.  More about curling

6.Prepare for All Weather Conditions

While Otago usually boasts hot, dry summers, it's wise to prepare for any weather surprises. Pack layers of clothing and wet weather gear, especially for cooler mornings and evenings.

7.Share Your Adventure: Tag Us!

We love seeing your trail adventures. Share your photos with us by tagging and using #otagocentraltrailtrail. Don't miss the chance to enter our Great Ride Photo Competition to and tag @greatridesofnz

8.Provide Feedback: Complete Our Survey and Win

Your feedback matters! Share your trail experience through our official survey and a chance to win cycle books by Jeff Kennett.  Complete official survey. Help us maintain the greatness of this ride!

9.Book Ahead to Secure Your Spot

Summer and holiday seasons are busy times on the trail. Ensure a hassle-free adventure by planning ahead. Book your bikes, accommodation, and dining services in advance! Find your Tour Planner via the Official Website

10.Trail Essentials: Carry Your Own Supplies

Pack your essentials, including toilet paper and a reusable cup. While there are public flushable toilets in towns and self-composting (DOC) toilets along the trail, having your supplies ensures convenience. Check our trail map for toilet locations and, if you're a coffee lover, bring or buy your reusable cup.

Here's to a fantastic ride on the Otago Central Rail Trail! Enjoy the journey, stay safe, and make unforgettable memories. Happy cycling!