The last six weeks has seen a flurry of activity, with the JollyBikes Thames and the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust competition running hot. On Monday 13 December the Prize Draw was held at JollyBikes to randomly select the winner of the Avanti Explorer E1 e-Bike valued at $4,999!
With powerful Bosch electric motors providing pedal-assist up to 32kph, hundreds of entrants were hopeful of picking up the powerful sporty ride. To be eligible to win, entrants had to correctly answer three questions from the Hauraki Rail Trail website in one of the six weekly draws.
The happy winner is Miles Wyatt from Ararimu. Miles entered last year but didn’t win, and was determined to give it another shot. We caught up with Miles when he visited Thames to collect the bike, to hear more about his previous experience on the Hauraki Rail Trail, and the benefits his new bike will bring to future rides.
Photo: Miles Wyatt (Winner), Matthias John (Founder, Owner & Director JollyBikes Thames), and Diane Drummond (CEO Hauraki Rail Trail)
Tell us about yourself
I live on a lifestyle block in Ararimu with my wife and two adult daughters. Ararimu is nestled in a valley between Bombay and Hunua, but the area is hilly and mainly suited to road cyclists. Most of my family ride horses, but I am the only bike rider. I mainly ride for fitness as it is easier on the body than running. I have been riding the roads during the COVID-19 lockdowns when there have not been many cars to worry about. I prefer to ride off-road though, and where there is scenery and cafes to enjoy - hence why I enjoy the Hauraki Rail Trail. Kaiaua is less than an hour’s drive from my home, so it is relatively quick and easy to get to the Trail from where I live.
I entered the competition last year but didn’t win. When I saw this year’s competition come up on Facebook, I made sure I entered every week, to give me as many chances of winning as possible. I was really stoked to get the call saying I'd won!
I found the answers by carefully reading the various web pages on or linked to the Hauraki Rail Trail website. My wife did have to help me with the question - 'What sign shouldn't you read at Waikino Station Cafe?' The answer was in a photo on the Waikino Station Cafe page that read, 'Warning, Do not read this sign.' It was so obvious when she found it!
Yes, I have ridden all of the Hauraki Rail Trail, including the Kaiaua section which I have done several times. Paeroa to Waihi is my favourite, but I enjoy any of the sections really, as long as the weather is fine, and there’s not a head wind. I really enjoyed riding into the interesting towns, and at the end of each section being able to sit down in a café and enjoy a coffee and some food before heading home.
For me is it probably the variety of scenery. Each section is different. It's also unique in terms of trails that are close to Auckland. There is nothing else comparable really.
Because I will be able to go at a faster/consistent speed, I will be able to stop more and be less worried about pickup times at the other end.
I plan to ride the Hauraki Rail Trail again, and enjoy more of the attractions along the various sections - especially the cafes! I think I will also ride in the opposite direction and see if I missed anything. I have a friend riding the Tour Aotearoa next year, so I will try and join him on the Hauraki Rail Trail sections.
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