Cycling is a great way to see the sites, and experience the countryside. Not only can you see the world at your own pace, but you can easily bring some friends along to enjoy the experience. With its mix of flat plains and hills, Geraldine offers some great biking country, whatever your level.
This is best done anti clockwise. Start at the I-site, head towards Christchurch on Talbot St. Turn left just before the ‘Traffic’ bridge, into Tripp St., this follows the ‘Downs’ and ‘Nursery’ signs. Up the hill and down curving left into Davies St. Keep it under 40kph for this bend. Straight to Pye Rd, turn right. Next left into Downs Rd. Downhill (mostly) keep straight on, Downs Rd becomes Darby St (take care down here), then Huffey St. Straight across at the Stop sign outside the Primary School. Tight left into Talbot St. Pass the Ambulance station, the Fire Station, Library and Cinema to the start point. Many do this lap two or three times for fitness training.
This is the summer season Tuesday night circuit. Leave the I- site heading North towards Christchurch. Turn left in to Woodbury Rd at the signs, or, continue straight ahead and turn left into Tripp Settlement Rd. In both cases go direct to Woodbury. Turn left (or straight ahead – depending on approach used) into McKeown Rd. Turn right into Wooding Rd, ride up to the gravel section then do a 180 turn. Back to McKeown Rd, turn right and ride towards the main Geraldine – Fairlie Rd. Turn right at the Pleasant Valley Hall into School Rd, then left into Te Moana Rd. Left again at the main road heading towards Geraldine. Left up Greenvale Rd, doing a 180 at Mary’s letterbox (no. 285) and heading back downhill. Left into the main road again and back to Geraldine central.
Leave Geraldine on the road to Fairlie, cross over Speechlys Bridge and after about 2km turn left into Brenton Rd, following the Hilton sign. Follow the twists, turns and rolling countryside and at the end of Brenton Rd turn sharp left (careful) into Winchester Hanging Rock Rd. Stay on this road until the stop sign at Earl Rd. Decision time. Turn left for the shortest way back to Geraldine/Woodbury etc. Straight ahead to reach the Geraldine Winchester Rd. Turn right for Temuka and Pleasant Point. Proceeding straight ahead the road winds around for a few kilometres then left at the T junction (Geraldine Winchester Rd), straight back to Geraldine. A slight detour on the return journey can be turn left at Tiplady Rd and right into the main Geraldine Fairlie Rd giving the opportunity to do a lap or two of Greenvale Rd for that bit ‘extra’.
Muff Road meander
Leaving the I-site, head towards the Westpac Bank on Talbot Street. Cross the river over the pedestrian bridge behind the bank or go north to the traffic bridge and turn right soon after. Either way, ride past the High School all the way to Mes Ami Café corner (SHW 1). Turn right onto SHW 1 and then immediately bear left into Muff Rd. Follow Muff Road for several kilometres crossing Factory Rd. Careful at this intersection, this is milk tanker country. This is now Bain Rd which in turn ‘becomes’ Milford Clandeboye Rd. Turn right at Rise Rd and now it’s straight through to Winchester. Turn right after the railway crossing (one street before the main rd), then right at T, first left the left at T junction. Careful at the main rd. Turn right then immediately left onto the Winchester Geraldine Rd. If you are keen for extra distance turn left at Winchester Hanging Rock Rd and do the Hilton block in reverse.
Ride towards Fairlie, crossing Speechlys Bridge, turning left immediately into Earl Rd. Continue on Earl Rd for about 6km (much of this is 1-2% downhill- it should add about 5km to your normal cruising speed) turning right into Goodwin Rd. This curves into Seven Sisters Rd. Follow this road until the end T junction, turning right following the Pleasant Point signs. This road (Waitohi Temuka Rd) does a 90% left after a short time and goes directly to Pleasant Point (it is now Waitohi Pleasant Point Rd).
Ride towards Pleasant Point, at the end of Seven Sisters Rd turn left at Waitohi Temuka Rd T junction. Continue straight ahead, crossing first the Temuka bypass then Temuka main street. This is now Domain Ave which becomes Temuka Clandeboye Rd. Follow the road’s left curve and head north. Follow this road as it changes names (into Bain Rd) and eventually leads to Muff Rd. This leads back to SHW 1. Turn right then immediately left at Mes Ami Café to return to Geraldine, past the Orari racecourse, Denfield Golf Club and the High School. This loop is about 55km and best done in a light SE wind.
Timaru (the back way – sealed road route)
Follow the route to Pleasant Point. At Pleasant Point turn left and head towards Timaru (it is better to use the service road on the south side of the main rd). Turn right into Smart Munro Rd, after a short distance bear left into Doake Rd. Time to enjoy some rolling countryside. Follow Doake Rd for several kms until the T junction with Rolling Ridges Rd. Turn left here and follow Rolling Ridges Rd until Stevens Corner, turning acute right into Bassett Rd. At Rosewill turn left into Rosewill Valley Rd. This curving road becomes Kellands Hill Rd (you’ll soon see why). Follow this road until it ends turning left into Pages Rd then, shortly after, right into Morgans Rd. At the next main intersection turn left using the cycle lanes all the way to central Timaru. To get to the main bike shops in Timaru take the right at the roundabout and ride until you find North Street on your left. Stay on this until you reach the south end of Stafford St. Turn left will lead to The Cyclery, then Bike Inc and so on. Just a tad over 50km one way.
Ride from Geraldine north as if heading to Christchurch. Follow the inland scenic route (the road to Rakaia Gorge) and turn left onto Mt Peel Rd around 10k north of Geraldine. This section of road (from Geraldine to the turn off) is often best done in single file. Now you have a peaceful ride to Mt Peel Village. After the village a popular route is to turn left and ride to Blandswood. This gives a round trip of just over 50km. After a water stop at Blandswood (read the memorial to flash flood victims in the carpark) once rounding the first bend see if you can freewheel all the way to the Mt Peel road. You now have a downhill ride all the way to the main road. An alternative, and longer ride, popular for those doing some serious training, is to cycle straight through Peel Forest Village and cycle through the rolling countryside (and Waikari Hills) until the seal ends. This makes a round trip of just over 80km from Geraldine. This can be a tough ride if a NW wind is blowing.