The Golden Bay Milk & Honey Race - Sunday 22rd October 2017
The Golden Bay MTB Club's NBS Milk and Honey race is a special event that incorporates the two disciplines of road biking and mountain biking, combining them into one event. It includes a road climb of 790 metres up the Takaka Hill, and continues down the Rameka Track, one of NZ’s classic downhill single track mountain bike
The uniqueness of Canaan Downs provides the backdrop to the transition from road to mountain bike. Canaan, the name given by the early settlers to the region, derives from the biblical reference to Canaan as the land of Milk and Honey.
The 12km of gravel road that links SH 60 to the start of the Rameka Track is almost a religious experience in itself. It reaches 880 metres at the highest point, passing through ancient beech forest and rolling landscape of sink holes and limestone outcrops.
You can choose to do this ride one of three different ways.
Solo - Two Bikes (Individual rider with two bikes, road and mountain bike)
Solo - One Bike (Individual rider with one bike only)
Team (Team of two, one bike each road bike/mountain bike)
The Honey (mountain bike section)
At the 36km mark at the Canaan Road junction is the transition from road to mountain bike. You still have a 28km to negotiate back to Takaka by way of Canaan Downs, and the Rameka Track, the original route into Golden Bay as travelled by the early settlers and one of the longest single track downhills in the country
With the transition at 670 metres, you'll climb 200 metres to the Canaan Saddle. You may have time to take in the scenery, or you may be starting to hurt here. You turn off the Canaan road at 45km and take in 2 km of the Grade 3 Rollercoaster before exiting in the car park for Harwoods Hole. A short climb on rough 4WD track takes you to the start of the Rameka Track, signposted left before the top of the climb.
From here you are in for a treat with 17km of prime technical singletrack awaiting you. First off the Rameka Track traverses pristine forest of Abel Tasman National Park before plunging down to Golden Bay Mountain Bike Club's "Pack Track". The track eventually crosses the road and after 400 metres crosses back again, where it continues through Project Rameka , taking in the Grade 2 Great Expectations. More singletrack awaits you after a river crossing. By following the The Klicks signs you will ride two more Grade 3+ sections of track that run beside the road.
Once out the bottom of the gorge and on the road follow Rameka Creek Road to Glenview Road. A left turn, a single lane bridge and a right turn take you to Central Takaka and SH 60. After a quick check for traffic cross the highway into Dodsons Road. The final section is the same as 2014, through the paddocks beside the Takaka River onto Reilly St, then back to the start in Takaka!