Monday, January 09, 2017

Eke Loop

Ok, so I had to call the post something...

On Sunday I had to celebrate the Tenere getting a WOF (on some fairly worn E-07's) by taking out for a spot of gravel flipping.  I had a very late start and even leaving my driveway hadn't really made any firm plans.

I eventually went right out of the driveway and made my way up over the track.  It was  a little exciting as it was fairly windy and at one stage my tank bag came adrift so I had to grab it and hang onto it until I could pull over.  I can't have clipped it in properly as it's never been a problem before.

My first patch of gravel was on Kopikopiko Road and followed my usual route through to just North of Eketahuna.  A great mix of pretty fast gravel and the odd bit of tar.

Instead of rocking on into Eke, I turned left on SH2 for a little while before turning off onto Central Mangaone Road.  I hadn't been on this one for a while and it was a little slower going with tighter, narrower roads.

Central Mangaone Road ended onto the tarmac Mangaone Valley Road Road which I followed towards Pahiatua before turning off again onto Tawataia Road.  I'd only done this road once before but remembered it as good fast, open gravel road - I was right, it was fantastic.

By the time I hit the tarmac of Route 52 a plan was forming.  I turned towards Pongaroa and and kept an eye out for my next turn-off...

...which was onto Saunders Road and eventually Pori Road.

Eventually I came to the spot where a few years ago the BRR crew stopped by a big slip.  It had been mostly removed but you can sure see where it came from and where it went...

Leaving the slip, the Gopro stopped taking pictures and I soon ran out of gravel ended up on the Pahiatua-Pongaroa Road near the end of the Makuri Gorge.  I did manage to get some video so ya'll can here the mighty S10 at play (although the YouTube video doesn't sounds as good as the copy on my PC).

The run back to SH2 had me get stuck behind a few old cars out for a sedate trundle and run head first into the howling wind.  It was definitely a lot windier than when I'd left so I passed on a return trip over the track and took the boring route home via SH2 and the gorge.  Never mind, good to be out on the bike and a nice little 195km route - I better put some gas in before next time too as the current tank was filled in Picton...

Thursday, January 05, 2017

New Year's Day ride

While chatting to Meanie and Monie at the Coast to Coast I suggested that we hadn't done a New Year's Day ride for a while (I didn't check but it's been at least a year) and that we should think about doing one.  Both were keen and then they also mentioned that Al was emigrating to the South Island (lucky sod) and that it could be a last hurrah for him - sounds like a plan...

Anyway, that's as far as we got before I snuck down to the Golden Bay so on my return we had to get organised in a hurry.  I actually sent an invite out while in Pakawau but didn't plan the route until I got home.  At least we had let some of the team know and could plan the after ride BBQ...

I eventually came up with the little ride shown below - except we reversed it so we could pick up some Martinites on the way.

Being New Year's Day (and an Ashhurst ride), we planned a bit of a late start from a cafe in Ashhurst for the latte drinkers (and this mocha drinker).  Meanie must have been pretty keen (or thirsty) as he bet everyone to the cafe and got straight onto Facebook to let everyone know all about it...

Not quite sure how that Trumpy found it's way into a Kawasaki garage...
Eventually more coffee drinkers arrived and we were probably only half an hour late leaving for Marton.

All stragglers accounted for
Valley Road was a nice little warm-up followed by a few more back roads from Feilding to Halcombe and then into Marton where we collected yet another Triumph and a Ducati.  A magic little ride down Makuhou Road and a little of Turakina Valley Road (missed out on the gravel sections unfortunately) and we were soon in Fordell turning for the run through to Hunterville.

Being an Ashhurst ride we did need to break the ride up a little though...

Only crappy cell phone pics today...

While at the lookout the girls got excited when a topless Tanker Driver roared past and quickly remounted and chased after him.  The rest of us weren't in as much of a hurry but eventually caught up to them prior to running into some moos being moved along the road.  There were some complaints about the stock on the road...

I avoided all the mess (but got the blame for others not avoiding it - not sure how that works) and really enjoyed the ride across to Hunterville.  There were also several other groups of riders out enjoying it but in the opposite direction.

We eventually rolled into Hunterville just after 1 which was just as well as both Meanie and Yod were keen for some breakfast.  The rest of us more normal people opted for lunch.

After lunch/breakfast Monie did a disappearing act while the rest of us carried on up a busy SH1 before turning off at Ohingaiti and making for Pemberton.  I was having an awesome ride and thought I had fair dusted everyone but had to come back down to earth when Yod turned up and mentioned Triumph issues - apparently one of them was leaving pieces behind...

Super fast Connie




Meanie on not a Kawasaki

Al & Tania
The rest of the ride was the magnificent loop from Rangiwahia to Apiti and then around Pohangina Valley East Road to Ashhurst - more nice scenery and magnificent riding.  In Ashhurst we split off to drop bikes at home before returning to Ashhurst again for the BBQ and a great night feeding our faces and talking crap!

On my way home (the first time) there was one other bit of excitement when the Connie rolled over another little milestone.

No, it didn't run out of fuel...

And pretty much in my driveway too...
Great ride and great bike!  Must organise another New Year's Day ride again...and soon!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Kaihoka Lakes

Ok, so while I was down South for Xmas to see the family and do Chrismassy stuff, I also happened to have an Adventure bike with and be located in an area where there are adventures to be had.  So after a visit to the beach on Boxing Day, I decided to sneak off for a short little ride.

After looking at a few maps I decided on the short trip out to the Kaihoka Lakes which were fairly near to the batch at Pakawau.

Turning off the main road I soon ran out of sealed road and was on gravel.  A few years back I'd ridden the V-Strom down this same bit of road as far as the Anatori river but this time I turned more Northerly to ride out to the lakes.

The start of the road was very corrugated (the bike struggling with drive) and I was pretty slow and careful on it and also was expecting traffic as some of the other roads further North had been busy during the day.  In the end there were only a few cars coming the other way and I was soon at the lakes.

Not a lot to see from the road

Leaving the lakes I decided to carry on down the road to see where it went.  I eventually ran out of public access road near a small bay in the Whanganui inlet.


With not too many options available I had turn around to retrace my steps, stopping just once more to get a better view of the bay.

On the way back I dialed the traction control back a bit and the bike started handling a lot better being able to ridden harder on the gas.  I was a lot quicker coming back and had a blast.  Towards the end of the below video you'll notice how corrugated the roads were in places.

Back at the main road, it was very tempting to turn right and head further on down the coast but I behaved myself and pointed back in the direction of the batch.  Just one more picture stop at Pakawau.

Temptation nearly getting the better of me...
Returning back to the batch, I found that I'd done just over 40km.  Not sure if that really justified bringing the Tenere over the Connie but at least I did get to ride a little piece of road that I hadn't before.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Xmas 2016

Christmas this year involved a nice little ride South on the Tenere.  My sister had recently bought a batch in the beautiful Golden Bay and it was time for the rest of the family to invade and check it out.

Lovely Wellington weather....
My trip began early on the afternoon of the 23rd.  I loaded up and left Palmy at just before 1pm to meet the ferry.  I'd given myself way too much time to get there, thinking that the Xmas traffic might be bad but all the traffic was heading in the opposite direction.

I got dumped on a couple of times but got to the ferry really early and had about an hour and a half before boarding.  I tried to get onto the boat that was already loading but no dice.  We were warned of some bumps in the straits but after a bit of lurching around leaving the harbour, the rest of the sailing was pretty calm.

Arriving in Picton at around 8:30 I took off through Queen Charlotte Sound (a little damp in places) before hitting the main road to Nelson.  It was quite wet in places going over the Rai and Whangamoa Saddles and the inside of my visor got crud on it causing a wee moment entering a tight right hander.  Well, that woke me up and slowed me down for the rest of the trip down the hill.

I rocked up to my sister's empty house (they were already at the batch) in Richmond at around 10:15 and was in the sack not much later dreaming of the Takaka Hill...

In the morning I soon turned my dreams into reality as the Tenere pootle across to Motueka and then assaulted the 28km of corners that is the Takaka Hill.  In reality I actually took it pretty easy and even stopped for photos...

In Collingwood I made a quick stop for fuel so that I had a decent tankful for any possible excursions later...and then about 10km up the road I discovered the batch hidden in some nice bush.

Now the holiday could start...

Over the next few days there was plenty of eating, walking and playing with the kids.  A nice relaxing time...

Pictures can tell the story better!

Fresh Kawhai for the smoker

Cape Farewell

Wharariki Beach

The Grove

Pupu Springs

And maybe some videos:

Simply oodles of Tui's around the batch and the sing all day and most of the night...

Eventually, I had to head home and that of course meant another crossing of the Takaka Hill, this time maintaining a little more momentum and then back through Queen Charlotte again to the ferry.

One fantastic steak sandwich and a smooth crossing had me back in the North Island for a quite cruise home after an excellent Xmas in a stunning spot!  Wonder what we're doing next Christmas...