Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
KiwiBiker Calendar event
Sunday, March 13, 2011
View 2011 Southern Cross Day 6 in a larger map
View 2011 Southern Cross Day 7 in a larger map
View 2011 Southern Cross Day 8 in a larger map
View 2011 Southern Cross Day 9 in a larger map
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
View 2011Southern Cross Day 4 in a larger map
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Crown Range Road was devoid of traffic and I managed to capture a fair chunck of this great biking road on film as we made our way up and over the hill. In Frankton we stopped for fuel before heading off around the lake.
Just before Kingston the weather took a serious turn for the worse and we started to get pelted with very cold wet rain. Heated grips were pressed into action and we carried on splashing our way to Five Rivers and Mossburn.
From Mossburn we took a new (to us) road which took us through Nightcaps and on to Riverton where we stopped for lunch. Luckily the rain had stopped by now but it was still very cold so a hot lunch was very well received.
From Riverton it was just a short ride into Invercargil to find our motel and catch up with Meanie & Monie before the start of the Southern Cross proper.
Av speed: 92.7km/h
Leaving Wakfield the weather improved and the ride over the saddles was fantastic. We stopped briefly at the top of the Hope Saddle to take a few pictures of the fog before carrying on to Murchison. The Upper Buller Gorge was also wet but it is always a great ride too.
Further on down the road we stopped at the Brunner mine memorial for some photos before continuing on to Hokitika for lunch. In Hokitika we met up with a couple of other Southern Cross riders who rode off ahead of us into the wetness while we refuelled our steeds.
Heading further South we made good time even though we were always on wet roads and often riding in the rain. South of the glaciers we finally got clear of the rain and the riding just got better and better. We had another photo stop in Bruce Bay before paying a small fortune for petrol in Haast.
There will be video of our ride through the Haast at some stage but it will not properly do justice to the experience of riding this magnificent piece of road - just do it! One fantastic day's riding finally ended in lovely Wanaka.
Av speed: 93.2km/h
Friday, March 04, 2011
Breakfast put away and bike readied I started getting dressed for the ride while waiting for Mark. He rolled up at about 7am and we were off! Our first stop was a massive 2km away at the local BP station where for the incredible cost of $2.109 per litre we filled our bikes - if it's this dear in Palmy then what's it going to cost us in Haast?
Never mind, they had us over a barrel and the bikes won't run on thin air so with full tanks we set off South. As the skies got lighter we could see a lot of cloud about but it was actually pretty warm and we did not hit rain (light) until Paraparam. The further South we got the heavier the traffic until just South of the Tawa turn-off we were down to walking pace and being forced to lane-split to get through the traffic - not easy on big bikes with bulging panniers. Shortly we came across the cause of the delay - a little 250 lying on it's side just off the road. Darned if I know what happened but it appeared that the girl riding it was ok and the emergency services were looking after things as they do.
From here it was a short distance but a decent period of time (damn traffic) to the waterfront and the Ferry Terminal. As it was raining we got directed to the new (well first time I'd seen it) shelter for bike riders where we got out of our gear and readied ourselves for the wait. It wasn't long before other riders turned up - the first being a group of German tourists riding a couple of rental Beemers and a couple SV650's. Not long afterwards the first of a few Southern Cross riders turned up and soon there was ten of us trying to (and not completely succeeding) keep out of the weather. Greetings were said and comments made on the lovely state of the weather (now chucking it down and blowing a gale) and then we all settled in for the wait for our boat.
As mentioned above the weather had really changed for the worst and when the ferry first tried to back into the dock it was blown badly off course and had to go around again. In the end they had to drop an anchor to help steady themselves for the delicate reversing maneuver. All this was not that encouraging for those with stomachs prone to being easily upset when travelling by sea but eventually we were aboard and on our way to Picton.
In the end the howling gale appeared to be flattening the sea rather than heaping on ginormous swells so the crossing was fairly uneventful. Mark and I spent our time chatting with another Southern Crosser and kicking back in preparation for some pretty serious riding in the coming week.
Regardless of the how nice the sailing is, disembarking in Picton is always a most welcome experience as you are now in the South - motorcycling heaven! In Picton the weather had really improved so we decided that Queen Charolette Drive had to be done and had a great run through there (only a couple of campers to get past) before turning back onto the main road at Havelock and heading onwards to Nelson.
The Rai and Whangamoa Saddles were absolutely spectacular in the dry so Mark got to scrub in his new PR2's and I had to laugh when I entered a corner with the Connie laid on her side only to have a cop go past the other way - a quick look at the speedo showed 90km/h but I was having a ball and not speeding (well at that particular moment)! Mark also enjoyed a similar moment a couple of seconds later...
Anyway, this seems a lot of blather for a ride of only 260km but we are here in Nelson, safe and sound and raring to go tomorrow - the West Coast is calling...
A few stats:
Moving Average: 73.5km/h