Monday, August 13, 2018

How could I forget...

...the Forgotten Highway.

This last weekend the weather decided to sort itself out and gave us two perfect days - coolish but sunny, calm and not wet!  Saturday had me thrashing the mower and generally doing stuff that wasn't riding but I could not let Sunday go wasted on such mundane activities...

I was in need of logging a few miles just to see if I still could and just in case I decide to go on a long pootle in October so while walking the hound early in the morning I came up with a few possibilities.

New grips on, I left home just before nine and started making my way over towards the 'naki.  Conditions were perfect with zero wind and not a cloud in the sky.  Taranaki and the other wee snow covered hills could be seen for miles - but you'll have to take my word for it, I was on a mission and there was no time for photo stops.

I hadn't fuelled the Connie before leaving and guessed that fuel was going to be needed in Waverly or Patea but with the bike just loping along quietly, the fuel consumption was looking good.  Just North of Patea I finally got the low fuel warning but after some quick maths I worked out that Eltham was easily achievable.

Still 0.05 of a litre left in the 22L tank...
While gassing up I also picked up a new battery for my fob and took care of that alarm too - it had been coming up every now and again for the last few rides.  I also somehow stuffed the zip on my jacket and didn't notice it until Stratford when I stopped briefly to turn the camera on - luckily it wasn't too cold...

Now on the Forgotten Highway the fun factor increased and even though the roads were winter wet in places (and had a few dodgy patches) I made pretty good time through to Whangamomona.  Once again, I didn't stop but just waved to all the other riders and carried on up the road.


Clambering up over some of the saddles North of Whanga, I disappeared into the fog a few times and there were more road repairs and dodgy surfaces to deal with.  The tunnel was in good nick (no mud/rocks) this time though.


And then it was time for the gravel section...This section is usually pretty sweet and I've ridden the Connie through there at pace but today the surface was wet in places and definitely looked slippery, other sections had quite a bit of gravel on them but at least felt a little more grippy.  Perhaps it's because I'm more used to riding the S10 on gravel than the fat tyred Connie that I felt she moved around a bit more?  Here's some of the gravel:


About halfway through the gravel I stopped to check out the long drop on the side of the road and then was back into the last of the gravel.  Then there was more fog over a the last of the saddles into Taumarunui.


In Taumarunui I finally had a decent McStop where a cold drink was my priority number one.  I even managed to fix the zip in my jacket (for how long I wonder?) before getting back on for the cruise home.

Nice day in Taumarunui!
With a couple of possible options available for the return home, I ended up deciding to ride down the Western side of the mountains and did a fairly good job of behaving myself on my way through to National Park, Ohakune and Waiouru.






Nice day in Waiouru too - warmer than last time...
On the way South to Taihape I caught up to this young rider stuck in the traffic.  He/she was doing an even better job of behaving themselves than me...


In Taihape I stopped for more fuel and after topping up discovered that the fuel in Taihape is very cold!  Often in summer it's nice getting back on and being cooled by the fresh fuel but yesterday I reckon the fuel was colder than usual - 4 layers of pants in action too...

At Mangaweka I decided to get off SH1 and ride through to Rangiwahia, Kimbolton etc.  Surprisingly (it's winter after all) the road was in really nice condition and there wasn't too much stuff to slide around on - nice!

That familiar bridge

And yet another...
I finally parked up at home just after 4pm and having added another 590 odd km to the old girl's odo - naturally she had just lapped it up far easier than the rider...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Comments?

Yeah, I love 'em but some idiot did something to make them stop publishing - wasn't even getting email reminders about them.  No idea what but I've had a fiddle and hopefully fixed the problem.

Thanks to those that still kept sending them even while I was ignoring them...


Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Eleven years ago...

This happened...


And now...


Only 29 years to go until my registration costs drop - by then she should have rolled over the 1/2 a million km mark.  I need to ride more...


What pretty girl though!


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Man Grips

So Saturday's ride was a bit chilly at times and my poor old hot grips were given the workout of their (long) life.  I've talked before of my undying love of heated grips and that they're cheaper than a pair of gloves etc, etc.  They are the bees knees.

And the Connie's Oxford grips have certainly done well.  They've been on the bike for nearly 148,000km and apart from a plug popping out have never missed a beat.  I've also bought quite a few pairs of gloves in this time...

But, for a while now they (or at least the LHS side grip) have been showing their age:



So, last week I found the best local deal and finally ordered a replacement set.  They arrived on Thursday and I didn't get a chance to fit them before the weekend and with Saturday being the better day, the ride took priority.

But come Sunday, it was time for some shed time.

Checkout that cool bike - bottom right...
Shiny!

Replacing the grips is a pretty easy job, only the right grip was hard to remove (in the end I had to sacrifice the old one) and I didn't even need the wiring to the battery (although I think it is hooked to some accessory leads that the Connie came with), I simply plugged the old wire into the new controller.

Not that bad a spaghetti factory...
A quick test before gluing the grips down
Once again the right grip was the trickiest to get on - and you need to be quick with the glue going off pretty quick...And then hey presto, all done!

The new controller is better than the old one
Now, the next job is to get the ones on the Tenere to work every time...I am onto the source of its issues, just so long as I get it sorted before summer...