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...|
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!|
|Nice day in Waiouru too - warmer than last time...|
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...|