After pumping up a fairly flat rear tyre (I'd better keep an eye on that), I puttered out to Ashhurst and then up to Pohangina on wet roads. All around me the sky was fairly dark and I was pretty sure that at some stage I might trip over some wet weather. My first bit of gravel was on Pohangina Road and the first section through to the Totara Reserve turn-off was just as fun as usual, even if there were a few muddy bits.
The Road (Churchill Road) to the reserve was closed but I discovered that a Tenere could sneak through the gap in the cones and puttered down to check out what the damage was. I don't know if it was just what you see in the pictures of the bridge below as I decided not to cross the bridge just in case.
|A lot of wreckage pushing on the bridge|
|Water level a lot lower than it would have been just days ago|
|Perhaps some new slip damage?|
|The old bridge has definitely been leaned on - the gap is easily big enough to stick your hand in|
My next stop was at at a spot where I often take photos. This time around I was able to stay on my bike for the pictures as my camera can fit in my new tank bag. Unfortunately if you do drop a glove in the dirt, you have to get off to pick it up...
The next bit of road to Utuwai was a bit interesting in places as it was muddy and a bit sloppy so I tended to tip-toe through there a bit. Turning left, the road through to Apiti was fine but I was still disappointed by the (good) progress the roading guys had made in sealing the road.
From Apiti it was wet tar up the hill towards Kimbolton, the front end letting me know that an E-07 with nearly 17,000km on it is perhaps not the ideal tyre for the conditions.
Rather than take the boring seal ride back towards Cheltenham I turned right and carried on towards Rangiwahia before turning off onto McBeth Road.
|A little Tenere waits...|
I hadn't been through here in a long time and when I got to the first intersection I turned again onto Junction Road to see where it would take me - perhaps to a Junction? As it turned out Junction Road became more like a farm track and after the second gate (both open) I decided that I'd better turn around in case I ended up annoying a farmer - the road looked like it was going to get rougher too so not a crazy idea...
Note: some idiot made an error at the start of the video. It is actually McBeth Road at the start, later on I turn-off onto Junction and then back onto McBeth to finish. Must get a better video editor...
Back on McBeth Road and there was more gravel goodness before the road finally turned to seal and then ended at Perry Line.