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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

BRRBT - Route 52 Romp

Sunday was our monthly Black Top ride and for this month I'd planned a trip down one of my favourite roads - Route 52.  Route 52 is windy, bumpy and narrow in places but it is a lot of fun and it was time to show it off to some of those who hadn't ridden it before.


As per our last ride we met out in Ashhurst and this month we had a decent sized group with I think thirteen of us in the end.  There were a few new riders to the group and also a few new bikes being ridden by some of the regulars.


Yes, that is Terry's new V-Strom
Colin is keen on the new 1290 Adventure
Paul and the Shadow joining us for the first time
Our route over into the Bay took us up over the Saddle again and while there was less gravel on the road, a light rain had turned some of the clay on the road into some pretty slippery mud - a bit of excitement early on in the ride...

Bits of the Saddle Road stuck to the GoPro...
After the short adventure ride we made our way through to Dannevirke where some fuelled up before the trip through Ormonville and Takapau to Waipuk where we stopped for an early lunch.



After lunch we made our way out of Waipuk and onto Route 52.  The ride through to the turn-off at Porangahau was particularly nice with only a few small sections of new seal to slow us down a whisker - otherwise it was just one nice smooth flowing corner after another.

We had a brief stop at Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapiki- maungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu just in case any of the guys hadn't got a picture of their bikes in front of the sign and then carried on South to Wimbledon in search of wombles.
Brian's new to him KTM parked up front

From Wimbledon the road gets a bit rougher but we took things fairly sensibly and eventually rolled into Pongaroa where every ute in the district was parked up with fresh venison piled up in their trays.  Obviously a bit of a hunting competition to celebrate the start of the "roar".


The next leg of the ride took us further South through Alfredton and onto Eketahuna where we stopped to fuel up and farewell some of the Wellington contingent.  This only left a fairly spirited ride through Mangamire and over the track to finish the day off nicely.

The video below is just a few snippets of Route 52 - doesn't it look fun?


One great ride - where to next month?

More pictures here.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Manfield Track Day

No, I wasn't there tearing up the track on the Connie or V-Strom (although there was one Vee out there having a go) but I did pop in with Dad and my brother-in-law to check out the action.

Walking through the pits there was some fairly nice machinery to drool on:




Watching the riding was also interesting as there was everything from 250cc learner bikes to big adventure bikes and out and out racing machines.

Here's a few of Supersonic in action:





And a certain Yamaha dealer:





A good way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning.

More pics here.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ridge Road Ramble

Last night we got some fairly heavy rain but after a couple of early showers in the morning, things fined up pretty nicely.  As I lay in bed last night listening to the rain I imagined the nice things it was doing to the local gravel roads - the dust would be disappearing and the gravel settling down nicely.  I thought a wee gravel fix would definitely be worth investigating...

So, just after 10 this morning, I had the DL ready and after a quick top off of the tank I headed out of town for the nearest bit of gravel I could find.  This turned out to be Watershed Road and it was a great taste of what was to come.

More gravel on Midland Road took me across to the seal on Valley Road.  But not for long,  I turned off Valley Road and onto Zig Zag Road for more of the fun stuff.


At the end of Zig Zag Road I went left instead of the right (zigged when I should have zagged I guess) I should have taken and ended up running out of gravel on Finnis Road.  I was forced to turn around and scoot back up Finnis Road to carry on with the route that was sort of planned...


On the right track again I finally turned onto Ridge Road which was the main event for the day.  This is a great ride and takes you along either side of a "ridge" all the way through to Apiti.  The road surface was in great nick for most of the length of the road although there was a small section where there was a bit of deeper gravel.  The great views hadn't gone anywhere since last time either...





Towards the end of the road it opens up a bit more and is great fun on the Vee:


In Apiti I was starting to feel a bit peckish so turned back towards home thinking that a bite in Kimbolton might be a bit of plan.

Kimbolton locals


But when I dropped into Kimbolton I could spy some big black clouds heading Northwards towards Palmy.  I decided that I'd rather be hungry than soaking wet so got on the gas and headed for home.

The rain caught up to me along the Colyton-Fielding straight and it got quite wet for a 5 or 10 minutes.  Luckily my worn-out front tyre behaved itself and we safely splashed our way home where I managed to rustle up that lunch I'd been looking forward to.

This was probably my first decent gravel squirt since taking ScooterBob up to National Park and it was a real cracker - the gravel conditions were nigh on perfect and the big Vee really enjoyed the exercise (although it was quite thirsty for some reason).

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday Night Ride

I haven't done any of the Friday Night rides lately but seeing as last night was the last one for this end of the year I decided that I'd show up for a quiet wind down after work.  As the DL had carried me to work she got to come along too.

When I got down to the bike shop where the ride leaves from there wasn't that many bikes there but pretty soon they started rocking in and by the time we were ready to go there was probably 30 bikes including 5 of those funny things with the incorrect number of wheels.


Light glinting off the magnificent beast that is the Vee
As the ride is just a short social outing Pauly had arranged a pretty basic route for us and at the briefing he let us know the route and things like using cornermen etc.


Just after 6pm we got underway and started to make our way across town.




From here I'll let the video snippets tell the story.  It was a pretty quiet ride up over the track, through to Mangamire and onto Pahiatua via Mangaone Valley Road before heading to Ashhurst via the Gorge.


In Ashhurst most stopped at the Inn for a drink and a natter before heading out into the cool night and the ride home.  A nice little after work peddle!