Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part Four

Well, not really.  Just Neil's video from Puketoi Road which I skipped to go and do battle with the wind on Rimu Road...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another weekend...

...another Oil change.

This time it was the Vee's turn to get some love.  A nice simple job for a Sunday afternoon.  It's actually easier than the Connie even though you have to take off the little belly pan to access the filter.  The toughest part is waiting for the oil to drain...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Magnificent video of Brittens in action

This was in Christchurch right after the TT2000 this year.  There were 7 Brittens there...

Mr Stroud knows how to pull a wheelie...

And good to see a Ducati getting passed - reminds me of the old video from Daytona...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part Three

After our lunch break it was time to start making our way back home in the usual convoluted manner that tends to involve more fabulous gravel roads.

Heading out River Road we were on tarmac until reaching the turn-off to Glenora Road.  This and Esdaile Road took us back onto Route 52 about half way between Weber and Wimbledon.  It was a lot of fun too...

More tar took us through to Wimbledon and then a bit further North where we turned West onto Birch Road.  This is another cracker of a road that takes riders through a pine forest.  I was expecting some muddy conditions through here as we have seen this on previous rides through here but no, not this time - I guess the Hawkes Bay didn't get nearly as much rain as the Manawatu-Wanganui region.

In exposed places along Birch Road we found the wind again and got blown around a little but everyone managed to stay on the road this time.

Eventually we turned off Birch Road and onto Franklin Road which took us back to Route 52 again.  Somewhere along here I caught up to Ross and we had a nice little battle on some great gravel back to the main road.

At the main road I decided to head home while the rest of the guys carried on to take a bit more gravel up to the limestone quarry and then down into Coonor before returning to our starting point in Pahiatua.  I opted out as I was a bit cold and didn't fancy battling the wind back up on the tops again.  By all accounts the guys had a good ride over the hill and got back safe and sound with no unfortunate incidents.

Riding back on the tar to Dannevirke I still got blown around a fair bit and the wind was definitely on the chilly side.  In Dannevirke I stopped long enough to put on my neck warmer and swap to my warmer gloves.

A bit warmer, I hit the road again and carried on to Woodville where it was time to top up the Vee before tackling the Saddle again.  The Saddle was very busy with a lot of people heading home after the weekend and a few trucks slowing things down too.  I was surprised to see how much progress the guys had made on the road works since the morning - I guess with it being the only road open from the Manawatu through to Hawkes Bay there was a bit of pressure on.

I arrived home just after 4pm and after seeing to the horse (putting it away in the shed) my next priority was to get the fire going.  Another fantastic day out smashing the gravel with the BRR lads!

More pics here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part Two

Eventually the coffees had been consumed and we were forced to gear up and go for a ride.

Luckily the weather had improved with the rain stopping and what looked suspiciously like the sun making an appearance.  Just after we turned off onto Pahiatua-Pongaroa Road we had to splash our way through a small puddle on the road but that would it in terms of "fording" the flood waters.

As we made our way towards the Makuri Gorge there was the odd small slip to avoid but there was already a road crew out with a truck and digger starting to clear the road - the Higgins guys were earning their O/T today.

Our first bit of gravel was on Pori Road and it was in really good condition so we all had a lot of fun getting to the traditional photo stop.

After the quick stop we were soon underway but not for long - if you watched the video above you may have noticed the small obstacle we came up against.

No through road me thinks...

So, about turn then eh?

Neil decided that this little road block meant that Puketoi Road was on the cards.  I wasn't too keen on that idea as on one winter ride down Puketoi Road we encountered massive bog holes and a number of bikes went down.  It turns out I wasn't the only nervous one in the group so the merry band split in half with Neil's group heading for Puketoi while I led my lot back out to the main road.

We road through to Makuri avoiding a few small slips and up over the hill to the Rimu Road turn-off.  Once again the gravel was in great condition but almost right away we rode into some serious windy conditions.  If you check out the video below you'll notice how much I was getting blown around and at about 1:50 you'll notice me have quite a moment.  I was pretty sure things were looking nasty but luckily got back a bit of control when I got off the brakes and added some herbs...

As you can see I pulled over at the bottom of the hill to wait for the guys who I hoped were following on behind me - I hadn't had time to check my mirrors while battling the wind!

It looks quite nice but it was still blowing a howling gale here...

I waited and I waited, getting a little concerned and not looking forward to perhaps having to retrace my steps back up tornado alley.  But with no signs of the others I eventually had to head back up into the wind.  As it happened it was not quite as bad going up the hill and I was almost back at the main road when I came across the other guys just getting underway.

It turned out that Steve got into trouble in the wind almost as soon as we turned onto Rimu Road.  Here's a pic Colin got of him parked up waiting for some help - he was quite lucky...

A V-Strom only weighs about 220kg...
Luckily the other guys were able to drag the bike out and they were still keen to chase me down.  I managed to convince them (Colin had actually got a bit further up the road before returning to help so knew how bad things were) that it was fairly breezy further down the hill and we decided to flag Rimu Road and make for Pongaroa.

From Pongaroa we took the fantastic Coast Road out to our lunch spot in Akitio.  It is possible that I may have mentioned this before, but too bad - I love Coast Road!  It is generally in good condition and is very fast gravel!  I probably used more fuel in the 30km to Akitio than I did on the previous 100km from Pahiatua!  Yes, I had a ball and the Vee approved as well.

We ended up beating the other chaps by about 20 minutes or so as they were out playing on some other fabulous gravel roads.  Apparently they enjoyed things so much that a couple of them stopped to roll around in the mud and Triumph rider seemed to have picked up more dirt than the rest...

That Triumph rider



Everybody splashed out on $2 coffees at the shop and caught up with each other's stories.  Puketoi Road apparently was in pretty reasonable shape so Neil's group got it pretty easy - no howling gales for them...

A fairly eventful pootle so far, I wonder what the afternoon will bring...