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Monday, May 02, 2016

May BRRBT

Yesterday was our monthly Black Top ride and for reason I decided that I'd better try out the new beast on some back roads...

Purdy!
Rocking up to the garage meeting point there was already a fair few riders waiting for the kick-off and I wasn't the only one sporting some new tarmac eating tackle.

Terry's mint Cross Tourer
We also had a few BRRBT newbies on all sorts of two-wheeled creations.



Leaving Ashhurst we pootled through the gorge and even had to stop at some traffic lights where there was some work going on.  We turned off just the other side of the gorge onto Gorge Road (not sure why its called that) for our first little squirt along some back roads.

It was a great little ride to kick things off but there's a poor old pukeko out there who I think would disagree.  I tried to avoid him but perhaps he was suicidal or thought that the big blue Tenere was a bigger, sexier looking pukeko...


Next up was a little bit of Makomako Road before we turned off to take Mikau Road through to Mangamire and then SH2.  Another nice little run although spoiled a little by some road markers recent stuff-up - a big long line of slippery paint - check out the video to see the whoopsie.

After a short stretch of SH2 we turned off again to take in Hamua Rongomai Road which took us over to Magaone Valley Road and back in the direction of Pahiatua.


Instead of riding into Pahiatua we carried on around some more mint back roads through to Jacksons and Oringi to again pop out on SH2.

Robin representing Concours riders today



Terry and Barry

Colin and his mighty Wee
Another short ride up SH2 saw us in Dannevirke for an early lunch.  After lunch we lost about half the bunch as they had other things to do but for the remaining gang it was time to head further East towards Weber.

Rather than take the Weber road directly out to Weber we took in a small loop on Waitahora Road.  This was another neat back road but it did introduce us to some pretty blustery conditions and also to some woolly hazards...

We ended up on Weber Road for a few more km before I lead the gang astray on a detour to the Waihi Falls.  With 4 out of 5 of us on Adv bikes of some description I thought that a little gravel wasn't going to upset everyone too much...


Oh yes, it was a fun ride into the falls...





Suzuki parking only...
The team may have enjoyed the short 4km or so of gravel into the falls but weren't as keen to take more gravel out on 1 of the 2 possible options I mooted so we retraced our steps and then made our way to Pongaroa.  Just out of Pongaroa the wind got very strong and we were getting blown all over the place.  I pulled over at my bridge to warn the others that it would be worse as we climbed up over the hill and dropped into Makuri.  in the end we decided to chicken out and made our way back to Pongaroa and then turned South on Route 52 for the alternate route back to Pahiatua.

After more delicious corners and just the odd bit of wind we ended up  in Pahiatua where Colin waved me off as he headed home via SH2.  I decided to take in part of the track before testing out the Tenere's gravel manners again on Tararua Road.

I didn't see the Pukeko again on Gorge Road so maybe he was tougher than I thought and limped off home (yeah, right) but the twisty corners were still there and I had a nice little ride back through the gorge to Ashhurst and then home.  A nice little ride of around 370km and all done on one tank of gas made me a happy a camper!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

A quick trip South

Over the long weekend I made a wee decision which resulted in a very quick trip to Blenheim on Sunday afternoon followed by an early ferry home on Monday.  The trip started with a lift to Paraparam with my sister and her tribe and a short 25 minute hop over the straits to Blenheim.

I left in sunlight but arrived in Blenheim at dusk
And left Picton before the sun had really got its act together...


Yes, less than 24 hours in the fabulous South Island and not much riding...but there was a reason for this quick trip...

Phoar!  Look at that nice Nissan!
Yeah, I'd finally made a decision about my next Adv bike.  Rather than buy new I found this '13 Tenere on Trademe.  She had just under 24k when I met her and is very tidy.  The Givi luggage is a definite bonus.

My first ride took me around Blenheim for a bit - I got lost as I had incorrectly thought I knew where I was when I wasn't...A good thing Blenheim is considerably smaller than Auckland...

The ride over to Picton where I was staying was offered up the opportunity to test the headlights (pretty good) and to rediscover what riding an S10 is like, hint: pretty damn fine.  On arrival in Picton I checked in to my accommodation and then shot out again to secure some vittles.

With an 8am sailing to catch I was up and on my way down to the terminal before 7am.  There I met a guy from Motueka on his Beemer heading to work (in the 'naki).  We had a brekkie together on the boat and found plenty of stuff to yak about on the trip across.  Another nice highlight was spotting a couple of Orcas off the front of the boat - they look smaller from the ferry than from a 22' boat (my last experience of them in the wild).

Arriving in Wellington, I got off the ferry and then went to meet up with Julie and family again to show off the new toy.  It looked pretty good parked up on the waterfront while we chatted and enjoyed a drinkee.






Eventually it was time to say goodbye and make my way up to Feilding where another critical eye could be run over the new beast (he hasn't ridden it yet).  I was fairly happy with the economy on the way up - it was fairly slow going in the traffic but I still reckon I should be looking at a 400km range fairly easily.

Yes, it was in sports mode all the way too...
And now I have to look forward to getting used to the blue beast and of course the farkling (first farkle already on the way).  First up is going to be crash bars (and probably a bash pad) and a GPS mount.  There's also some other bits and pieces off the Vee to find their way onboard too.

Watch this space...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

8 years, 8 months, 8 days...

and 136,818km and my lousy battery has died!


This actually happened last week but the new battery has taken a little sorting...

The little battery that could!
I'm actually fantastically impressed with the run I've had from this battery but lately it had started sounding like it wasn't dishing out maximum ergs and the motor was actually turning over a few times before roaring into life.  A ride to work on a cooler morning and a little bit more winding over than normal had me thinking that I didn't want to get stranded anywhere so a battery was ordered.

The first battery that turned up was supposed to be the correct replacement (and apparently is fine) but when I got it home I noticed that the specs were not the same so I started investigating.  Luckily for me Al sent me a message on FB and let me know about the "H" version of the battery I'd bought.  The "H" battery offered up more CCA's and I decided that it was worth a few dollars more to get a slightly better one.


Great photo yet again!
Last night I picked up the newbie and then had to prep it by filling it with acid, standing and finally charging overnight.

Yeah, all that acid went into it
Tonight I slapped the battery back in the old girl - which took a little bit longer than I'd have liked but the job is done and the old girl is ready to hit the road again!



Ergs flowing properly and a kitten purring...
Now I just have to find the little rubber grommet that fell off the seat and rolled away sometime in the past week so that I can put the last little cover on - too dark and untidy in the shed to find tonight...

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The bug bit early

Sometime ago I posted up some old pictures that Dad sent me which kinda showed how I might have been a bit doomed to end up on two wheels:

Smiling despite being forced to wear a pom-pom hat for safety reasons

After a hard morning doing the gardening it's time for riding!  Damn safety Nazis!

Not many people know that I was the inspiration for the Crusty Demons videos...

Anyway, last night Mum handed me over this little book and it might also have been responsible for a bit of encouragement too:

How it works - the Motor cycle by David Carey
Now this little Ladybird book was published in 1968 which pre-dates me in a time period that can be called years (just not that many) and you can tell that it was precious to me as I wrote my name (complete with interesting spelling) in it so that it would always find its way back to me...


It also looks like that it also involved quite a substantial outlay in order to take possession:


Of course, as a "How it works" book it went into some detail examining the state of the art features of motorcycles.  I'm sure that this information is just as valuable today for the Harley riders out there...

Very sexy valve actuation

Drum brakes: love them or hate them - I choose to hate...
But where the book really excels is in its advice on safe riding.  I particularly like the paragraph suggesting not to ride at maximum speed for more than a minute or two at a time.  I will remember this when I'm next on a road where its possible to ride at maximum speed for two minutes...

I'm heading out right now for a new pair of non-splinter goggles...
Anyway, that's enough for now as I need to go finish memorising the sections on points ignition, carburettors and 4-speed gear-boxes...

PS: I did a search to see if there is a modern version of those fine tome but couldn't find anything (do Ladybird books exist anymore) but I did discover that you too can own a copy of this fine publication: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Motor-Cycle-Ladybird-Series/dp/B00L5JTHO0