Too bad, I got on the bike anyway and went around to kick Mark out of bed. After much dithering he was finally organised and we hit the road heading in the direction of our planned ride but with the final complete route undecided and dependent on the weather.
It wasn't pouring down but the rain was pretty steady all the way over to Feilding and it didn't let up riding through to Halcombe and Marton. From Marton we decided to take one of the many possible back roads through to Wanganui - Makuhou Road and then Turakina Valley Road. When we got to the intersection of these two roads we decided to investigate the right hand fork of Turakina Valley Road as it eventually gets you to Wanganui whereas the left fork takes you back to the main road and a boring ride into Wanganui.
This road was a great ride until we hit gravel and decided to wimp out. I also recognised the spot where we stopped as I had actually been through here (even on the gravel) a number of years ago. In fact when I had last come through it was only a month or so after some major floods (which caused a lot of damage in our region) and the bridge in the picture still had branches and what not tangled up in it's higher metalwork.
So we wussed out today and ignored the gravel by turning around and retracing our steps. Just before Turakina Valley Road took us back to the main road we stopped on the side of the road and discussed our options. For the entire ride it had been raining steadily and never looked like letting up so we abandoned our plans of a nice little 600km ride and found another back road (Waimutu Road) to take us back to Marton - gotta keep off those main roads eh?
From Marton it was just a short ride back through Halcombe and Feilding and then home for a coffee. A real shame about our plans but a bit of fun anyway out riding 150km or so in soggy conditions.
View 23-01-10 Marton Loop in a larger map
More pics here.