Monday, September 06, 2010

A little loop

I've been wanting to go for a decent ride for a while so I wasn't surprised when on Thursday night (while I was failing to fall asleep) a route idea popped into my head and I decided that it just had to be ridden asap. The only issue was the weather. On Friday the North Island got clobbered again with wind, rain and snow so things were not looking to good.

Checking the weather forecast on Friday night revealed that Saturday was looking better than Sunday so I decided I'd get semi-organised and see what the morning brought. By semi-organised I mean putting the route into the GPS and getting to bed reasonably early...

In the morning I got up to a nice clear day and got cracking. I did the normal Saturday morning chores and took the dog for a quick run (he did the running, I rode my pushie) before getting the Connie out and gearing up.

On wet roads I made my over to Halcombe and Marton but skipped Wanganui by turning off just after Fordell and popping back out onto SH4 at Upokongaro. Just North of Upokongaro I caught up to a 600 sports-bike being ridden fairly sedately - no doubt the huge back on the back of the rider had something to do with that! He was obviously heading up for the Cold Kiwi Rally and still had a fair old way to go with that pack on his back.

The weather was truly magnificent - very sunny and with no wind whatsoever. A great day for the video camera:

As you may be able to tell from the video, the Para's were a bit wet in places but I still had a great ride. Towards the end of the Para's a came across more and more Cold Kiwi riders and got
passed by a few on the way into Raetihi. The surroundings got more interesting too and with plenty of white stuff on the ground the landscape looked completely different from what I was used to. The normally boring ride up through National Park was much more interesting with all the snow around and obviously a bit of care had to be taken in places. I have more video of the ride through here so I'll upload some at some stage...

At National Park I decided that I just had to stop to get some photos of the snow and was also pleasantly surprised when a road maintenance vehicle pulled over to see if I was ok - when they saw the camera they put two and two together and carried on with a friendly wave.

North of National Park the snow vanished and a little breeze came up which actually made it cooler than when riding through all the snow. Soon enough I was in Taumarunui and here I stopped for fuel and a very quick bite to eat. I'd been planning on keeping stops to a minimum so I could get in a little GC practice (dunno what the photo stop was about) so was on my way after about 20 minutes.

One of the reasons I'd programmed the GPS was so I could ride Ongarue-Waimiha Road which crosses from SH4 to SH30 coming out just West of Bennydale. This turned out to be a cracker of a road - a real neat back road with plenty of curves and next to no traffic. More video shot through here...

From Bennydale it was a pretty quick ride through to Whakamaru and then onto Turangi (more video going over the hill to Turangi) before the dreaded Desert Road to Waiouru. Truth be told the Desert road was pretty cool too because once again there was snow everywhere and plenty to gawk at.

In Taihape the Connie rolled over her 56,000th km as I pulled into the gas station for the last fill of the day. Tank full again I scooted on down to Mangaweka where I finally turned of SH1 to head home via Rangiwahia, Kimbolton and Cheltenham. This was a fantastic way to end the day as the road was in great nick and it's always a good ride.

By ten past four I was parking the bike up in the garage after a fantastic ride of around 670km and just a few little aches to remind me it's been too get out again soon, gotta a ride to do in October...

More pics here. And there is more video to come...

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous photos and video Andrew! Part of your route used to be my old stomping ground when I lived in Tokoroa. I was out on Sunday with the lads doing the same thing - will post later in the week.

    Aren't we all diligent getting some practice in? :-)