Today I had to pop out to Ashhurst for a bit and after being encouraged by Al's tale of taking his Daytona over some gravel roads I decided to take the long (well not that long) way home. It was only a very short ride but by riding out to Pohangina I was able to pick up Finnis Road and ride it back to Colyton and then home.
Very early on Finnis Road goes to gravel and snakes it way up a small hill. The gravel was in pretty good nick but the tight nature of the road (and the skill of the rider) meant that 2nd gear was the order of the day - in fact on some of the very tight and corrugated corners 1st was required. Luckily the road opened up a bit once the hill had been climbed and the pace was carefully raised a tad.
Unfortunately the ride was just too short (I think the gravel portion was only about 10km) but I did start to get a bit more of an idea on how the tyres behave in the gravel. They appear to be pretty good and you can hit reasonably deep gravel without it upsetting the bike at all - not at all as scary as on a 280kg Concours shod with regular road tyres.
I was also pretty impressed with the tyres on very wet asphalt. I certainly had my misgivings about wet weather performance prior to today but I had absolutely no issues, although I was obviously taking it very cautiously. Even so, I feel a lot better having ridden the DL in the wet now and will be more comfortable next time the skies feel the need to give me a shower.
I'm quite enjoying this taking the long way home...