Monday, January 02, 2012

New Year's Day Ride

The weather forecast for this long weekend was looking pretty rubbish but I had decided that I was getting a ride in no matter what.  And so, after mucking around a bit in the morning I loaded a map into the Zumo and got the DL ready.

I had decided to visit a few great gravel roads around Mangamire, Eketahuna, Alfredton and Pongaroa figuring that the wet weather would have put paid to the dust and that I may even end up with a new layer of mud.  Rather than a map of the route I did something a bit different today and so here is a short video that I made using Garmin Connect and some video capture software - hope you enjoy...

Leaving Palmy in the dry I made my way over the Pahiatua Track and then onto the Mangamire road where i eventually turned off to find some gravel.

Pic of the day I think!
Initially the gravel was a bit tricky but the closer I got to Eketahuna the better (and faster) it got.  I only saw one car too but man did he give me a fright!

In Eketahuna I stopped for a drink and some lunch and to take off my jersey.  I'd stuck the liners back into my gear planning for bad weather but it hadn't eventuated and I'd also forgotten how hot you get riding a big adventure bike on slow tight gravel!

From Eketahuna it was time for some more great gravel and rabbit dodging through to Alfredton and then onto Route 52.  Here I had planned another little diversion (a new one) but when I looked at the narrow track leading into the wops I thought the better of it - I had no idea what the road would be like and I didn't feel like getting into trouble while out on my lonesome.

Bugs having a race with me
So I ended up taking 52 all the way to Pongaroa before turning off and heading towards Waihi Falls.  Instead of going to the falls I turned off onto Towai Road to head for Coonoor.

Towai Road (I think)
As you will see on my slideshow the weather changed to the worse as I climbed the big hill and I disappeared into thick fog - I hate fog!  It got so bad that I could barely see the front of the bike and I ended up having to stop to clean both my visor and glasses.

After I dropped back down out of the fog it started to rain and I also missed a turn that would have taken me back to the Pongaroa-Pahiatua Road so I ended up on the Weber Road instead.  This probably was for the best as the weather was starting to get worse and by the time I got to Woodville it was bucketing down and I was getting wet.  The trip home over the Saddle was very interesting - one huge rear end slide and plenty of splashing through water running over the road - but I made it home wet and in one piece!

Regardless of the weather it was still great to have got out on the bike for the first ride of the New Year - the bike even ended up cleaner than when I left...

And now for something completely different...before setting out I managed to get the GoPro setup to take pictures at 5 second intervals so instead of video I ended up with about 1,300 photos which I have made into a slideshow.  Because there were so many of them I made the video so they only display very briefly so don't blink when you watch it - I would have been better to use less pictures and displayed them for longer.  Anyway, what do you think?

A few pics here too.


  1. Looks fantastic Andrew. Must come down for a long weekend on th we 650 and you can show me some of this stuff. Man it is addictive...

  2. One thing about the last video, it's kind of like stop-motion allowed me to notice you rev the DL1000 higher than I tend to do. I rarely go above 5000 rpm. Makes me wonder if I am doing things wrong? I don't "lug" the engine if I can avoid it but I don't go over 5K either....hmmm.

    Good stuff Andrew, Happy New Year!


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  3. Nice ride. You should make a video using the pictures but instead of stop-motion use all the pictures at say 15 pictures per second, it would be like a speedup movie but I think it would look even cooler. I need to get one of these cameras.

  4. I do enjoy the video. Like George, might be unique to speed it up. However...I love the lower speed so that I can see the beautiful scenery. And like Charlie6 I liked seeing the tach. :)