Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Sunday ride

After puttering around in the Shed on Saturday fitting the mud guard extension to the Connie and pumping up the tyres I was looking forward to taking her out for a decent ride on Sunday.  When Sunday arrived it was a perfect autumn day and I quickly had the Connie loaded and ready to go.  Then disaster!  After warming her up I started to pull away and uh-oh something felt funny...the front wheel proved difficult to turn.  Yep, flat tyre - sod it all!

Anyway I was determined to get a ride in so rather than check out the tyre I loaded up the DL and finally got on my way.  First up I pootled over to Feilding and then made my way to Mangaweka via the Rangiwahia Road.  The road was in good nick, the sun was out and I was having a ball!

From Mangaweka I settled down a bit for the cruise up to Waiouru and a quick fuel stop.  I also picked up some Subway to take with me for a picnic lunch on the side of the road somewhere.  Now it was time for Fields Track - I'd decided that I wanted to ride through here and get the track on video so I could show off some of the great scenery as you drop down the valley (see video two) and the day was just perfect for it.

Here's a geeky taste of Fields Track courtesy of Google Maps:

And now for some proper video (decided not to add music over the wind noise and DL whine):

After crossing that little bridge you get into some really great riding as you carve up the hill and then finally drop down that magnificent valley until you hit SH4 at the bottom.

Along the way I'd realised that I was riding an adventure bike and that meant that I had a few more options available to me for the ride home.  I decided that it was time for me to tackle the Wanganui River Road - a road that I last did a long time ago on my RF900 (not exactly an awesome gravel muncher).  But first it was time for that picnic lunch at the Ruakawa Falls.

Not a Connie
Not much rain lately...
After my lunch I rode the remaining 30km of the Para's to Raetihi and then turned off to make for the River Road.  The first section of road to Pipiriki is fantastic winding seal (pretty sure it was not all sealed last time although I could be wrong) although I did have to keep an eye out for cyclists as there was a pushie race in progress.  Great riding through awesome country though (geeky map).

Just after Pipriki I finally hit gravel as I continued to follow the river towards Wanganui.  There are a few little settlements along the way but really not a lot of anything except for great scenery.

Eventually the gravel petered out and I was back on pretty good tar for the rest of the trip down river.  It was actually good to be travelling a little faster as by now the day was fairly warm and so was I.  There was still plenty to see and I ended up stopping quite a few times for photos of the great country (more pics here).

That'll be the river then...
Hmmm, wonder where that goes...
Perfect day!
Once back onto SH4 I took my usual diversion to miss Wanganui and then a few more back roads back home.  Total distance was 409.7km according to the GPS and it was a fantastic way to spend 5 and a half hours!  I love Autumn riding!


  1. Andrew, I love these little back roads you are taking. They are great for 2 things.

    1. No traffic

    2. You can go as fast as you want because of number 1.

    I always look for roads like that around here where I can. They look surprisingly smooth or is that the effect from the Vstrom? Funny my mate geoff has the same model vstrom you have.

    I love the 3rd video of the river road thats my type of winding road, its got everything you want fast short straights sharp blind bends great views, what else could a biker ask for although the dirt at the end isn't much good on an R1.

    Looks like a great day mate.

    1. A great day all right. I think the GoPro takes out a lot of the bumps - even the gravel roads don't appear as rough as they are. Fields track is pretty rough in places and the Wanganui River Road is not a lot better - still great rides though!

  2. Now that is a great day of riding.

    Flat tires are a great reason to have a back up bike.

    The road surface in the Fields Track videos looked a little rough. How would the Connie have handled it? I know the suspension on my Gladius beats me up on roads like that.

    Thanks for sharing the videos and pictures. It is always nice to see the great roads everyone has to ride.

    Sunshine, little to no traffic and a picnic lunch....perfect.

    1. Yeah, Fields Track is pretty rough. The Vee is probably the better bike for it but the Connie has done it a few times - the last time just as dawn was breaking on the Grand Challenge, chasing the bunnies off the road...

  3. I love days like that.....nice mix of surfaces to keep it interesting..

  4. Andrew:

    your roads appear narrow with no shoulders, plus all those blind corners and you are blazing along. It was great that you had virtually no traffic. It looked like a nice day for a ride

    Riding the Wet Coast // My Flickr