I was well early so after arriving first set to twiddling my thumbs while I awaited the rest of the crew. Next to arrive was Colin and we had plenty of time to talk tyres (and possibly some nonsense) and get a picture of Team DL.
|Missing 1 x 2012 650...|
Anyway a little later than planned we had our quick briefing and then made our way out of Marton. First up was some twisty tar taking us to Turakina Valley Road for our first little taste of gravel. Then we had another sealed section through to Hunterville on the great Mangahoe and Ongo Roads which actually had it's fair share of gravel on it in the form of roadworks and new seal.
After a quick pootle up SH1 we turned off onto some more winding tar before tackling the spectacular Watershed Road. Watershed Road was just the first of some really good gravel roads that we'd ride and also took us up fairly high into the hills and gave us some great views - none of which I got on film as the GoPro was packing a sad and not giving me video or pics!
|Hills = fun!|
Te Kapua Road deposited us back on SH1 where we carried on South in our only rainy spell before turning off onto Otara Road and leaving the rain behind us. This road can take you right through to Rangawahia Road (tar seal all the way) but naturally we turned off to take Mangamako Road which eventually goes to gravel on Waipuru, Mangapapa and Lower Pakihikura Roads - all fantastic gravel roads in good condition.
Lower Pakihikura Road eventually ends on Vinegar Hill and that was the end of the gravel for the day. All that was left for us was to pop into Hunterville for a quick cuppa before parting company and making our way(s) home after another fantastic Back Road Ride!
To see the full map of the ride click on the link - you need to page through the map in sections as it was created from GPS data and seems to be a bit much for Google Maps to handle...
View A Longish Ride on a Shortish Day in a larger map
Oh, and apparently the K60's kick up a little mud and the odd stone on occasion...