With my early start I was also on the road early and in Wanganui well before the meeting time so I gassed up the bike and parked up at a McDonalds so I could grab a cuppa. Come time for the ride start I rocked up to the meeting point and waited. And waited...Where were they? Was I at the wrong place? Did I get the time wrong?
Well, after waiting about 15 minutes I decided that something had gone wrong and started trying to work out which direction they might have gone if I had indeed missed them. I figured they'd be wanting gravel and knew that they were heading for roads around the Forgotten Highway. This left a number of options going in two different directions! I figured maybe up the Wanganui River Road or up the other side on Kauarapaoa Road. I also thought that whichever option I took would probably be wrong.
I decided to go for option two but to do it in reverse so that I might run into the others. To do this I motored North West out of Wanganui and then turned of at Kai Iwi to take in Rangitatau East Road on my way to the turn-off for Kauarapaoa Road.
Rangitatau East Road is quite a neat ride but today there were a number of sections where new metal had been laid and the road graded. This slowed me up a bit so I just took it easy and enjoyed the great scenery.
At the turn-off to Kauarapaoa Road I stopped for a second to start the GoPro and then quietly pootled off down the hill. This was now the third time I've ridden this road and I'll never get sick of it. It is just beautiful countryside with plenty of native bush, pretty farm land and lots to see. It's also very narrow so you need to take things pretty quietly - especially if you think you might "run into" some mates coming the other way. (BTW: really hard to condense the 52 minutes of video I took to what you see below).
Eventually (after approx 90km) I found myself back in Wanganui without having bumped into the lads. Oh well, I've well and truly missed them then, I thought and began making decisions on my ride home.
It was still only 10:30am so I decided to take across to Fordell and make for the Turakina Valley. This way meant that I kept off the main road and could get in another little piece of gravel on Turakina Valley Road.
The trip from here on took me on only sealed roads through Marton and Halcombe and into Feilding where I stopped for an early lunch (breakfast had been hours ago!) before heading home to some chores.
|Magically the bike ended up looking like this|