So, just before 12 I set off with a bit of a plan floating around in the empty space between my ears and headed for the track to take me across the other side of the hill. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the tyres handled the very wet and slippery roads - they only gave me grief on road markings or on really tight corners when I changed down to 2nd gear and ended up a bit sideways.
Part one of my route was to take me to Eketahuna via the same roads I rode on my way back from Castle Point last November except I'd be going in the reverse direction.
Initially the gravel was quite deep and I took a while to get into the groove but it got better the further I went. It's a shame I can't say the same for the weather - it started out ok with just a little bit of light rain and then deteriorated into heavy rain and gusting wind. The Mangatainoka river was up quite a bit too:
Further on up the road from here the road straightens a bit and it's great fun being able to open up the DL and use the top couple of gears while on a good gravel surface. This wasn't to be today though as the weather changed to "shocking" and I couldn't go higher than 4th as the wind was threatening to blow me out of the nice wheel tracks and into deep and nasty gravel.
By now my crappy old jacket and equally crappy riding pants (not my good Alpinstars stuff that I wear on the Connie) had given up completely on keeping the water on the outside and I was soaked to the skin. This became a deciding factor on the "where to next" question, the answer being home...
|I think the main road is thataway|
I stopped in at Pahiatua for fuel where the guy taking my money made some sort of comment along the lines of "great day for it" - perhaps he's an out of work comedian? Anyway, after our stimulating discussion I pulled on my wet gloves and disappeared back out into it.
As I headed home the rain stopped and I decided that I'd better have one last little taste of gravel so I took in Tararua Road again. This turned out to be a great idea and I had a hoot blasting through here. I think that the Vee enjoyed it too as she wagged her tail a few times...
The track was wet again and dropping down the other side the wind really was nasty so the DL had to smash it's way through it again - a good thing she's a bit of a tank...
It was good to finally get home around 2pm, get my wet gear off and finally rustle up a late lunch. Not the nicest riding conditions but I still enjoyed the ride - particularly the gravel sections which were a lot of fun.