As it was getting nearer and nearer to the milestone I started thinking about where I wanted to watch the odo flick over. I really wanted it to be on a decent ride in a great area on a nice day. On my ride a week ago she was parked up with 99,634km on her so the ride also needed to be of a decent length.
Then Neil hit me up last week keen for a ride on Sunday and I suggested back roads to Hawkes Bay, the Napier-Taihape and maybe some more. He was happy with the idea so we agreed to meet up at 10am.
Leaving Palmy we were also joined by Colin and Graeme of BRR fame and I led us on out towards the saddle. On leaving Ashhurst and starting up the saddle I couldn't help but notice that Neil had gone from TEC to checking out my new rear tyre...We had a particularly good squirt over the saddle to scrub in my tyres and waited for the other guys for a few minutes before continuing onto Dannevirke via the usual back roads. There we stopped for a coffee as Graeme and Colin were turning back - apparently they had better things to do than go riding, I can't think for the life of me what that might have been...will have to catch up with them another day.
|Colin's sweet Wee|
|Neil's sparkly new Speed Triple R|
Leaving Dannevirke, Neil and I did a short stint up SH2 before turning off to ride through Ormondville to Takapau and into Waipuk. Then it was another short bit of SH2 to Waipawa before we turned off for Patangata.
Instead of turning left and riding up Middle Road to Havelock, we turned right and rode through to Elsthorpe (negotiating a huge stretch of cowpat splattered road) and then made our way up Kahuranaki Road to enter Havelock from the Eastern side. In Havelock I said good-bye to Neil as he had some visiting to do and I rode onto Hastings where I fuelled up for my ride across to Taihape. I also should have taken on some water myself as it was 12pm and the day was getting hotter...
I had planned my route (roughly) so that hopefully I would crack the 100,000km while on the glorious Napier-Taihape road but on leaving Hastings and checking my odometer I was concerned that I hadn't yet got enough kms up. So I ended up doing a little, approx 20km loop just out of Taradale, taking in a couple of roads that I hadn't ridden in years before hitting the Napier-Taihape.
The Napier-Taihape was absolutely fabulous with perfect weather and the road in pretty good condition except for just a few sections of new seal and the odd bit of hot, slippery tar. I would like to have more action shots from the Go-Pro (the scenery is fabulous) but the damn thing keeps turning off on me - I think it must lose communication with the wireless remote and just gives up...
I did however stop at the big rock again for a few pics:
As I rode through Moawhango I noticed a road sign that said it was 19km to Taihape. According to the odo I had 18km to go to hit the 100 so was probably not going to hit it on the Napier-Taihape road itself - bummer. In my initial ride planning I had also thought that it would be nice to also take in Fields Track and the Para's so that the ride took in a lot of great riding roads. As the 100km was going to come up just as I arrived in Taihape I decided instead to head North to Waiouru and then (unfortunately) hit the milestone on the dreaded SH1. A bit of a blow but at least I had another couple of hours good riding ahead of me.
In the end the moment arrived about 12km South of Waiouru and luckily enough I saw the numbers change over and also could find a decent spot to pull over for photos. No great scenery but the bike improves it.
On the road again the Connie quickly ate up the last 12km into Waiouru and I stopped for a late and well deserved lunch - that cold coke went down really well!
From Waiouru I shot across SH49 and then turned off onto Whangaehu Valley Road to make my towards Fields Track. About 20km in the sign below flashed past me (Go-Pro was actually working).
I was sure it said something like no through route...what? Damn it, better check it out. A quick U-turn later and:
Poo! What a load of bollocks! Why wasn't the sign back at the main road? It looked like I was gonna have to back-track and go through Ohakune and Raetihi. Oh well, never mind, may as well grab a few more pics of Kawasaki's finest:
|I managed to resist this temptation|
I quickly retraced my tracks back to 49 and made my way through Ohakune and Raetihi to the magnificent Paraparas. I had a great ride through here but was a bit disappointed when another bike caught up to me and passed me - cheeky sod! Oh, wait a minute, it's another Connie - as you were sir, enjoy your ride!
I did however get the last laugh on him. I took my usual diversion through Okoia to bypass Wanganui and then stopped for fuel at Turakina where he finally caught me again...
The rest of my ride was once again some favourite roads that help me avoid SH1 - they don't get me home any quicker but I enjoy them more with less traffic and some nicer corners. I finally rocked up at home just before 6pm having taken the bike to 100,243km and the new tyres 609km closer to becoming old tyres.
A great day out on the bike even if I wasn't quite successful in planning the route to put me in a nice place for the milestone to happen but man, this bike is a keeper!
More pics here.