After a couple of showers earlier in the morning I made my way on damp roads towards Wanganui. By the time I got to Bulls the roads were pretty much dry and I ended up arriving at the meeting place at Parnell's cafe just a minute or two behind Neil and Ted who had ridden down from National Park and been unlucky enough to ride through a few showers. Colin W even made a brief appearance to collect a set of trousers off Neil - I didn't ask any questions...
Heading inside we found that most of the others were already there sampling some of the Cafe's wares. We quickly got ourselves a coffee and sat down to spend a bit of time yabbering about our usual favorite topic - you know, porcelain of the Ming Dynasty...
As our ride was intended as a training ride Neil had planned a small loop of about 90km so that we could take our time and help out the so called noobs.
View 20-07-14 BRR Training Ride in a larger map
With only one rider really needing some tutelage from Neil he got me to lead the others around the loop so he could take things a bit more quietly with Natasha while we had some fun. Colin L volunteered to the TEC for our group and with that we hit the road.
Pootling quietly across town we got onto Papaiti Road which starts off sealed before narrowing up and turning into gravel. Cruising along here we came across a small herd (are they are herd when they're out on the road unsupervised?) of cows heading into town for lunch but aside from escaping from their pasture they were pretty well behaved and kept to their side of the road as we rode past.
Papaiti Road eventually turns into Kauarapaoa Road and this is where it becomes a lot of fun. The surface was really good and the corners not too tight so a reasonable pace could be kept up. But rather than getting too carried away I thought we'd better have a wee stop for a catch-up to make sure that everyone was still with us.
|Colin L enjoying his role as TEC.|
While having a breather (above) a local family turned up on a quad - Dad, Mum and two little kids - with one of the four legged locals (a goat) draped across the front of the bike. They were obviously having there own wee adventure on a nice Sunday morning and we had a bit of a chat before they carried on up the road.
The last little bit of Kauarapaoa Road up to the top of the hill was just as good as the rest of it and it spat us out onto Rangitatau East Road where we stopped to wait for Neil and Natasha.
|Hmmm, that doesn't look that nice...|
|The teacher but where's the pupil...|
And of course just because Neil had deserted her, Natasha had a wee drop when turning onto Rangitatau East Road. No harm done though and when she pulled up she was smiling so she mustn't have been having too bad a day.
Now we just had to cruise back to the main road and make our way back into Wanganui for a late lunch. Some of the first bits of Rangitatau East Road had quite a bit of coarse gravel on them so there was some surfing around to be done until we got onto the smoother sections.
By the time we got onto the smoother stuff it had started to rain and while the road looked slippery it was actually pretty good and I had quite a bit of fun on the faster, more open sections. Another quick regroup (when the rain stopped for a minute) and then I led the guys back into town via a sealed back road (Brunswick Road).
Back in town we finally got that late lunch and then everyone drifted off to make there own way home in rain. For me I enjoyed the (especially after donning my rainsuit) the ride in the rain but still was not that disappointed when it fined up for the rest of my ride home just out of Bulls.
A nice little warm-up for next weekend's monthly BRR ride!
More pics here.