Saturday, October 31, 2015

Manfield classic bike action

Dad and I popped along to Manfield this morning to check out some of the practice and qualifying for the classic racing tomorrow.  I won't make it to the racing tomorrow but may get a report from the old man later on.

We had a good wander around the pits looking at all the great old machinery and then settled down in a chilly breeze to watch some of the action:

The sidecars were certainly acting pretty serious - those swingers getting out as far as they possibly could...

Plenty of other proper bikes out there too:

This Guzzi sounds great and gets along pretty well too!

And someone discovered how much front grip he had...

More pics here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Odo dear

My car, bought about 10 years ago with somewhere around 60,000km on the clock:

The Connie, bought just over 8 years ago with 8km on the clock:

Well, that's just how it should be eh?

Note the synchronised clocks...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wading through the Waioeka

It's a long weekend over here (bringing with it a 4km/h speed tolerance) and during the week I'd decided that I needed to go somewhere.  The idea was that I would make tracks on Saturday, perhaps stay somewhere on the road for the night and return home on the Sunday with a spare day up my sleeve.

My plan was to cruise up the East Coast and take in the Waioeka Gorge and then home via somewhere else.  As the week progressed the weather went to crap (more wind and rain) and the weekend's forecast wasn't looking very good either.  I decided to pack my gear up on Friday night and then to just see what Saturday looked like once the sun was up - with no real time constraints I didn't care what time I got away or where I ended up for the night.

In the morning it had stopped raining in Palmy and the forecast was saying that the weather would clear up a bit on the East Coast later in the day.  I decided I was going regardless and was soon pottering out towards Ashhurst.

Not very far up the road I did a pat down of my jacket and decided that perhaps it would be better if I went back for my wallet before I needed fuel - doh!

Wallet recovered I retraced my steps back out to Ashhurst and into a very wet Manawatu Gorge.  Splashing through the Gorge I caught up with a few classic cars and in Woodville I noticed more of them parked up getting coffee etc.  When I stopped in Dannevirke for fuel I discovered that there was a hot rod show on and on my way up into the Bay there were plenty of classics, hot-rods and old muscle cars heading South - nice to see them out on the road.

The road was wet all the way up to SH50 and somewhere just South of Hastings I finally started to get rained on - damn, was this what it was going to be like for the rest of the day?  In Fernhill I decided to stop and put on my "waterproof" gloves and then got a surprise when I turned the key back on - "Low transponder battery" said the dash.  I decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to get a replacement so went into Taradale to pick up one before carrying on out of Napier.  All this mucking around at slow speed got me a bit wet and my left glove was already full of water...

Turning the heated grips up to 75% I carried on SH2 towards Wairoa.  Climbing up the hill I started catching up to the odd group of cruisers who were taking it pretty easy in the wet.  I passed them easily but got stuck behind a Mercedes (who didn't believe in slow vehicle lanes) for a while.  Eventually I got past him and continued picking off cruisers all the way to Puterino where there was a big bunch of them parked up at the pub.

My next stop was in Wairoa where it was time for lunch and some fuel.  Getting my lunch I chatted to a lady who had I'd passed somewhere along the way and she reckoned I'd been getting along nicely - it sounded like she was a biker or pillion.  She asked me where I was heading and I had to say - dunno, somewhere up the road some more...

The ride through to Gisborne was another cracker, even if it was still pretty damn wet - the Connie was just eating the road up and the PR4's were doing their job superbly well.  No stopping in Gisborne as I headed into the wet Waioeka.  This was not the first time I'd been through here in the wet so I kinda knew what I was in for.  The road was in good nick but there was more than one corner where there were rocks across the road from recent slips - sharp, tyre-puncturing looking rocks too.

By the time I popped out the other side of the Gorge I was pretty wet and decided that Whakatane was going to be my stop for the day so that I could dry out.  After picking up some food in town I went searching for a motel - the one I usually stay at had no vacancies and neither did the others I went past (long weekend eh?) so I just kept on going...

Turning South for Rotorua the weather finally started playing ball and the roads were even dry in places but I probably should have fuelled up in either Whakatane or Awakeri - when I finally fuelled up in Rotoma I was shocked at the $2.10 per liter price - it's $1.87 here in Palmy at the mo.  What made it was was that I put in over 20L...

Just before Rotorua the Connie turned over her 130,000th km so I saved the spot in the GPS and gave her a pat on the tank.  I stopped briefly again in Rotorua to try to charge up my intercom - no success, the Sena charger is dead after only one use!  The next 350km were going to be fairly silent then...

Rather than take the main road to Taupo, I turned off and went through Reporoa and Broadlands where the average speed tends to come up a little and then followed the lake around to Turangi.  In Turangi it was time to stop for a slash again so I ended up getting some horrible takeaways as well.

Time for the Desert Road then!  It was a really lovely ride (if cool) across to Waiouru as the sun went down and I even remembered to turning on the GoPro.

I had one little scare on the Desert Road when Mr Plod flicked on his fancy lights as a warning.  I was only puddling along so can't have been much over 104 at all...

The rest of the ride down SH1 was pretty boring and it was pretty dark when I hit Vinegar Hill.  By now the Connie was getting low on gas too so I rode fairly sensibly and got home ok with about 368km on the tank - good girl!

I was home about 9:20 after just over 12 hours and 1,000+km for the day and the bad weather nearly forgotten...I love this bike!

Monday, October 05, 2015

BRRBT Navigator's Delight

Yesterday was our monthly Blacktop ride and while Saturday was a beautiful day the news was full of wind warnings for Sunday.  Things were supposed to be pretty bad down South with it hitting us later in the day.  It did get pretty exciting down South too...

I left home completely oblivious to the hazards of mobile water tanks but concerned about the darkish sky and ominous clouds.  I also left home on the Vee rather than my usual blacktop weapon, letting the Connie rest up a little for next weekend...

In Feilding most of the guys were already there when I arrived so we hit the road just after 9 and headed out to Halcombe.  After grinding some metal off the Vee's main-stand on the Halcombe Road we rode on to Marton.

Makuhou Road is always a fun little squirt and it was a little bit more exciting this time around with plenty of gravel and dirt spread across the road courtesy of the recent bad weather and slips.  Three adv bikes got through pretty easily and the rest managed to dodge the marbles well enough too.

North of Wanganui we turned off to the left on a new to me road (Rapanui Road) which took us on a nice little tiki-tour to Kai Iwi where we stopped off to check out the beach.

Some of the BRRBT regulars

Mark's new Beemer

Lovely weather to the South...

...and the North
After about ten minutes we'd had our fill of standing around in the wind and decided to carry on riding in it.  We made our way back out to the main road and onto Waitotara.  Here we headed inland a bit and got to check out the flood damage up the valley.  Man, the place has been hammered - many paddocks were still completely covered in silt and the roads had plenty of mess over them too.

Our loop eventually got us back out on SH3 again for the trip back towards Wanganui.  But another loop inland on more storm damaged roads kept us out of the traffic and we got to have a little play on some nice tight twisties before popping us back out onto the main road again.

Back in Wanganui it was time for lunch and to water the horses.  Mark and Rob snobbed us, pretending they had better things to do, so it was just seven of us left for the short afternoon loop.

Our afternoon started with a trip over to Fordell and then along Wanganui road to take us back into Marton again.  Riding out of Marton a little voice in my head (actually a loud Neil over the intercom) was questioning as to why we were riding on the same road for the second time in one I'd said earlier, I was just following the route in my GPS set about a month ago and long forgotten...

Instead of riding Makuhou Road again, we turned in the opposite direction to make for the dreaded SH1.  We stayed on it for about 400m before taking another turn that took us down close to the Rangitikei River before looping back up to SH1.

Another couple of km of SH1 had us turning onto the Halcombe Road, again...

But the next loop along Pryces Line and Makino Road took us on another loop that avoided Halcombe before spitting us out back in Feilding - and that was about it for the ride.  After coffee in Feilding we all split up and headed off on our separate ways home - all without seeing a single water tank on the road!

More pics here.