Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part Four

Well, not really.  Just Neil's video from Puketoi Road which I skipped to go and do battle with the wind on Rimu Road...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another weekend...

...another Oil change.

This time it was the Vee's turn to get some love.  A nice simple job for a Sunday afternoon.  It's actually easier than the Connie even though you have to take off the little belly pan to access the filter.  The toughest part is waiting for the oil to drain...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Magnificent video of Brittens in action

This was in Christchurch right after the TT2000 this year.  There were 7 Brittens there...

Mr Stroud knows how to pull a wheelie...

And good to see a Ducati getting passed - reminds me of the old video from Daytona...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part Three

After our lunch break it was time to start making our way back home in the usual convoluted manner that tends to involve more fabulous gravel roads.

Heading out River Road we were on tarmac until reaching the turn-off to Glenora Road.  This and Esdaile Road took us back onto Route 52 about half way between Weber and Wimbledon.  It was a lot of fun too...

More tar took us through to Wimbledon and then a bit further North where we turned West onto Birch Road.  This is another cracker of a road that takes riders through a pine forest.  I was expecting some muddy conditions through here as we have seen this on previous rides through here but no, not this time - I guess the Hawkes Bay didn't get nearly as much rain as the Manawatu-Wanganui region.

In exposed places along Birch Road we found the wind again and got blown around a little but everyone managed to stay on the road this time.

Eventually we turned off Birch Road and onto Franklin Road which took us back to Route 52 again.  Somewhere along here I caught up to Ross and we had a nice little battle on some great gravel back to the main road.

At the main road I decided to head home while the rest of the guys carried on to take a bit more gravel up to the limestone quarry and then down into Coonor before returning to our starting point in Pahiatua.  I opted out as I was a bit cold and didn't fancy battling the wind back up on the tops again.  By all accounts the guys had a good ride over the hill and got back safe and sound with no unfortunate incidents.

Riding back on the tar to Dannevirke I still got blown around a fair bit and the wind was definitely on the chilly side.  In Dannevirke I stopped long enough to put on my neck warmer and swap to my warmer gloves.

A bit warmer, I hit the road again and carried on to Woodville where it was time to top up the Vee before tackling the Saddle again.  The Saddle was very busy with a lot of people heading home after the weekend and a few trucks slowing things down too.  I was surprised to see how much progress the guys had made on the road works since the morning - I guess with it being the only road open from the Manawatu through to Hawkes Bay there was a bit of pressure on.

I arrived home just after 4pm and after seeing to the horse (putting it away in the shed) my next priority was to get the fire going.  Another fantastic day out smashing the gravel with the BRR lads!

More pics here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part Two

Eventually the coffees had been consumed and we were forced to gear up and go for a ride.

Luckily the weather had improved with the rain stopping and what looked suspiciously like the sun making an appearance.  Just after we turned off onto Pahiatua-Pongaroa Road we had to splash our way through a small puddle on the road but that would it in terms of "fording" the flood waters.

As we made our way towards the Makuri Gorge there was the odd small slip to avoid but there was already a road crew out with a truck and digger starting to clear the road - the Higgins guys were earning their O/T today.

Our first bit of gravel was on Pori Road and it was in really good condition so we all had a lot of fun getting to the traditional photo stop.

After the quick stop we were soon underway but not for long - if you watched the video above you may have noticed the small obstacle we came up against.

No through road me thinks...

So, about turn then eh?

Neil decided that this little road block meant that Puketoi Road was on the cards.  I wasn't too keen on that idea as on one winter ride down Puketoi Road we encountered massive bog holes and a number of bikes went down.  It turns out I wasn't the only nervous one in the group so the merry band split in half with Neil's group heading for Puketoi while I led my lot back out to the main road.

We road through to Makuri avoiding a few small slips and up over the hill to the Rimu Road turn-off.  Once again the gravel was in great condition but almost right away we rode into some serious windy conditions.  If you check out the video below you'll notice how much I was getting blown around and at about 1:50 you'll notice me have quite a moment.  I was pretty sure things were looking nasty but luckily got back a bit of control when I got off the brakes and added some herbs...

As you can see I pulled over at the bottom of the hill to wait for the guys who I hoped were following on behind me - I hadn't had time to check my mirrors while battling the wind!

It looks quite nice but it was still blowing a howling gale here...

I waited and I waited, getting a little concerned and not looking forward to perhaps having to retrace my steps back up tornado alley.  But with no signs of the others I eventually had to head back up into the wind.  As it happened it was not quite as bad going up the hill and I was almost back at the main road when I came across the other guys just getting underway.

It turned out that Steve got into trouble in the wind almost as soon as we turned onto Rimu Road.  Here's a pic Colin got of him parked up waiting for some help - he was quite lucky...

A V-Strom only weighs about 220kg...
Luckily the other guys were able to drag the bike out and they were still keen to chase me down.  I managed to convince them (Colin had actually got a bit further up the road before returning to help so knew how bad things were) that it was fairly breezy further down the hill and we decided to flag Rimu Road and make for Pongaroa.

From Pongaroa we took the fantastic Coast Road out to our lunch spot in Akitio.  It is possible that I may have mentioned this before, but too bad - I love Coast Road!  It is generally in good condition and is very fast gravel!  I probably used more fuel in the 30km to Akitio than I did on the previous 100km from Pahiatua!  Yes, I had a ball and the Vee approved as well.

We ended up beating the other chaps by about 20 minutes or so as they were out playing on some other fabulous gravel roads.  Apparently they enjoyed things so much that a couple of them stopped to roll around in the mud and dirt...one Triumph rider seemed to have picked up more dirt than the rest...

That Triumph rider



Everybody splashed out on $2 coffees at the shop and caught up with each other's stories.  Puketoi Road apparently was in pretty reasonable shape so Neil's group got it pretty easy - no howling gales for them...

A fairly eventful pootle so far, I wonder what the afternoon will bring...

Monday, June 22, 2015

BRR Just Another Average Awesome Akitio Adventure Part One

Yesterday was our monthly BRR Adventure ride and after the weather we had over Friday night and Saturday it was always going to be an interesting ride...

To say that we got a bit of rain is a slight understatement.  The entire lower North Island got hammered and in Palmy we experienced a fair bit flooding (other areas got even worse).  On Saturday I had to drive through some surface flooding to get across to my parents' house in Feilding and then on the way back got turned around by two roads that were flooded and blocked off.

This is a (poor) picture of the bridge over the Mangaone Stream very close to my house.  This one was taken early one morning with the stream running under normal conditions - you can just see the bridge in the picture.

Here it is (with the Vee parked on the same bridge) at around 8am on Sunday morning after the level had dropped overnight by approx a metre (I looked at the marks the water had made in the grass to guestimate the 1m).

Not far from disaster...
Anyway, with stories of closed roads, slips and flooding I simply couldn't miss the ride - it was going to be very interesting to see what sort of damage we came across.

I left home about 8am and rode into town to pick up some lunch.  While picking up my lunch it started to rain - a pathetic misty rain, not at all like the rain of the day before.

Cruising out to Ashhurst I saw plenty of flooding with plenty of water in the paddocks and some houses and vehicles that definitely had had water through them.  I also had my first bit of excitement when I had to ride through about a foot of water in one of the low sections of the road.

Meanwhile Colin L and Ross were making there way up SH1 to Palmy.  SH1 had been closed earlier with plenty of flooded sections but they got through ok and then attempted to try to go over the (closed) Pahiatua Track.  They managed to get around the fallen tree below (alternate route around it) but eventually were stopped by a little slip...

Here's the damage from above:

The Manawatu Gorge was also down due to slips so our only route over to Pahiatua was the Saddle.  The Saddle had actually got off lightly with few slips and just a fairly rough section of road works at the bottom of the hill on the Ashhurst side - no problems for Adventure bikes!

I had heard that the road from Woodville to Pahiatua had also been closed for a period due to flooding so wasn't quite sure what the ride into Pahiatua would be like.  It turned out that it was fine but of course there was plenty of signs of flooding in the paddocks by the road and the river was pumping.

Pulling into the garage I filled up the bike and grabbed something hot to eat and drink - it was fairly chilly out.  Pretty soon the rest of the guys (the brave 8) showed up and the garage did a good trade in hot coffees while we caught up about our interesting rides in.

Looking like blue skies in the Wairarapa...
That's the direction I'd come from and where we were heading...
I think that's enough excitement for Part One eh?

Monday, June 08, 2015

Yeah Bruce!

Number Ten in the bag!  With another week's racing to come...

Go hard Bruce but stay safe!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

BRRBT Lapping the Lake

Today was our monthly BRRBT ride and after a bit of overnight rain the day started off a little bit grey and there was the odd spit occasionally as I got the Connie out of the shed and my gear on.  When I got to the gas station where we were meeting there was already a few keen ones already there taking on fuel, coffee and the odd pie...

Clive even joined us for a little while on his BSA
We hit the road at just after half 9 with a couple of stragglers just catching us as we left.  The ride up over the track was a bit of fun even though the road was a little damp in places.

I stopped at the turn-off to Mangamire as I had mentioned we'd be going that way but lied...I put the maps onto my GPS a month ago and when I explained the route to the troops in the morning I simply screwed up...

Never mind, we were soon on our way again as I led us into Pahiatua and then out and over to Route 52 and our next wee stop in Alfredton.  By now the day was getting better and better with blue skies replacing the grey.

Somehow Barry managed to work out which Triumph to ride today...

Next up was the short squirt down 52 and then into Masterton.  Heading South we settled into a SH2 licence preserving cruise that eventually took us to Featherston where some got fuel and we picked up with Neville who had been out playing on some gravel and generally in enjoying the heck out of his 1190R.

Now it was time to lap the Lake - the lake being Lake Wairarapa.  This is a neat ride as the rode gets pretty narrow in places and there is some nice stuff to look at along the way.  No pictures of the lake though as we didn't stop because someone was hungry.

Arriving at Lake Ferry we parked up (not the only bikes there today either) and got stuck into some tucker.  The weather out on the coast here can get pretty wild but you probably couldn't say that today...

Note: pictures are of the estuary, not Lake Wairarapa

Lunches inhaled, we geared up again and made our way back to Martinborough and then headed out to take more back roads to Masterton.  We lost a few guys at Martinborough (they had places to be) and also a Triumph rider who was low on fuel - although we found him again when we stopped in Masterton for fuel.

After looking after the thirsty horses we said goodbye to a few more of the crew as they took a more direct route home while the keen ones explored Mauriceville before enjoying a squirt through Mangamire and then up over the track.  A bit of fun to finish off another great "winter" ride.

More pics here.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

About every 25k

I have to take care of this:

It looks like they needed to be changed eh?

And while I was there I ended up doing this as well:

All the while not getting a lot of assistance from my supervisor:

Anyway, the bikes had a bit of TLC and now I'm just keeping a sharp eye on the weather as it's our monthly BRRBT ride tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 03, 2015