My plans had also included inviting Al along as he now lives in Picton and is always keen for some good gravel exploring. We agreed to meet up in Blenheim and when I got to the gas station there he was, raring to go!
|Caffeine levels set|
There had been a lot of rain in the night and we both wondered what the road would be like but it turned out to be completely fine. The first ford on Taylor Pass was reasonably deep and flowing quite quickly too - the Tenere wheel spun and slithered around a little clambering out the other side. The rest of the road was mint.
Now on Awatere Valley Road we were on and off gravel for a bit and even had some traffic to pass in places.
And, of course we had to stop at the bridge for a picture stop and to chat to some tourists and their driver.
I led for the next little bit and was enjoying some really fast gravel when I noticed a reasonably large puddle up ahead. I braked fairly hard and dropped a few gears but still hit it at a good pace. Al describes seeing me disappear...Oh well, the entire bike and rider were now dirty...and damp.
At the top of the next hill we stopped again for some more pics. You can see the dirty water drying off on the Tenere in the pictures.
|It makes a big splash wherever it goes|
More gravel got us through one of the first gates where we stopped again - because we could, ok!
While stopped I had a fiddle with the GoPro session and managed to get it to sort of behave for the next little leg.
|Is that thing working?|
|Get that would ya Al...|
|Ok, I'll close it|
|Can we go yet?|
|Real off road...|
We rode the next fairly large section of road without too many stops, just enjoying the scenery and the nice, fast gravel. At the bottom of Jollies Pass we stopped again for the obligatory photos at the road sign.
|Looking back the way we'd come|
Instead of taking Jollies Pass we continued on to drop down Jacks Pass (Clarence Valley Road) into Hanmer. The below video is a heavily edited down version of several videos I took from Taylors Pass to Hanmer. Hopefully it shows off some of the great scenery that we rode through.
In Hanmer we stopped for lunch and I asked Al if he had enjoyed the ride...
|I dunno, maybe...|
Arriving in Christchurch, I had to do battle with some pretty busy traffic before finding my motel and settling in to try and get a decent rest before the start of the TT...