Sunday, March 04, 2018

2018 TT2000 - Day 2

Day two of my trip was to get me down to Christchurch where the TT was starting.  I had deliberately crossed the straits the day before to give me the whole day to take in the Molesworth on my way South.  This ended out being a pretty good idea as the cyclone had brought down some more slips on SH1 near Kaikoura - again.

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
For my second trip down the Molesworth I'd decided to try out Taylor Pass for the route over into the Awatere Valley.  This saved a trip down SH1 to Seddon and got us onto gravel that little bit sooner.

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?

Outta here!

Dodging stock

Get that would ya Al...

Ok, I'll close it

Can we go yet?

Real off road...
And of course we had a little nosey at the old Cobb Cottage.

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

Jollies Pass

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...
After lunch it was time to say goodbye to Al and make my way down to Christchurch.  It was a fairly boring and uneventful ride down but I did make it all the way from Blenheim on a tank of gas so was pretty happy with that.

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...


  1. That looks like good times on the gravel. I am envious that you can just open a gate and keep riding. Here it usually means the land is owned by a timber company and you get a Criminal Trespass ticket if you try going beyond.

    1. Gates can mean turning back here too. But the Molesworth (even though it is a working farm) is owned by all New Zealanders and the road is public access - lucky us!

      It is a fantastic ride!

    2. It looks like a fantastic ride!

    3. It's a must do, come on over and give it a whirl!

  2. Wow that second video the scenery is spectacular, looks like lots of fun. Might have to come back over to the south island.
    Also I note that the red sign that says STOP, you didn't read it :)