Monday, January 13, 2020

Just another KTM rider?

On Friday night Colin rang to tell me that he had a visitor.  And he wasn't just some mate or random off the street but a bloke from Austria spending 7 weeks touring NZ on a hired KTM.  The KTM was supplied by some geezer who apparently can pedal pretty handily...

Yeah, that brake lever is a little bent now...
We hatched a bit of plan on Friday night and I met up with Colin and Roland in Sanson for a trip up Turakina Valley Road.

We set a pretty good pace on the first sealed section of Turakina Valley Road, avoiding quite a lot of wind downed branches and the odd bit of loose metal before running into Nev and his mate just before the first bit of gravel.

After saying gidday, we tore into it.  Well, talk about dust Trev!  The road was very hard and dry with plenty of marbly gravel to slither around on.  My worn out rear wasn't liking it too much, especially in some of the nastily corrugated corners.  I stopped to turn-off the TC and this helped a little but it was still pretty "interesting" in places.

Not a lot of water at the mo
Good advice...
I was playing TEC with Colin leading the way and the dust kept us separated quite a bit but I eventually caught Roland when we came across a farmer moving a mob of sheep.  We had warned him about stock on the road (particularly dopey sheep) and he was taking it cautiously.  I slipped past him and showed him how to push through the mod - they were going the same direction so we would have been behind them all day if we didn't do this.

Eventually we got to that nice corner where you can get a decent shot of Ruapehu and stopped to show it off to Roland.

Photos taken we retraced our steps a little to take Owhakura Road to start to make our way down Fields Track.

We had a little excitement in there for a while (more marbles) but the ride down on the windy seal to Kakatahi was fun.  At the turn-off to Whangaehu Vally Road we stopped again to show Roland the weird hole in the rock.

The ride down the valley was similar to Turakina Valley Road and there is more seal but it is a really nice, picturesque little valley with plenty to see.

We returned back to Sanson via Fordell for a cold drink before I went my way and the other two another way.  A pretty decent ride (although pretty warm and I definitely could have done without the dust!) and I hope Roland enjoyed it.  He is now in the South Island picking up some of the magnificent Adv rides down there before returning to do more of the North Island.  I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy himself...

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Farkle Season Part 5

Or should that be: the continued evolution of a long-distance, mile-munching, high performance endurance weapon?

With the prospect of shortly spending quite some time on the WR's seat, thoughts have occasionally and not surprisingly, centred around the lack of anything that really resembles a decent seat and how this may affect my posterior...

Yes, a wad of cash could be thrown at the problem and an aftermarket seat could have been purchased but I'm running out of kidneys, or perhaps just too damn tight...

So, another option has been chosen.

Prior to last year's TT2000 I stumbled across some decent reviews for a product called a Cool Cover.  Colin and I both purchased one and we've been reasonably impressed.

Cool Covers made bike specific ones for both the Tenere and BMW GS and the gist of the idea is that by keeping a bit of air circulating around the cheeks, you keep them cooler and then stay more comfortable.  We are pretty much convinced after several thousand kms of use and another benefit is that they also help keep you dryer in wet conditions.  Very happy with our purchases.

So, after looking at $400+ seats and various other options, I decided to check out Cool Covers.  Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, they do not do a custom cover for the WR.  But guess what?  There are generic knock-offs available from E-Bay/China.

And so, US$19 later, I'm in business.

As you can tell, installation was hellishly tricky, but it's on 😏.  The only grip is that the WR's seat is so narrow that the velcro fasteners under the seat overlap so much that there is actually not a lot of velcro mating going on.  Hopefully it'll stay put...and work!

And in other news: knobblies don't last or like being pushed on tarmac...

May have to do something about that...

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Excitement builds...

Monday, January 06, 2020

2019 Highlights

Wow, we're 6 days into the New Year as I write this and I've only been on two rides so far.  Perhaps I should have made some sort of New Years resolution about riding...

So, it's time to do my yearly highlights reel.  It looks like I did better distance wise than last year but still feel I could have done better:
Super Tenere: just over 10,000km
Concours: approx 5,500km
Mighty Mouse: perhaps 1,200km

Early on in the year I got my first gravel fix and spent a bit of time puttering around in the shed.  At least the Connie got out for a wee ride too.


February was a big month with plenty of riding including completing my ninth TT2000 and having a great blast around the South Island again.  And then, a major development - a mouse in the house!



March's blogs seemed to be mostly catching up on the TT trip but Mighty Mouse was introduced and then climbed up a wee hill.


In April the Aussie's invaded and Colin and I spent the morning showing them around.  Farkles were bought and the Mouse got dirty.


In May it looks like the poor old Connie got a bit of a rest but both the Yammies got out and about.  The Tenere seemed to spend a fair bit of it's time up the Mangamahu Valley while the WR discovered the Maungatuk's and slippery clay.


In June the Tenere did get an outing but the Connie got in not one but two rides and the WR got to tackle it's first Trail ride.


July was a slow month but the Tenere had a wee scoot and the FRDC MC had it's first ride - which reminds me, it's time to organise another one...


If July was a bit slow then August was dead.  just the one post and it was around mouse farkling rather than riding - very poor form!  At least the farkle has definitely been put to the test now...


In September both the Tenere and the Connie got some suspension servicing, the FRDC MC were out again and the WR tackled another even harder Trail ride.


When October came around the Tenere got parked up and the Connie got out for it's first NI800.  I'm also entered in the 2019 NI1600 and must complete it before this years one so look out for that at some stage.  It then got a wee bit more exercise and the month finished up with the little bike playing in the sunshine.


November was a busy month farkling the WR but the Connie racked up another 1000km and the big Ten got out more than once.

My wallpaper at work...

The year ended in a bang - or perhaps a splurg of farkling - the WR is nearly ready for a big adventure at then of January...The Connie did some of the Coast to Coast and Colin and I managed to sneak in a few more gravel rides around Xmas and New Years.

Well, that's about it for 2019 but the New Year has already kicked off with a bang - two rides in 4 days - and there is plenty more planned for the next 3 months at least.  I can't wait to get out there and do it!

Be safe out there and just: