Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mad tracks

Just a very quick TT related blog.  No, not our next day's ride but a link to an animation showing various riders (including Colin & I) tracks across the countryside.

It's created from our Spotwalla tracks that we use to track our rides.  These aren't really required for the TT200 (although they let Wayne keep an eye on us) but definitely are really useful for getting any IBA rides certified.

Click the picture to open the animation.  Can you pick out Colin or me?



Monday, April 19, 2021

2021 TT2000 - Coming Home Part 2

So following a great meal at the Cardrona Pub and a night at Kelly's cool little cottage we were ready to tackle a new adventure.

Kelly runs The Cardrona, a horse trekking and quad bike tour operation and she was good enough to organise a ride up into the hills for us.  I doubt you'll need much help in deciding what form of transport we were going to use...

Check out our awesome (and most trendy) safety shorts!





The Yammy quads were great - CVT trans, so just point and squirt!

Kelly led us up some farm tracks into the Pisa Range.  It was reasonably warm but windy in places but one thing we weren't missing was some pretty awesome scenery to gawk at.











Crossing over the top of the hill, we were led down into the next valley to check out Meg Hut.



Meg hut is an old musterers hut and apparently the musterers used to spend the days charging around after sheep in all sorts of weathers.  Apparently they were allowed one sheep a day as tucker, along with a bit of flour and tea and whatever else they could pack in on their nags.  It was a long way to go for takeaways.

Oh, and the name?  Well apparently Meg was quite friendly with musterers...




After checking out the hut it was time to climb back up the hill and drop back down into Cardrona.  The views continued to fail to disappoint.








What a neat adventure!  Thanks Kelly, we had a blast!  Apparently we need to go back in winter...

And there is video:



After all that hard work we had worked up a wee appetite so off we went in search of somewhere to eat:


Following our graze it was time for us to vamoose.  But first we had to work out which way to go.  A quick weather check told us that pretty much the entire South Island was about to get wet - particularly the West Coast...

So we decided to go up the middle and just see where we ended up.  That is until I dosed off and missed the turn to Tarras...

We ended up taking an unnecessary loop through Hawea Flat and back out onto SH6 and bound for Haast.  After kicking myself for the (basic) navigational error I pulled over and a quick roadside decision was made to carry on up the coast instead.

Well, it was well worth it.  Even though it was very windy (never seen Lake Hawea with such a chop), the ride through to Haast and then up the coast is always spectacular.  We got blown silly but after topping up our fuel in Haast we carried on up to Fox for a breather.

Arriving in Fox, the place was dead.  Normally you risk getting run down crossing the road but covid has really killed tourism here and there was only one other bloke in the cafe/bar when we stopped.  We had a quick graze and yakked to the other patron for a while before saddling up and carrying on North while the weather was good.

Just South of Hokitika we ran into the rain.  Luckily it was pretty light but when we hit Hokitika we decided to look for a place to stay.

Only photo I took on the trip up the coast - doh!

A quick browse on Booking.com found us some really cool digs.  We ended up with our very own 3 bedroom house for the night - oodles of room, a carport for the bikes and all for the cost of a motel - nice!  We hit the hay to the sound of rain on the roof...


Sunday, April 18, 2021

I have a problem...

 Yeah, I shouldn't be let near the internet with a credit card...

Over Easter my finger slipped when browsing on the GoPro online shop and a Hero 9 somehow ended up being dispatched to NZ.

So today I went out for a little play.  I didn't fiddle too much at all and just shot some video at 1080p. 60fps and then experimented with the Hyperlapse setting too.  There's plenty more to play with yet...


Not sure about the automatic stabilisation.  It looks neat watching the bike move around with the camera sort of floating along beside it but I kinda like seeing the bike leaned into corners too.

I also edited the video with some of GoPros (ancient software) and was a little underwhelmed by it - yeah, I could have added text to the video but adding my usual overlays and wot not doesn't appear to be possible.  I also have to work out how to get the GPS data - the old software seems to only accept the data from Hero 5's.  There will be a way...

I'll have to play around a bit more me thinks...

Thursday, April 08, 2021

2021 TT2000 - Coming home Part 1

Whenever the TT is in the South Island (my preferred option), it is always a spectacular excuse to do a bit more poking around the mainland.  This year, one of our missions was to pop over to Cardrona and stay with Colin's step daughter and have some fun while there.  But first we had to get there.

There are a few different routes to Cardrona from Oamaru but checking GoogleMaps shows that the quickest sealed route is 250km but if we took Danseys Pass then it would only be 293km - and we'd also get to enjoy some more gravel.  And everyone knows that gravel is good!

In the morning we had a fairly latish start as we wanted to catch up with Chris and Stella before leaving to wish them well on their next wee adventure (hopefully Chris posts up a certain ride report soon) and also because we were in no particular hurry with only 293km to ride.

Our initial route retraced the start of our TT but before the Duntroon checkpoint we turned off towards Danseys Pass.

I believe that it was only a month or two before our trip when a big storm caused a lot of damage to the road (and I think it was even closed for a while), but when we tackled the road it was all good.  I also think that the East-West (or North-South depending on how you like to describe the route) direction we were taking is my favourite.  You're kinda eased into the ride by a nice trip up a valley and then get a decent hill climb up to our usual photo stop.








The road then drops back down the hill and onwards to the pub.  This time around we actually went in and had a drink and a bite.

The Oasis...




Trying to get service in the crowded bar

My arty shot...

Here's the video of the ride in:


Leaving Danseys Pass and heading back towards civilisation in Naesby the road just gets better - it opens back out into another great Southern gravel highway.  The big bikes love it!



Still in TT mode - engines running while taking photos...



Back out onto the seal, we settled down for the cruise through to Cardrona.  We had a quick stop in Omakau (just up the road from the Lauder CP) for fuel and then bypassed Alexandra to Cromwell and Wanaka before finally touching down in Cardrona.

What an awful location to stop for the night...


Maybe I do need a new seat cover?


We even had to struggle to find a decent place for a feed!

Actually, seriously good tucker!


What a great wee ride through some more of the South Island's magical country.  Roll on Tuesday...