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...


Sunday, April 04, 2021

Moonlight

 During the TT2000 we managed to discover some really neat gravel roads courtesy of the Adv checkpoints and I've just shared one with Eddie of Adventure Riding NZ.

Moonlight Road was an absolute highlight of our early morning run on the last day of the ride.  Yeah, it was a little chilly but not only did we get to ride Butter and Egg Road (such a cool name), we got to ride across a staggeringly stunning landscape on a superb bit of gravel.  Dropping down into the fog was pretty cool too 😁

Anyway, Eddie will probably use it as his site doesn't have it listed yet.  Here's a few pics I grabbed off the video:














And the video:


I wonder how it got its name?

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Easter Mousecapade

 So, the last time that I went for a decent ride on the little bike was on that little jaunt across the 42 and on that ride the most unspeakable and unexpected happened - there was a failure!

Hard as it is to imagine but the little WR decided that it did not want to start on with the electric leg and with it not having a manual jobbie, things got very manual with me having to crash start it in some interesting places and try to keep her from stalling at all costs.

Anyway, as predicted, it was the starter solenoid and about $30 later I had a new one which was a piece of cake to fit and cured the issue immediately.  I didn't even blog the extensive wrenching that was required and only took the one photo below.  It looks like it's the old jobbie coming out as there is just a smidgen of dust in evidence...

I didn't transfer the old dust to the new solenoid - I figure nature will take its course...

So, apart from a couple of trips to work, the poor little bike hasn't had much excitement.  I was determined to fix that this long weekend.

Today I pootled over to my folks place in Fielding to try out their coffee and hot-cross buns before fueling up the bike and setting out in search of gravel.

Leaving Fielding, I crossed over to Beaconsfield and headed up the valley for my first taste of gravel.  Hitting the first section and I was once again reminded that the WR is half the weight of the Tenere and that it will move around a little underneath you.  It always takes a while to calibrate things but the reward is a willing little motor working hard to keep the smile firmly on your face - some things are worth the effort 😊

Beaconsfield Valley

Someone has a very nice place in a very nice spot

Frightening the livestock

I called the horse a few times and he/she started up towards me but kept chickening out

The Beaconsfield Valley Road is pretty tight and windy in places (sign says no trailers so I followed the instructions) but once out on Waituna-Tapuae Road things open up a bit and the big gears get pressed into action.  Along the top of the ridge I chased the Easter bunny for a bit but didn't manage to take him out.  Perhaps that was for the best - the Tenere is big enough to squish them but is the mouse?


Waituna-Tapuae Road

Mt Taranaki where it's supposed to be

Just up the road a bit, Waituna-Tapuae Road ceases to exist and with a left and a right turn available I went right onto Peep-o-day Road.  This is another little cracker that I haven't done in a wee while and the little bike was great on it - a fair bit easier in the slow stuff than its bigger brother left sulking in the shed at home.

Look!  A bridge!


The ride back up the hill from the above bridge was a cracker.  I love a good hill climb on gravel!

Peep-O-Day took be up onto the Rangiwahia Road where I carried on Northwards towards Rangi, all the while keeping an eye out for an other likely looking roads.  I ended up coming across Mangoira Road which had a sign up saying something about a reserve and that the road was not a "through road".  I've seen these signs before and they often aren't quite accurate so I decided to take a look.

After some a little bit of neat gravel surface I ended up in front of a gate.  Not knowing if the road ahead was a paper road (should be public access) I decided to turn back.  But on looking at my GPS track when I got home I noticed how close I was to Apiti - maybe you can get right through?

Just over 500m to Nixs Road?

Bummer, GoogleMaps reckons there's a river in the way...

But is it deep?

Carrying on through Rangiwahia, I was racking my brain as to where to go next.  I really wanted to get back off the seal and onto some more decent gravel.  Then I remembered a road that goes through to Auputa Scenic Reserve.  Karewarewa Road is the turn-off you need to look for.

Piddly little creek...

But a decent sized bridge

I like bridges and WR's...

The next turn to the left (going right would have been annoying as it was a no exit road) got me scrambling up Auputa Road amongst some really nice native bush.  And yes, it was really nice but you'll need to take my word for it as I neglected to take any piccys.

Auputa Road ends at another intersection.  Upper Kawhatau Road is another dead end - I took the V-strom up there one day - but Kawhatau Road isn't and eventually gets you back to the Rangi Road very close to Mangaweka.

Kawhatau Road




After stopping to take the above photos I rounded a corner and got an even better view across the valley...



Then it was on to Mangaweka.

Old bridge

New bridge...

In Mangaweka, I decided to stop at the cafe there for a late munch.  I'd never been before but it looks like it might be worthy of checking out a second time.  While there I chatted to a bloke on an old Bandit about...well, you know...bikes.

From Mangaweka, the trusty WR tackled a short stretch of SH1 (only one person managed to pass me 😈) before turning off at Ohingaiti to take some photos of another bridge.

Autumn rocks!

tarseal hillclimb...


I next hit the gravel on Mangamako Road and then very nearly hit a local gathering of the feathered kind.  Rounding a corner there was a big bunch of big turkeys in the middle of the Road.  I briefly had images of a little blue bowling bowl disappearing into the midst of them and coming off second best but apparently they were just as keen as me to avoid this and I missed all of them.  I probably gave them something to talk about for the rest of the afternoon though...

At the next intersection Sandon Block Road would have taken me off in the direction of Vinegar Hill but as was still well in gravel mode I took a left up Waipuru Road - one I haven't done for quite a while.  This road has been known to be a bit boggy in winter on past rides but even after all the rain we had last week it wasn't too bad.  There had however, been a lot of logging in the area and most of the trees were missing and the roads nicely compacted.


I was just a tad tempted by this logging road...



Even pointed the bike in that direction for a while...

Carrying on up Mangapapa Road, I hit another intersection.  Once again, Lower Pakihikura Road would have got me back out onto Vinegar Hill, so I took Upper Pakihikura instead.  It just happened to include another nifty little gravel hill climb.  And some views...



Grouse little bike that!

At the top of the hill I turned back onto Waituna-Tapuae Road and this time there were no rabbits and I rode the whole length of the road through to Waituna West where I popped out onto seal for the rest of the ride home.

I got home somewhere around afternoon smoko time, slightly chilled but after having a great wee ride of just over 200km on the Mightiest of Mouses!  Magic!