Sunday, February 04, 2007

Around the Lake

With the weather continuing to play ball in dishing up plenty of fine days, Mark and some guys he works for decided a decent ride was in order and planned this one: a quick lap around Lake Taupo, a round trip of about 670km.

We left Palmy in fine weather and headed out through Colyton and over Vinegar Hill - a great piece of road. Some road works on the hill but nothing too bad. All too soon this was all over and we were back onto boring old State Highway 1 keeping our eyes peeled for cops.

North of Waiouru things started looking a bit black and just as we were coming off the Desert Road we started getting a light rain. Just enough for Dave & Bill to need their wet weather gear. Then it was onto Taupo where we stopped at Wairaki for lunch and fuel. We then headed on back up Highway 1 until the turnoff to Highway 30 which took us on over to Whakamaru. Very wet roads in places and some quite heavy rain at times.

We turned off at Whakamaru onto Highway 32 to take us back around the Western side of the lake. At the end of 32 we turned onto 41 which took us over to Tamarunui. Rather than head into Tamarunui we turned south on Highway 4 and on towards National Park.

We then turned off onto Highway 49 and into Ohakune. Quarter to 3 so time to stop for a drink. After our drink it was back into the rain and onto Waiouru where it was time for the bikes to get a top up before the cruise home.

The rain/wet roads stayed with us off and on until we were well south of Taihape when all of a sudden it was sunny again. Turning back onto one of our favourite roads (Vinegar Hill) again it was time for a play.

I got away on the other guys a bit until just before Rewa where disaster struck. Pulling up to a stop at the Bailey bridge, the van in front of me had just got onto the bridge when he decided that he'd better let the car that was on the bridge come over first. So what's he do? Throw the van into reverse and back up about 3-4m and drive into me! No amount of shouting & beeping of my horn could break through to him (good stereo in van) until he finally hit me.

He finally realised something was wrong when my yelling at him broke through the racket of his radio. I yelled at him to get over the bridge and pull over. Once over the other side a very brave young joker got out of his van and walked back to me - me given him a bollicking all the way. The usual story - I didn't see ya. I pointed out that he might have seen me if he had been looking! Time to get his details off him and check out the bike - luckily I'd managed to keep it upright.

The front guard was broken and cracked all over and the forks were slightly twisted and that was about all we could see. I taped the guard up so it wouldn't fly off and damage anything else and pottered off quietly to see how she handled. Seemed to go ok even with the handlebars slightly askew, but in slow corners things felt a bit funny - never mind, got home ok.

The good news is that I've sorted the claim out with the insurance company and the guy's admitted liability so as soon as the bikes assessed, it'll be fixed - hopefully. I hope the forks aren't badly damaged - not sure if they'd fix it. I guess I'll let you know what happens there, but meantime no more riding - very suckymoto! That's all for now - off to cry myself to sleep...

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