Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hard Ride 2 - Leaving the Nest

Well, I guess everybody has to leave home at some stage and at least I had my trusty steed (the mighty RG) to carry me and my gear off.

I'd signed up to do some study in Palmerston North and so had to pack my bags and leave the comforts of home.  And what a day I picked to leave...

I left Napier on a reasonable day but by the time I hit the Takapau Plains the winds were blowing gale force.  The poor little RG only weighed about 130 odd kg and even with a heavy pack on was getting blown all over the show.  I ended up crossing the plains at about 35mph with the bike hardly ever vertical and getting hit by some pretty good gusts that would have me wobbling all over the place.

Somehow I got off the plains and into some slightly more sheltered conditions but by the time I got to Woodville I was feeling pretty stuffed so I pulled over for a breather.  And naturally the first thing that happened was the bike blowing over.

Luckily I caught it before it hit the deck but do you think I could get it upright?  With the bike being so light and the pack on the back, the bike was sort of pivoting on the side-stand with the front wheel waving in the air.  If I tried to lift it from the back the front would be off the ground and if I lifted it from the front the pack was making the bike try and fall over again.  It didn't help that the road was on a bit of a slope and I had to lift up from the low side of the road...

Eventually I got it on 2 wheels and just stood there leaning against it to keep it blowing over again.  Finally, when I had my breath back I had to carefully climb on board, get the stand up, kick the bike over, engage gear and pull away without toppling over again.  I somehow managed this and had no more trouble the rest of the way.

It's funny how when you're pretty inexperienced small things like this can really stuff you up.  Nowadays in a similar situation with the Bandit loaded with gear etc, I just wouldn't get in the same situation - you always check the lay of the land before you park up and the weight of the bike helps in the wind.  Never mind, you've gotta learn from your experiences eh?

Well that's 2 hard rides now and all on the same bike.  I still say she was a great bike - must have been the idiot at the handlebars...

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