Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anzac Day ride

Anzac day started early for me, getting up at 5am to attend the Dawn Parade in town. I hadn't been to one for quite a while and I'd forgotten how moving the service's can be. Nice to be able to show your respects to those that gave so much for their country.

Following the service I was forced to go to Brian's for a great cooked brekkie which went down very well and certainly filled a gap. Hunger slated I went home and took the dog for a quick walk before getting the Honda out for today's ride.

At 10am I met up with Sarge, Meanie, Monie, 86GSXR and GSVR at Ashhurst and from there we headed off over track to Pahiatua where the two v-twins topped up their tanks before disappearing into the wops where fuel is scarce.

We had a nice little ride out the back of Pahiatua and then turned North on Route 52. A great ride up here except for several large sections of new seal - some sign-posted and some not. We arrived in Pongaroa just as their Anzac day service was beginning so we parked up and waited for it to finish before continuing on.

From Pongaroa we dodged bo-peep's lost sheep and several families of turkey's along with pine cones, loose metal and damaged roads before stopping in Porangahau for lunch. Had a nice burger followed by a cuppa before hitting the road to Waipuk and more gas.

From Waipuk we took the back roads through Ormonville finally ending up in Danniverke for a quick coffee before seeing Sarge off and heading home. Another great ride on another nice autumn day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Winter is on it's way

Yeah right! Yesterday was an absolute stunner - a perfect sunny and still autumn's day, just made for motorcycling. And with the VTR back in action there was no excuse not to get out and enjoy the day.

Sarge had posted that he was heading over to Palmy for a coffee so I decided to head off and try and meet him somewhere on the road. We ended up passing each other just North of Woodville so I stopped and chased after him. Fortunately he had recognised me and stopped in Woodville to let me catch up. After a brief catch-up we headed into Palmy and had that coffee while we decided where to from here.

Sarge was keen to hit Vinegar Hill so we headed over to Fielding, had a quick stop for gas and then took some back roads to Waituna West before finally hitting Vinegar Hill. We took it pretty quietly especially when heading into the low sun and ended up returning via the main road and then Halcombe & Fielding. A very nice ride in perfect conditions.

If we could have only one season then I think that autumn would definitely be my pick - magnificent. If only the days were a little longer...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rrrrrr, rrrrrrrr, choof, choof, rrrrrr

Yes last Saturday the VTR let me down when I was getting ready to ride it into work. Very little omf in the battery and no way it was going to start. I was that keen to ride it I even tried crash starting it - turns out that this is pretty tricky to do by yourself on an 1000cc V-twin. I was forced to park her up and take the car - doh!

Over the long weekend I tries to charge the battery but even on an overnight charge it would charge up properly so I figured that the battery was toast. Come Tuesday I popped into the Honda shop for a battery and discovered that the recommended Honda item was over $400 - far too dear for a battery. It turns out that twins need plenty of ergs to turn over (figures) so the need for a super-duper battery. They supplied me with an alternative which I took home thinking I'd be away laughing by morning.

Trouble was once I got home the battery was too tall for the battery box so it was off down to the bike shop again on Wednesday. They were very helpful and in the end found a cheap and nasty battery that has the correct rating for the Honda. Trouble was it had to be ordered and would not be in until Friday.

The good news though is that I picked up the battery last night, got it charged overnight and this morning no more rrrrr, rrrrr, rrrrr - only nice V-twin sounds. Awesome, now to get out for a ride...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Pootle

We've been having an absolutely fantastic long weekend weather wise and so it would be unforgivable not to get out for a ride at some stage. Yesterday I had to go into work and I had planned to take the VTR but she let me down. It now appears that the battery must be toast as it's not holding a charge at all. Never mind, luckily there's another bike in the shed.

After a bit of head scratching Brian and I decided to head down to Masterton and take in some of the great back road routes both there and back. First things first we headed over the track and through to Mangamire. Half way to Mangamire Brian pulled over and let me take his VTR for a wee ride to get my V-twin fix. Very cool! (Note to self: get some pipes for the VTR).

After a brief trip down the main highway we were soon back onto some great back roads through to Alfedton and finally a short stretch of Route 52. This little bit from Alfredton to Masterton is probably the best bit of the entire route with the road generally being in a lot better condition through here than on the Northern section. It was fantastic and the scenery not too shabby either with a lot of the leaves on trees changing colour with the autumn. I think that this is probably my favourite time of the year for riding - nice still conditions and not too hot.

Eventually we ran out of Route 52 and hit Masterton where Brian filled up and I rang my folks who I knew were somewhere in the area. It turned out that they were actually in Masterton baby-sitting my nieces so we went and had some lunch with them before turning Northwards again.

On the way home we took another back road through to Mauriceville before popping back out near Eketahuna. From there it was another nice cruise through Mangamire and back home over the track. A fantastic way to clock up another couple of hundred k's on the Connie.

Impressive wee jump

I will not be attempting to beat this...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

More Videos

I've nearly uploaded all the videos taken during the Southern Cross but rather than posting each one here I've created a playlist where anyone will be able to see all the videos. Here it is:

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Awakino Gorge

A nice run through the Awakino Gorge. I've edited out 2 bits where other vehicles put the brakes on a bit - otherwise it was an awesome run.

Future Innovations

Sarge & Meanie mentioned that Kawasaki were working on a night riding aid for the next generation Connie and I finally found some links & info. Let there be light I say!

Jacksons Bay

More video - Jacksons Bay, as far South as you can go on the West Coast.

Southern Cross Photos

All of my Southern Cross photos are now available in my Picasa Web Albums so if you're bored check them out here or fire up the Slide show below:

The Devil's Elbow

More video of us dropping down through the Devil's Elbow on the Napier - Wairoa road.

White Pine Bush

Another little video of the three musketeers climbing up through White Pine Bush just North of Napier. Still day one of our trip - on the way to Gisborne for the night before pushing on to the first checkpoint at East Cape.

Apologies for the fact that the videos are out of sequence with our trip but I'm still learning all this video stuff and it's easier to start with the smaller clips.

Friday Night Ride

In between uploading videos to Youtube, editing photos and generally being lazy, I managed to attend the last Friday night ride until they start up again in spring. It was just a quick ride over the track and through to Mangamire before heading into Pahiatua for a drink break.

There was plenty of stopping for chatting etc but it was a perfect night for riding - cool and clear with no wind to worry about. On the ride into Pahiatua Meanie and I swapped bikes so he could have a bash on the VTR. I on the other hand had the chance to ride a Connie with a pipe and secretly enjoyed it...

So no more Friday night ride posts for a wee while...

Friday, April 03, 2009

Mohaka Viaduct

Ok, here's the first on-bike video from the Southern Cross. This was day one on our way up to Gisborne and is a set of delicious sweepers on the Napier-Wairoa road.

New Zealand Fur Seal pups

Totally un-bike related but anyway. A couple of snippets of some Fur Seals pups at play.

Southern Cross - done!

Got back home last night after 12 days and 6,492km of fantastic riding. The Connie lapped it up (as did Mark's Bandit) and the only issue is a stone in the rear tyre which will need sorting soonish. I'm planning a bigger write-up for the website at some stage but thought that I may as well start uploading some of the video we shot on the trip. Here's the first we teaser: Mark (3rd bike) and some other Rusty nutters coming out of one of the 15km/h corners on Crown Range Road.