Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wellington Ulysses Ambulance Run

Today was not only Anzac day but also the running of the Wellington Ulysses Ambulance Run to raise funds for the Wellington Free Ambulance. So, just a couple of hours after dawn parade, I was on the little red Honda and riding through some very light, misty rain towards Wellington.

The rain never really came to much although it was enough to wet the roads and keep things interesting. There was not a lot of traffic on the way down but just before the turn off to Paikok Hill there was a warning sign mentioning an incident on SH1. I didn't think much of this at the time but was glad to get off the main road and into some corners.

With the road still pretty damp and slippery, I took it pretty carefully over the Hill. One thing I did marvel at was the sheer stupidity of the cyclists on the road, they seem to think that it's fine to completely block their side of the road - not in the least concerned that a car could come up behind them at three or four times their speed. Luckily, they were mostly going the opposite direction as me but a few did get zapped by a booming twin attempting to blow them off the road with a pair of bellowing Two Bros mufflers...

Arriving early at the meeting point, I had a chat with a few people before hearing some dreadful news. On the way to a Wellington dawn parade an air force Iroquoi had gone down and three of the crew were dead with another in serious condition in hospital. This was the "incident" the sign had been warning me of and a terrible thing to happen on a day of remembrance. Three more servicemen to remember on Anzac Day. More details on the accident here.

The ride itself was a simple one from Upper Hutt and into the city where we parked near the Free Ambulance HQ, scoffed sausages & coffee and presented the Ambulance service with $1,800. Good stuff.

I left pretty quickly and decided to take the long way home by coming back through the Wairarapa. First up was the Rimutaka's and with the roads pretty dry it was a fun run up the hill until I ran into traffic. A quick stop at the top for a couple of photos and I was on my back down the Wairarapa side. Going down was a bit more interesting as it was quite windy and I got blown around a bit - more of an issue when you got hammered in a corner and blown off line a bit.

Cruising through Featherston things started warming up a bit and by the time I stopped in Carterton for fuel I was quite hot and only to happy to loose a layer before continuing on.

By now I was getting sick of riding in a straight line so in Masterton I turned off to take in just a bit of Route 52 to Alfredton. As usual it was a great ride through Route 52 - it's really great at this time of the year with the leaves changing colours etc.

At Alfredton I turned off 52 (I thought I'd better go home at some stage) and carried on into Pahiatua before having a blast over the track and home. A great end to a great day's riding with about 380km passing underneath the Honda's wheels.

View 25-04-10 Ambulance Run in a larger map

More pictures here.

No comments:

Post a Comment