Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blasts from the Past

We had a bit of a family gathering last weekend and the old man brought down some old photos of bikes and stuff from my childhood. So here to reek my revenge is a few of him back in his rebel with no particular cause days...

Ok, better not be too cruel, here's me on my first bike:


I've been slowly working on my write-ups for the GC and Four Points and as part of them I've made up some Google Maps of the various routes which will be included in the write-ups. Below is the map for the Grand Challenge:

View 2010 Grand Challenge in a larger map

I've made four separate maps for the Four Points and rather than putting them all here, you can find them with this link.

On the bike again

Woohoo! Went for a little pootle on the Honda just before to go and get the tag. What a great little bike. Fantastic day to be out on the bike too.

Do you think they'll be able to find the new tag?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun in the snow

Quite a neat little clip of some guys on bikes "racing" some skiers.

Now let's see it again in the reverse direction...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Geoff's write-up

Geoff James from Confessions of an Ageing Motorcyclist completed his fifth GC this year and his great write-up can be found here.

It was nice to meet Geoff on Friday night before the ride and I even managed to steal a snap (he's 2nd from the left) of him just before the ride started:

Congratulations Geoff!

Home again

Yep, all my riding has been done for the week - about 3,393km according to the Connie's odo. Things did not go quite as planned on the Grand Challenge and I ended up pulling out early (more on this when I do my write-up) but the Four Points went well with the only bad weather being on the last two days (yesterday was not too bad but today - man alive!).

As I said above, I'll have to do a couple of write-ups on the ride but in the meantime I've uploaded my pics:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Final preparations

Yes, a few more things crossed off the list:
  • oil & filter change
  • final drive oil change
  • bike wash & polish
All I've got to do now is pack, check the tyre pressures, get through 4 days of work and I'm off! The weather is currently going to custard, but that's ok, it can do what it wants this weekend as long as it improves for next weekend and the following week...

Friday night ride

Another good turnout for this week's Friday night ride. This time we rode through to Feilding, Halcombe, Hunterville and then back to Ashhurst via Vinegar Hill.

The weather managed to play ball and roads were great. The riding was pretty enthusiastic in places but everyone got back to Ashhurst with big smiles on their faces and tales to tell.

Skipping next week's ride and in it's place I'll have a Friday afternoon ride to Turangi as a small warm up for the GC on Saturday!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A little bit of prep

Today I've been pottering around in the shed trying to sort out a little issue with my Boostaroo amplifier on the Connie. The problem I'd been having was interference from the engine which was annoying enough to warrant me disconnecting the amplifier during the TT2000.

The fix was to insert a noise filter in between the amplifier and the power source. With my pathetic electrical skills this took me a wee while but it's all together now and on a quick test ride the problem appears to have been fixed - bonus!

While fluffing around I also noticed that my right headlight bulb had blown (less than 1,000km after the left one) so I think I can confirm that Phillips Xtreme power +80's last around 20,000km. Luckily I had a spare so that has gone into the bike and I've ordered a set of the new Xtreme Vision +100's from Power Bulbs which should get here in time for GC so I'll be able to take spares with me.

Now all I've got to do is to give the bike a decent clean and she's ready to rock for the GC and Four Points!

Ponch & Jon get Connies

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Another cracker

10:30 in the morning and I'm hanging out the washing when I hear a V-twin accelerating up from the corner and then backing off as it nears my house - that'll be Brian then...five seconds later I'm convinced that if I don't saddle up then I'll regret it for the rest of my life...

Five minutes later there's two V-twins heading out of town aiming for Bunnythorpe, Colyton, Cheltenham, Kimbolton, Rangiwahia....

The ride through to Rangiwahia was it's usual fantastic self and the road in pretty good nick given our recent weather. From Rangi to Mangaweka there was a lot more slip damage (normal for this area) so we had to take it easy as we picked our way through the dust and rubble.

In Hunterville we gassed up and had a bite to eat before remounting and heading for Vinegar Hill. Vinegar Hill had also taken a hammering in places and we even had to stop for a moment where a roading crew were attacking a slip. It was still a great ride and after another quick stop in Feilding we pootled home to give the bikes a rest.

Summer is coming and there's riding to be done!

Return of the Friday night ride

Yes, daylights savings has started and therefore the Friday night rides - woohoo!

Yesterday the weather had started off not too great but started get better in the early afternoon so both Brian and I were keen to get out of work and get on the bikes.

In Ashhurst we met up with the others and by the time we left for the Saddle there was probably 10 of us all raring to go. With the Manawatu Gorge closed due to slips there was a lot of traffic on the Saddle but unusually the car drivers were pretty polite and pulled over whenever they could to let the bikes through so we still had a pretty good run. We took it pretty easily though and it was great to tuck in behind a line of bikes and watch them running through the corners as I followed, the VTR making some lovely noises as the revs rose and fell as I alternately accelerated and braked depending on which way the road snaked. Pure magic.

While most of the traffic carried on towards the Bay we snuck around the road block to head back into the Gorge as far as the turn-off to Balance. Another great ride through here and then it was onto the track which was just sublime. From the bottom of the track we continued on back to Ashhurst for a cold drink and some socialising before finally heading home.

An absolutely great start to the FNR season!