Saturday, February 26, 2011

Go the Connie!

2011 Connie


A bit more preparation

Not long to go (well long enough) until Mark & I take off down South for the start of the Southern Cross so I had a few more little jobs to do today to make sure that both bike and rider were ready for the off.

First up was an oil change for the bike (engine and final drive) and for this I even had a a bit of help in the shape of my old man so that was nice. Then the coolant was checked and I moved onto fitting the new rubbers on the top box rack which will hopefully assist in keeping the top box on the bike for the whole trip...

After this it was time to show some more love in the form of a polishing rag. All the bits that needed polish got some and a bit of Amorall was splashed around on some of the bits that needed it too. That done, the sheepskin seat cover was fitted and there's not
much to do to the bike other than load it up, check the tyre pressures and put some gas in the tank!

Another important job was to replace the visor on my Shoei. After my last ride the old visor was definitely stuffed - it was shocking (not to mention dangerous) to look through when riding into the sun. This time around I bought a visor that has the pin-lock anti-fog system built-in and so had to fit the pinlock lens to the visor too - very simple to do. A quick polish of the helmet and some Rain-X on the visor and the lid is ready to go too.

Now to clean my boots and....

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Not long to go now until the Southern Cross. Ferry tickets arranged and most of the accommodation sorted. Bike washed but needs a polish and maybe an oil change. Routes all designed and ready to load onto the GPS.

Approx distances below - can you guess where we're going?
Day 1: approx 270km
Day 2: 734km
Day 3: 374km
Day 4: 815km
Day 5: approx 370km
Day 6: 843km
Day 7: 872km
Day 8: 467km
Day 9: 801km
Can't wait...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday night ride

Well not the usual organised Friday night ride with the KB guys but a Friday night ride none the less. Brian somehow managed to talk me into a little pootle after work.

We left town at around 6 and made our way over to Feilding for some fuel and after a bit of discussion shot out the back of Feilding and made for Vinegar Hill. The temperature was still very warm and whenever we headed into the sun I was reminded that I had forgotten to order a new visor - the scratches combined with the low sun were doing their best to hide the world from me - not an ideal situation.

In Hunterville we stopped for tea (a fantastic Hawaiian burger for me) and then ummed and arred over which way to go home. It was a really fantastic night and all sorts of ideas involving distances from 70-500km were chucked about - seriously it was the sort of night where you could just ride all night!

In the end we investigated some roads in behind Hunterville and Marton before cruising back through Mt Biggs and Mt Stewart and then home. A really great night out on the bikes!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fields Track - Ohingaiti

During the week I'd been desperately looking forward to the weekend and was planning a decent ride to clear the cobwebs and after a bit of thought had quite a long ride planned for Saturday. Unfortunately some lazy sod decided that a top-up on sleep was needed on Friday night and dragged himself out of bed a little too late to carry out Plan A. This necessitated the dreaming up of a Plan B which was to get on the bike and decide where I was going as I was riding...

There was actually a few spits of rain as I was getting the bike out but I'd already decided that even if it bucketed down I was still going (really needed to sort those cobwebs). The first destination (after checking out the fuel gauge) was Feilding and a quick stop for gas. By the time I got over there things had cleared up a lot and it was also time for the sunglasses to come out and the vents be opened on my riding gear.

From Feilding I took my usual route through to Halcombe and then across to Turakina before turning off to Fordell to bypass Wanganui by riding through Okoia. This is a handy little diversion as it saves quite a bit of time but you do have to watch the roads a little bit and this time around it was cattle to watch out for - a farmer had his heifers out grazing the side of the road and didn't have a hot wire to keep them from walking out in front of Concours's either...

Having avoided a run in with some beef I then turned back onto SH4 and headed for the Para's. Ok, so I've raved far too much about the Para's so I'll just say that the Para's were fantastic as per usual and instead of carrying on to Raetihi I turned off to take in the delights of Fields Track.

Fields Track is 40+ kms of narrow and winding road that takes you up and over a few delicious hills and eventually through to SH49 between Waiouru and Ohakune. It is definitely the sort of road where you need to take it quietly and look out for all the normal back roads' hazards: damaged roads, gravel, slips, mud, branches, animals, farm and other vehicles on your side of the road. I had a pretty good run through - plenty of road damage and mess on the roads but no stock to deal with. The only issue being a twat towing a horse float that wouldn't pull over for me - I spent at least 5 minutes sitting behind him in 2nd gear at 30km/h getting all hot and bothered. Eventually I got through and it was nice to have a clear road the rest of the way through - I actually only saw 5 vehicles for the entire length of Fields Track...

Off the track and onto 49 it was just a quiet cruise through Waiouru, Taihape and Mangaweka to my next turn-off just North of Ohingaiti (Otara Road). This road takes you down into a very pretty little valley and across the river before eventually you end up at Pemberton and Rangiwahia Road. Once again this is a gem of a road but also subject to similar hazards as Fields Track - although it is much wider and less windy than Fields Track.

The rest of the ride consisted of plenty of corners on the Rangi road to Kimbolton and then the boring straights into Fielding. In Feilding it was finally time to stop for fuel for the rider before a quite pootle home to remove all my hot and sweaty riding gear. Not quite the epic adventure I had planned but a great ride of around 340km and a few of those pesky cobwebs dealt too.

More pictures here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Run in?

I just had to post this link to the story of a truly remarkable Vincent (from

Amazing achievement for a fantastic bike - gives me something to aim the current rate it should take me about 50 years to reach that milestone on the Connie...

Off for a ride...