Sunday, October 02, 2011

A different Apiti Loop

The Apiti Loop as I generally ride it consists of taking Pohangina Valley East Road right around the Pohangina Valley to Apiti and then returning home via Kimbolton and Feilding.  Today I took a slightly different route that takes in the opposite side of the river and although a shorter route takes a wee bit longer to complete due to a reasonable amount of gravel.

My ride started out with a quick bite in town before filling the DL up at Ashhurst and then heading out the valley.  Instead of turning right to take Pohangina Valley East Road I carried on into Pohangina itself and then continued along the river following Pohangina Valley West Road (you never would have guessed it's name eh?).

This road quickly turns into dusty gravel which was in a similar condition to some of the gravel I rode last weekend - fairly recently graded with plenty of gravel and not much in the way of nice, well worn tyre tracks to ride in (dagnabbit).  This slows me down a bit but is all good practice for the next BRR ride eh?

Part of the way through Pohangina Valley West Road I came around a corner and spotted a fantastic view out across the valley.  No jamming on the brakes and stopping in a hurry on this sort of surface unless you want to end rolling in the dust so after pulling over quietly and parking the bike I had to walk back to take in the view and nab a few pics.

While there a farmer and his daughter pulled up on a quad and we chatted about the nice view, the farmer even asking if I was lost - they must have to point the odd biker in the right direction eh?

Pohangina Valley West Road eventually runs out at Makoura Road and taking a left here starts you on the final run to Apiti - a right would take you back out onto Pohangina Valley East Road.  The gravel through alternated with being a bit nasty (lots of gravel and no tracks) to being nice and smooth with great ruts to follow (nearly hit the speed limit).

From Apiti I was back on a great and familiar sealed road so I had a pretty quick ride through to Kimbolton before turning off at Kiwitea to tackle a few roads that the Back Road Riders had taken me on the very first time I went out with them.

This time around it wasn't raining as I took in Coulters Line, Ridge Road and Finnis Road so the riding was a bit easier although you do have to take a bit of care on the windy and narrow roads.  Finnis Road eventually becomes Taonui Road which had me home in about another twenty minutes - easily home in time to watch the All Blacks wop Canada.  Another great day out.

More pics here.  BTW: the "fog" in the video is condensation on inside of the GoPro's case and I've been getting a bit of it lately.  It's a known issue and there is a fix...

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