Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in pictures

Idea shamelessly stolen off Trobairitz - just some of my favourite pictures from each month of the year.

Fields track
Crown Range Road
Turakina Valley
"Somewhere near Taihape"
Pori Road
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


No bike riding this Xmas - doh!

But I did get to catch up with these little urchins (and their parents) in the 'naki.

Alex, Caitlin, Billy & Isla
And this was the view from the front yard...

Mt Taranaki
Christmas is done & dusted so time to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  Take it easy and ride safe!

Back to work and a challenge...

Yes, back to work today...but the weather is due to go bad again tomorrow and it's another long weekend this weekend...

There's been a few blog challenges going around lately so I thought I'd start one of my own: how many people at your place of work ride bikes to work?  The below picture was taken today when we probably only had a maximum of 30 staff at work.  So, counting the scooters, not a bad result eh?

The fleet
BTW: that's Mark's push-bike in the corner - he rides that to work instead of his Bandit.  Also missing from the pic is at least one other scooter, a GSX750F and Brian's VTR or Connie...

Okay, now let's see some more parking lots...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Favourite Five

Time for another Blog challenge.  This comes from Roger from All things Rogey and the challenge is to post up my five favourite photos of the year.  The rules are that I must have taken all the piccys and there must be at least one including me (egad!).

Ok, so here is number one and while it may not include any fantastic scenery it is a memorable shot.  I took this just after finishing my tenth Grand Challenge and the Connie's fifth.  The Connie made the ride easy...

Ready for more
Number two is taken the day after buying the DL and is my first decent ride on the new bike.  The ride was also memorable as it was my last ride across the Gentle Annie before it was completely sealed - also my first dirty ride on the DL.

Somewhere on "The Annie"
Time for another shot of the Connie.  I couldn't really decide on a pic from the Southern Cross or some other ride but then I remembered - the Connie actually did two Grand Challenges this year.  Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to re-run the 2010 GC as I'd pulled out after assisting at an accident.  So here she is at 3:30am in Ashhurst after 1,000 miles in 18.5 hours.  Did I mention it's a fantastic machine?

Blown LHS headlight bulb and all
Number four is the most recent of the pictures - taken on Saturday during the Coast to Coast.  To me it just defines why I bought the DL - exploring out of the way places and seeing new sights.

Coast Road
Ok, you asked for it (actually, come to think of it, you didn't - blame Roger) a pic of me accidentally taken while playing with the GoPro - and no, the camera did not break!

Linkee to Roger's post.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wanganui Ulysses Toy Run

Today was the Connie's turn for some exercise and the purpose of the ride was to attend the Wanganui Ulysses Toy Run, my second Toy Run of the season.

Brian, Mark and I saddled up and made our way across to Wanganui by the main road for a change (geeze, they've chopped those trees down near Bulls!) and made our way to the race course where the ride starts.  Here the BBQ was already in action and we were quick to line up for a couple of pigs in blankets prior to the ride start.

At about 1pm we had a quick ride briefing before mounting up to follow Santa's DR800 out of Wanganui and back the way we'd come.  At Turakina we turned inland and started taking a series of back roads that would eventually take the riders into Marton for a pitstop.

The ride then carries on back to Wanganui where they have a bit of an after match function but as we'd already been to Wanganui once today we pulled out before Marton and made our way back home via Feilding where it was nice to take off hot riding gear and grab a cold drink.

Not a bad weekend's riding!

Coast to Coast

Yesterday was the 19th running of the Woodville Lions Coast to Coast and about number 11 for me.  In the morning Mark and I cruised out to Himatangi where we met up with Meanie and Monie and signed up for the ride.  By the time of the riders briefing there was probably at least 200 bikes waiting with more late stragglers still arriving as we were leaving.

From Himatangi we quietly rode into Foxton before turning towards Shannon where the four of us pulled out of the line just long enough to top up our tanks to avoid the mad rush at Woodville.  Tanks filled we managed to get back into the procession as a lot of bikes were still coming through from Foxton.

With the gorge still shut and the Saddle being the most popular detour for traffic it was good that the ride took us over the Pahiatua Track and then through Ballance to Woodville for the lunch stop.  In Woodville we enjoyed a BBQ lunch and chatting with other riders before sneaking off early ahead of the pack to avoid being held up or taken out by idiots.

We weren't the only ones to do this and Mark and I ended up passing quite a few cruisers on our way through to Pongaroa.  In Pongaroa we went our separate ways as I was keen to try out an alternate (read: gravel) route to Akitio while Mark was not quite that keen - even though it was 10km shorter in distance.  Coast Road turned out to be a great ride with about four sections of very fast, easy gravel and some pretty nice scenery too.

Coast Road
In the end Mark beat me to the beach by about 2 minutes but I was quick to point out that I'd stopped twice and had been riding on a slightly more tricky surface than him...
Downtown Akitio
While we were waiting for the others to arrive we grabbed a cold drink and parked up to watch the rest of the bikes come in.  After chatting with the others and checking out the beach we decided to skip the prize giving and head home.
Boat retrieval
I tucked in behind Mark as far as Waione (at the Route 52 turn-off) where I pulled over and convinced Mark that he needed to sample a V-twin for a while.  From then on we had a blast riding back towards Danniverke - swapping the leader every now and again so we could both have the opportunity to see (and in Mark's case hear) our bikes in action.

Normally we stop in Danniverke for fuel but the Bandit's gauge had a couple of bars left on it and I figured the DL would be ok too so after a few rude gestures at Mark we bypassed Danniverke and then took some more back roads that eventually hooked us up with the Saddle Road for the last leg home.  A coffee at Mark's and a chat about the ride and the bikes and that was it - home for tea!  Another Coast to Coast done and dusted (this time with dust included).

More pics here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Lube Tube

When I got the DL one of the great farkles already on it was a Scott Oiler for keeping the chain in good condition.  On a bike like the DL I reckon an oiler is a necessity - it doesn't take much riding on a gravel road or in wet conditions for the poor old chain to get a bit dry and therefore be more prone to wear.

On purchase the reservoir had obviously been filled up and the oiler was doing it's job quite nicely.  But when I looked at the reservoir placement (see picture) I wondered how the heck I was going to fill it.
Reservoir tucked well out of the way
After trolling the web I happened upon what I thought looked like quite a neat Scott oiler accessory - a "Lube Tube".  Not only does this give you more oil capacity for the oiler but I thought that it would mean an easier way to top up the reservoir.  $80 later and I had one.

Lube Tube tucked in under the seat
When I first fitted it I made the mistake of filling it up quite full prior to installation and shortly after hooking it up noticed oil leaking down the side of the reservoir and running down over the exhaust - damn!  I checked everything and it looked like everything was all setup right so I started wondering what was wrong - was the reservoir itself cracked or damaged in some way?

Anyway I gave up on it for a while and removed it so I didn't have oil continually leaking everywhere.  But earlier this weak I decided to give it a go but with very little oil in the lube tube.  On hooking things up I squeezed some oil from the tube into the now empty reservoir and watched to see what happened.  After a couple of days riding around there was no leaks but also no lube on the chain - I figured things were a bit blocked up or something - time for some closer inspection.

Yesterday I played around with the oiler, setting it to the flow rate to the prime position and running the bike on the stand.  By the time I was due to leave for the CDMTC Toy Run I had got nowhere so turned the flow rate back down and gave the chain a squirt with some chain lube in a can.

But on arrival at Feilding I was pleasantly surprised!  There was oil on the chain and even on the wheel - it was going but maybe with a bit too high a flow rate.  I adjusted the flow rate again and then rode the roughly 85km of the Toy Tun and this is what the chain looks like now (the white stuff is the spray on chain wax).
It works!
Where the oil meets the chain
So now I enter the trial in error phase of setting the optimum flow rate.  Apparently this can be a bit finicky so I guess I'll be doing a bit of experimenting.  I think I'll leave it as is for any riding this week and the Coast to Coast charity ride ( I'm intending on investigating some gravel while on the Coast to Coast) and see what it looks like then.

And now to an important question: does the bike need a bath?


Yesterday was the 25th running of the Central Districts Motorcycle Touring Club's Toy Run (what a mouthful) and so as the owner of nine badges from previous rides I thought that I should add number ten.

Brian, Linda and I rode over to Feilding and met up with Mark to have lunch prior to the ride start.  By 1pm there was a reasonable number of bikes - some decorated and some not - parked up waiting for the ride to kick-off.

Disgustingly blurry pic of us waiting for the kick-off
After a quick ride briefing Santa and his escort led us out of Feilding and onto Halcombe.  From there we wound our way around a number of back roads before returning back to Palmy to donate our toys and get that important badge.

View 2011 CDMTC Toy Run in a larger map

Toy run number 1 of the year done and dusted.  Wanganui next week...