Sunday, October 26, 2014

North Range Road

Ok, so there was a bit of a spoiler in yesterday's post but now for the story...

With a new rear fitted to the Vee and a nice day it seemed only right to get out and give it a whirl.  I didn't really have any fixed plans but wanted to go and search for some gravel.  Originally I was going to have a play around Eketahuna and Pahiatua but didn't want to be gone all afternoon.  As I was riding up the track another brilliant idea leapt into my mind - North Range Road!

North Range Road is a great wee ride offering some fantastic views but it is fairly rough in places and when wet there is plenty of water to wade through - and it appears that we must have had quite a bit of rain while I was away on the Four Points...

The first gravel climb was nice, I took it easy, getting familiar with riding on gravel after 5,000kms of sealed riding and a long time between BRR Adv rides.  Off the gravel and onto the dirt everything was going well until the first big puddle.

My approach to these (if I can't avoid them) is to try to ride in the wheel tracks of other vehicles - the water may be deeper but the bottom is usually smoother and not as soft as it might be either side of the wheel track.  I reckon I must have either not quite be in the track and slipped into it or was in it but hit a rock of the side of the track when I had my involuntary dismount.

Luckily I didn't land in the puddle or under the bike but I did have to somehow get the bike upright and check her out.  220 odd kg of bike take some lifting when you're standing in a slippery puddle with water over the top of your boots...

Anyway, I got her right side up and pushed it out of the puddle a bit before firing her back up.  She started up straight away and everything appeared ok so I carried on.  In the other videos you'll notice that this puddle was just the first of quite a few and that some of them were real doseys!  I reckon the deepest one was nearly up to the top of the bike's crash bars...I was fairly careful when I attacked each puddle small lake...

Still, even after my dunking, I was enjoying the ride and as I said earlier there are some great views looking back down towards Palmy.

Perhaps not quite half-way through the track changes to a very good gravel road - it used to be a muddy bog for a lot longer but was upgraded as the wind farm expanded - and progress gets a lot easier.  More great views out over both sides of the ranges:

After dropping down the hill into Ballance I headed home via the Gorge and Mark's place so that he could get a few pics of me and the bike after the splash.

Now to dry out my boots...

Here's a video playlist with most of the video from the ride, some great views if you want to wade through it all...

And a few more pics here.


  1. Gee you guys must have had some rain to fill those lakes. You took some of those pretty tentatively before that off. The one you came off in looked like the easiest one. Nice work mate.

    1. It's raining again, maybe I should head back up there?

  2. That could not have been easy standing the bike up while sliding on the mud. I bet you were glad it wasn't kick start.

    At least it was a nice sunny day and there were beautiful views to take your mind off wet feet. (I am assuming water got in your boots while standing it up)

    1. Definitely got wet feet and no, the scenery did not take my mind off them...

      Heaps of fun though!

  3. Looks like you managed the other puddles (lakes) quite well, Andrew. I bet you had a nicely decorated bike after the dunk. Mud and all ;-) Glad nothing worse happened.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks, but it only takes one puddle to make you look like an idiot!

      Yeah, I'm glad I got off pretty lightly...