Sunday, November 29, 2015

No liners required

Summer seems to have been a long time coming but things have warmed up a bit lately (still plenty of rain and damn wind about at times though) and it's been nice to remove the warm liners from my gear at last...

Last night Brian gave me a bell and said to let him know if I was going riding today as he was keen to get his Connie (it's "near new" with only about 50,000km on it) out for a ride.  Well, I guess that (and the nice morning) gave me a bit of an incentive to get my act together and drag the Connie out of the shed.

After fuelling up in town we made our way out to Ashhurst where we turned up the delicious Pohangina Valley East Road to make our way around the "New Loop".

The road was in ok condition with not much in the way of wreckage on the road although the chooks at Umutoi were out dicing with death on the road again...

Umutoi - just past chicken corner...

When we arrived at the turn-off to Apiti we went right instead of left to take us through to Rangiwahia instead.  It's a really nice little bit of road and I really like the drops down into the valleys to cross the river and then the climbs back up.

Rather than carry onto Mangaweka we turned left through Rangi and made rapid progress back to Kimbolton for lunch.

In Kimbolton we were surprised to find that the cafe is not open on Sunday's so crossed the road and fuelled up at the pub.

Two Connies and a shut cafe

Even a sign welcoming us
After lunch we cruised on back through Cheltenham, Colyton and Bunnythorpe before the last little squirt home.

More pics here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

And now for something completely different...

This Saturday the Connie and DL remained ignored in the shed as Mark and I had planned an excursion on our mountain bikes.  We were on the road early with the bikes on the back of the car and heading for Ohakune.

After a quick stop in Waiouru for some Subway to take along for our lunch we pulled up in Ohakune at the carpark at the start of the Old Coach Road.

After gearing up we hit the trail and were straight into some hill work on a reasonably rough bit of track through some farmland.  Along the way there were plenty of information signs to look at and some great views to take in.

Nearing the top there was a turn-off where we got to check out an old tunnel - it was fairly dark inside...

After another short climb things leveled out a little and we road under the new viaduct and got a great view of the old Hapuawhenua Viaduct.

Just around the corner we got to take a side-trip to cross over the viaduct.

On the return trip I flicked the GoPro onto video so you could enjoy the trip from your armchair...

Next up was another climb up through bush with the odd level or slightly downhill piece to give us a rest.  Riding through here we came across another couple of riders - one with a broken, we did not have a tool to help him out...

We then hit what we thought was quite a long downhill and had a blast tearing it up all the way down to a little bridge crossing a stream.

We then ended up on a short climb under another rail bridge and carried on up the hill until we got to another abandoned rail bridge where we stopped for our lunch - just 3km short of Horopito.

Lunch finished it was time for the return trip.  A short squirt down the hill to the bridge then got us onto the downhill section that was now an uphill.  It turned out not being too bad and we were rewarded with another downhill section.

The rest of the ride to the farmland section tended to be mostly uphill but still it didn't seem to be quite as steep as the trip in.  And then of course we got to take in the long final downhill section.  This was very fast but also very rough.  Six and a half minutes later we were back at the car after a nice final shot of adrenalin.

I was fairly happy with how I coped on the ride, my uphill pedalling muscles were fairly tired but overall I managed ok and was right as rain the next day.  Both Mark and I really enjoyed the ride and are already thinking about our next excursion.  I've also had to put on a new front tyre (the other was looking fairly old when I got home) and also need to do something about brake pads...

Push bikes eh?  What next?

Sunday, November 08, 2015

2015 1KC

Yesterday was the annual 1KC (formerly C1KC) so that meant a very early start for the Manawatu gang as we both start and finish in Palmy but ride down to meet up with the Wellington group at their start.  There were 7 of us who hit the road at about 5am and engaged high-beam on our way down.

Clive's mighty DR - knobblies an' 'all...
It was a little chilly on the way down but we did get to enjoy a pleasant ride and to see the sun come up.  In Wellington we didn't muck around too much before hitting the road again.

Climbing up towards the Rimutakas it was still chilly and there was mist in the valley which along with a bright sun made visibility a little tricky.  Still, I had a good run up the hill before catching up with traffic on the descent.

In Masterton it was time to hanger right and make for Alfredton to the first checkpoint on the same great roads I'd ridden 6 days previously.  It was a nice little squirt although one poor little bird did lose when taking on a big, neutron silver missile...

Monie leading some Hondas into the checkpoint
From Alfredton it was the familiar Pa Valley and Mangaone Valley roads into Pahiatua for our first fuel stop and 280km on the board since Palmy.  More SH2 got us into Woodville where we turned and made our way through the gorge to Ashhurst.  Halfway through the gorge we picked up a 1290 Superduke who decided to join us for some of the ride.

Well and truly on home turf now, we crossed over to Cheltenham and then on to checkpoint two in Rangiwahia.

Al deciding to join the party
From Rangiwahia we picked our way through the debris and crossed over onto SH1 for the trip up to Turangi.  It was quite a nice ride but we were all glad not to be the guy on the ST1300 who had to stop to chat to a guy in a blue uniform and it was good to park up in Turangi for an early lunch with half the ride distance behind us.

After another great feed at the cafe in Turangi, we gassed up, removed extra layers and headed up around the top of the lake to our next checkpoint at the Tihoi Trading Post.

Now it was time to turn homeward (well, in a roundabout way) and make our way through Taupo and down to the Hawkes Bay.

The Napier-Taupo road was it's normal magnificent self and so was the Connie.  We had a great run over the "wee" hills.  In the Esk Valley I made a wee navigation error (by ignoring my GPS) and we missed the correct turn-off to Checkpoint four so went for a wee ride through Napier and Taradale before finally ending up in Puketapu.

Here we said goodbye to Al as made for home and we carried on (following the GPS again) to our last petrol stop in Pakowhai.

The next short hop took us between Clive and Havelock North and to Kahuranaki Road and Checkpoint 5 at "The Poplars".

Kahuranaki Road took us through to Elsethorpe and after turning at the Patangata Pub we eventually hit SH2 again in Waipawa.  More of SH2 got us to Waipuk where it was time to head back out towards the coast again.  Skipping Porangahau we turned South on Route 52 to checkpoint 6 at Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu - an obvious place for a checkpoint if ever there was one!

Monie in hot pursuit...

The next leg took us over the rough and dodgy roads through Wimbledon and Weber to Dannevirke where Clive and I stopped to give the DR a breather...

James and Monie soon caught us up for another short hop to Woodville for our last Checkpoint photo.

Another trip through the gorge got us to Ashhurst where we pulled up to enjoy a cold drink and pat ourselves on the backs for having just knocked over another great 1,000km ride!

More pics here.