Sunday, June 26, 2016

Splish, splash, slither...

What's wrong with these two pictures?

Just in case it was too difficult to work out, the bottom pic shows the current tyre on the Tenere - a worn out Tourance.  The top picture shows a spanking new set of E-07's just waiting to be installed...

Enter a couple of devious BRR riders with a plan and I'm in's not like I could pass on a ride is it?

Yep, yesterday an email arrived from Ross suggesting a wee gravel ride today and I jumped at it as I feel like I've hardly done any riding lately...Oh, and did I mention that its been raining on and off for well over a week now?

I left Palmy in fairly nice weather and arrived early in Bulls to meet the others.  Gas and a coffee purchased I parked up to wait.  First to arrive was Russell, followed a while later by Ross, Colin and John.  Oh, and by now it was raining...

Check out the knobblies on 4/5 of the bikes...
After the lads had dealt to their own coffee's we took off and made for Fordell.  From there we cut back across Kauangaroa Road before turning off up Mangamahu Road.  Funnily enough the roads were fairly damp through here and fairly slippery - I took things pretty easy and allowed the DR boys to clear out for a bit.

Eventually we ran out of tarmac and hit the gravel.  Did I mention its been raining a bit lately?  Well, yeah, it has - even up the Whangaehu Valley.  Where there wasn't gravel there was either mud or slippery clay type stuff.

The boys with tyres on soon left me to it as I took things quietly and tried to stay on the road.  The greasy bits were definitely a bit challenging with the front end just going where it felt like.  Out the back though the traction control did a pretty good job of keeping things under control - as long as the front was pointing in the right place and there was no mud I could just point and squirt.

Here's a bit of the excitement and if I do say so myself - some of the best video I've ever captured...

After a short break to help Colin eat some of his jet airplanes we were back into it and once again I was definitely tail end Charlie.

The next exciting bit for me was Burma Hill.  This is a pretty steep climb in places and yes, there were some boggy places that had me sweating a bit.  Once again, I think that the traction control and 1,200cc of torque got me up the hill and back onto some better gravel at the bottom.  There were a couple of butt clenching moments I have to say.

Next up was a short stretch of Fields Track in reasonably wet conditions before once again turning off onto the gravel of Owhakura Road.  This was much more my style with an awesome climb up a hill on good gravel - the big blue bike liked it and we got to let loose a few more ponies.  The others still cleared out on me...

A short section of tar then got us back to SH1 where I said goodbye to the troops and made for home, leaving the others to tackle Turakina Valley Road by themselves.  A quiet pootle down the main road got me back into Feilding in time to catch up with my Blister and family (who were visiting the olds) before heading how to get out of wet gear.

The ride was plenty of fun but I get this feeling that some tyre changing will be happening pretty shortly...

BTW: the rain washed a lot of the mud off the bike...

Pretty happy with that economy...


  1. That is one of the benefits of riding in rain: You can end up with a fairly clean bike and--usually--a very clean jacket.

    Brilliant video by the way. :D

  2. LOL & awesome video!

    1. I finally feel that I've hit my video making stride...

  3. Awesome! Can't wait for part 2😁

  4. Oooh you got to play in the mud puddles. Those are good days.

    Nice video. It is immersive, gives us an idea of how muddy it was.

    1. Immersive, ahhh, you see the effect I was aiming for...

  5. Nice vid, don't give up your day job