The "Badlands" are to be found on Kauarapaoa Road, tucked in behind Wanganui in what most people would call the wop-wops. On one particular corner there was (now I've given something away) a sign welcoming you to the Badlands and along the fence line used to be various goat skulls and hides - for non-NZ readers, goats are an introduced pest and are very destructive as they will eat anything...
Anyway, I didn't head out Saturday, instead opting for today and before I got ready I messaged Rodney to see if he was keen. He was busy but when I said it was just going to be short ride he decided that he could make it all of a sudden...
The first bit of our ride was tarmac only across to Wanganui where we stopped for a quick bite before going in search of gravel.
|Look, there it is, I'm standing on it!|
|There was a surprising amount of traffic on the road too|
|It was actually a lot nicer (lighter) than this in real life...|
|Is that you Rodney?|
|There's supposed to be bikes in this picture...|
Well, it was time to check it out for ourselves. Dropping down the hill, the road was the driest I've seen it and the road in pretty good condition with a lot less grass growing in the middle of the road...
|A particularly tricky bit...|
So not quite the adventure it has been in the past and then there was the next disappointment...
Approaching the Badlands I was in for a shock, the sign was gone and the place had been cleaned up. You could see across the paddock to a nice house in a picturesque spot, the only goats in sight were all very much alive and keen to stay away from motorcycles.
The last of the gravel opened up a bit and allowed the use of a few more gears but then, as always, it ran out and become a nice windy bit of tar.
After pulling over to turn the camera off I asked if Rodney wanted to try out the Tenere and after realising that that meant I'd be riding his bike he decided that it was worth the risk.
I ended up riding his Beemer through Wanganui and Fordell before finally handing it back to him at the little look-out on Kauangaroa Road. I really enjoyed the little squirt on the Beemer - it's very light and the motor is smooth and willing.
|Phew, got it back in 1 piece...|
Our next turn-off was onto Turakina Valley road but instead of heading North to Ohakune we went South and took a short (and getting shorter) stretch of gravel over to my next mystery road. I'd only ridden Taurimu Road once before and that was on a wet day as an Adventure riding noob with the BRR. Back then it had been wet, muddy, slippery and slightly scary. Today it was dry and covered in reasonably deep gravel in places.
Once again I should have had the camera on as we rode through some pretty nice scenery - oh well, next time...
Taurimu Road eventually became Galpins road and then sealed again just north of Marton. But I hadn't finished with my little ride and I took Rodney and another (sealed) deviation just off SH1 just to keep him on his toes.
A little of the Halcombe road (mind the nice policeman) and then across to Mount Stewart got us back out on the main road for the cruise back into Palmy. A nice "little" ride of just under 300km...