Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Staying off the main drag

On Sunday, fresh from finishing his first TT, Colin invited me along on a road ride and with my sore butt pretty well recovered, how could I say no?

On the slightly chillier autumn morning I met up with him and another of his mates (Rob, CB500X) for a trip over the Napier-Taihape road.

We got away a little after 9 and made our way across to Colyton where Colin surprised me by going straight ahead instead of turning left.  I thought that he perhaps was then going to take us off onto Valley Road and then around Pohangina (the long way) to Rangiwahia and then North.  But no, he had other ideas...

As it turned out he was trusting the GPS on his phone and was going to take another road off to the left (Forlong Road) over to 54.  I had my doubts as there was a river in the way and I was pretty sure that there was no bridge...When we pulled up at the road the sign clearly said no exit so that settled things, carrying on further on Taonui Road would have eventually got us onto gravel and I still haven't gotten around to fitting E-07's on the Connie...

Anyway, that was only a minor diversion and our navigation sorted itself out with not other interesting diversions for the rest of the day :)

North of Kimbolton I got away on the team a little as the Connie was being impatient but the others were not far behind when I stopped for a couple of pics.

Blue sky day

Colin and his AT

Rob on the nice little CB
The guys repaid me for disappearing on me by giving me a wave as they went past and I then had to sort my gear out and give pursuit.  I eventually caught them around Pemberton for the cruise into Rangiwahia.

Having had a little exercise the Connie was happy enough to settle down a bit and follow the guys through to Mangaweka.

We didn't actually go into Mangaweka but stopped for a quick chat to say goodbye to Rob before I showed Colin how to stay off SH1 by taking in Kawhatau Valley and Toetoe roads.

After just a little of SH1 we arrived in Taihape and then carried on to tackle the Napier-Taihape Road.  We weren't the only ones either as there were a lot of bikes coming the other way.  And they were mostly Italian too - Ducati's, Aprillias and I think I even spotted a Guzzi.  It was a shame that a number of them wanted my side of the road...What side of the road do Italians ride on?

Colin revisiting one of his TT checkpoints
Colin was happy for me to permit the Connie to have a little more exercise and I had a nice ride through to Kuripapango where I stopped and failed to get a picture of Colin going past...

Eventually I caught him up again and settled down for the cruise into Hastings.

In Hastings we stopped for a late lunch before fuelling up and making our way to Havelock North and then onto Kahuranaki Road to Elsthorpe.

We popped out on SH2 at Waipawa and pootled on down to Waipuk where we left the main drag again and made for Porangahau.  Along the way we saw plenty of evidence of the wild weather that the Hawkes Bay saw a little while ago - places where the road had been flooded, slip remains and all sorts of wreckage collected on fences near the flooded bits of road.

From Porangahau we turned South on Route 52 to Wimbledon.  The road along here was not too bad, although there were a few sections of new seal and some wind blown wreckage on the road - hardly worth mentioning...

From Wimbledon to Weber it was definitely a different story.  This bit of road is always fairly dodgy as it does get damaged in bad weather and the logging trucks also pummel it but this time around it was worse than I can ever remember.  All sorts of road surface issues and wreckage but also a lot of road slumping - a real roller coaster of a ride and I was on the wrong bike...

Some of the not so bad bits below:

Unusually (for my good camera) blurry pic of the Weber Road
The day was starting to get on so we abandoned any further exploring and simply made out way back to Dannevirke, down SH2 and over the Saddle to Ashhurst and home.

I got home some time after 5 after a pretty pleasant jaunt of around 530km - thanks Colin!


  1. Love that first video, brings back memories of riding along there. Also the Taihape road was also a favourite. Gee your not mucking around, your getting in a bit of riding.

    1. Gotta make up for last year's poor effort...winter is coming...

  2. So that is the kind of mileage one can do in a day when not tottering along checking out bike shops and stopping for a long lunch......

    Looks like a great day out.

    1. Well, we did have a long lunch...and I stopped and looked in the window of a bike shop on my way to Colin's in the morning...