Sunday, June 17, 2018


Once again there has been a bit of rain falling around the place and though we weren't hit as bad as the East Coast and some other places we did have a few local roads closed and the rivers came up a lot requiring flood gates to be opened and that sort of thing.  But with Saturday morning not looking too bad I decided to make my own recce of the Pohangina Valley and in the process check out a road I hadn't ridden in a while - my version of public service eh...

After pumping up a fairly flat rear tyre (I'd better keep an eye on that), I puttered out to Ashhurst and then up to Pohangina on wet roads.  All around me the sky was fairly dark and I was pretty sure that at some stage I might trip over some wet weather.  My first bit of gravel was on Pohangina Road and the first section through to the Totara Reserve turn-off was just as fun as usual, even if there were a few muddy bits.

The Road (Churchill Road) to the reserve was closed but I discovered that a Tenere could sneak through the gap in the cones and puttered down to check out what the damage was.  I don't know if it was just what you see in the pictures of the bridge below as I decided not to cross the bridge just in case.

A lot of wreckage pushing on the bridge

Water level a lot lower than it would have been just days ago

Perhaps some new slip damage?

The old bridge has definitely been leaned on - the gap is easily big enough to stick your hand in
Back on Pohangina Road I made my way towards Utuwai.  But not far from the corner there was sign saying that the road was going to be closed for a period of time for maintenance.  The dates were right for it to be closed but I decided to carry on and check it out - I had all day...

My next stop was at at a spot where I often take photos.  This time around I was able to stay on my bike for the pictures as my camera can fit in my new tank bag.  Unfortunately if you do drop a glove in the dirt, you have to get off to pick it up...

The next bit of road to Utuwai was a bit interesting in places as it was muddy and a bit sloppy so I tended to tip-toe through there a bit.  Turning left, the road through to Apiti was fine but I was still disappointed by the (good) progress the roading guys had made in sealing the road.

From Apiti it was wet tar up the hill towards Kimbolton, the front end letting me know that an E-07 with nearly 17,000km on it is perhaps not the ideal tyre for the conditions.

Rather than take the boring seal ride back towards Cheltenham I turned right and carried on towards Rangiwahia before turning off onto McBeth Road.

A little Tenere waits...

I hadn't been through here in a long time and when I got to the first intersection I turned again onto Junction Road to see where it would take me - perhaps to a Junction?  As it turned out Junction Road became more like a farm track and after the second gate (both open) I decided that I'd better turn around in case I ended up annoying a farmer - the road looked like it was going to get rougher too so not a crazy idea...

Note: some idiot made an error at the start of the video.  It is actually McBeth Road at the start, later on I turn-off onto Junction and then back onto McBeth to finish.  Must get a better video editor...

Back on McBeth Road and there was more gravel goodness before the road finally turned to seal and then ended at Perry Line.

Grass, clouds...

Kiwitea thataway!
Perry Lane took me through to Kiwitea where I turned for home and lunch.  A nice little morning's ride of around 150km.


  1. Not only did the rain bring muddy puddles to play in, you had those beautiful green hills to look at while riding. Nice!

    1. We've had a lot of rain so everything is green now!

  2. You must have had a decent amount of rain looking at the damage caused to that bridge. Looks like a lazy do out in the countryside. Good times eh?

    1. Good times alright. Ready for the rain to sod off for a while now...

  3. I bet you were happy to get out! We had a bunch of rain recently, too, resulting in road closures due to overflowing creeks and rivers. But we have mostly paved roads. In my car, I did detour down one particular river road to see the waterway for myself. The bottom 2/3 of my car is now mud-covered on both sides. Didn't you and your bike get filthy?

    Sorry, but I had to chuckle at your dropped glove comment. That's happened to me several times. I am tall, so the height of my F650GS isn't usually an issue, until I'm taking a picture from the saddle and drop a glove. My arms cannot cover that distance!

    Your video setup is very nice, with the forward and rear-facing cameras and trip tracker. Thanks for sharing the videos with us. The photos are nice, too. You definitely get to enjoy pretty scenery.

    1. Thanks for all the compliments. Getting dirty is fun!