But, naturally, she fired up straight away and we were off. This time around I had a bit of a plan - I wanted to ride the Paraparas but decided that I wanted to ride them North-South. This meant that I had to find some other way up to Raetihi.
So, my route talk me across Vinegar Hill and then onto the dreaded SH1. Vinegar Hill was fun and even the traffic lights on them played ball for me (but not the half a dozen cars waiting at the other end) as I enjoyed reasonably dry roads and plenty of nice corners.
For my SH1 leg I settled down a little and just enjoyed the cruise in the sunshine. Naturally as I neared Taihape and Waiouru the temperature dropped but hey, I had the heated grips on. Then, North of Waiouru, the temperature dropped even more and the skies started looking a little unfriendly. I then had my first brain wave of the day - why not stop and put my warm/waterproof gloves on? So I did.
|Big hill playing hide and seek|
Wow, two good ideas in a row. By the time I finally got my warm gloves on and got back on the bike my hands were blocks of ice. The grips were turned onto 100% (probably for the first time in 147,000km) and I hunkered down as I headed off into some light rain.
|That'll be the fuzz checking that nobody is having any fun|
|A great shot of NZ's #1 road...|
Anyway, once I stopped worrying about my hands I started enjoying the ride. Bits of the desert road can be fun and the tyres were being their usual grippy selves so I just got down to business. And then I met this person...
|Slow vehicle lane #1|
|Slow vehicle lane #2|
Then we hit the next slow vehicle lane. Rinse and repeat...This time around though, they noticed that there was a big truck in front and that perhaps it was worth a crack having a go at passing it. Unfortunately it had taken them so long to work this out that when they started their passing manoeuvre they had already passed the sign saying that the lane was about to end. Yes, the truck pulled out into the main lane, yes there was oncoming traffic and yes, the idiot had to hit the brakes and find a piece of unoccupied road...
Having just managed not to have got caught up in someone else's accident I was glad that I made it to slow vehicle lane #3 where horsepower was applied.
|The truckee was doing a great job of trying to let idiots past|
|The road's even trying to dry out!|
|What's that blue stuff?|
|There be the mountain|
|Surrounded by a crash of rental vehicles...|
|I 'spose I could have used the good camera and zoomed in but it was in my topbox...|
|That's where all the snow is|
|I see the light!|
|35, yes, of course.|
|Ok, a couple of clouds is alright.|
|Who left that there?|
The trip home through Okoia, Fordell, Turakina etc was a chance to ease up a little and I ended up home in time for a cuppa before finally lighting the fire. A superb day out even if it was very cold in that middle part...