On Saturday, we met up around 9:30ish at the usual Sanson garage and sat around drinking coffee, and waiting for a truck to roll in with an elephant or rhino or something equally interesting. Ah, but it wasn't to be so we finished up and hit the road.
I was determined to put a little variation into the ride, so rather than riding to Fordell we turned in and took Turakina Valley Road over to Mangaitpona Road. It's not like we ride Turakina Valley Road that often is it? To say it was a nice (if a little cool) day is an understatement.
Travelling West on Mangaitpona Road we eventually got to the turn-off up Mangamahu Road and took it. The weather hadn't changed much...
Along the way I'd come up with an idea that meant we wouldn't be riding the valley in the same direction as last time and this meant a turn-off onto Te Rimu Road to cross over to the Paraparas for a bit.
Te Rimu Road was a little different than last time through with the road being less gravel, more dirt/clay. Luckily it wasn't wet and slippery. Even more lucky, the blokes below ignored us and carried on with whatever they were doing as we idled past...
Here's the video:
At the end of the road Carl left us to it and Colin and I promptly took off to chase this guy down:
I wonder if he'll make us famous? He certainly wasn't mucking around, but in the end...
Nearing the falls, we turned off onto Fields track for the sublime ride up the hill to the usual photo stop.
|Enjoying his view|
From there it was back down the other side.
It was either the below corner or just around it where I had my closet shave with wildlife in a long time. I'd just come around the corner when I was suddenly upon two big billy goats having a conversation in the middle of the road. One broke left and tore off up the bank while I hit the picks hard and threw the Tenere to the left to miss the other one by nothing - I haven't checking the bike for stinky goat hair yet but need to...it was that close!
Over the bride we took the right hand turn to get us onto Whangaehu Valley Road for the run back South. The first bit of the road had recently been graded so was a little chunky but soon the road improved no end and it was a really brilliant ride on nice hard packed gravel.
|That'll be Colins dust ruining the picture...|
|I never speed...|
At Mangamahu I caught up with Colin and we had a breather to take in the lovely views and brilliant day.
|Crappy phone picture of an old hotel|
|All your bacon needs taken care of (seriously big sow)|
|No exit road unfortunately|
|Hotel to the right|
And this was the trip back out from the school, dig that old bridge eh?
By now it was getting pretty near lunchtime so we rode back through to Turakina Valley and then took our last bit of gravel on Taurimu and Galpins Road through to Marton. I even stopped at the same place as last time for pics...
In Marton we had a nice lunch before I decided that my lawns needed mowing and Colin decided that he also had chores. So with just the short ride home that was it. What a stunning day weather wise (give me this time of the year over summer anytime) and the riding wasn't half bad either!