Sunday, May 12, 2019

Figure of 8?

During the week a chap I know and do the odd ride with done gone and traded a bike in so had a new stead that needed blooding.  And he'd decided that Turakina Valley was just the place to do it...

The meet-up point was once again in Sanson which the new bike managed to find ok and it was soon introduced to the Tenere.

Wonder what's in that big box?

The new bike and rider managed to keep their enthusiasm dampened down a little as we rode across to Turakina and took the turn up the valley.  With the road to ourselves we got into the section of tar a little and my mirrors still has a KTM in them so it was still going alright.  But once we hit the first section of gravel it wasn't long until the 1090 did a disappearing act - Colin handled the deep, freshly graded gravel with slightly less respect than me...

At one of our wee stops (Colin spent the day figuring out all the different modes for engine, traction control and ABS) I suggested that I knew a way to take in all of Turakina Valley Road but also do a bit of a figure of eight so that we could take in some more gravel..  Apparently it was a reasonable suggestion and so we took our first turn-off on Okaka Road.

It happens to be quite a fun bit of it is from two different angles...

From Okaka Road we took a short squirt up Koeke Road to a nice little photo stop.  The newbie camera man even got some more video.

After some superb seal we ended up at Mataroa where we turned off again to climb up to the top of the hills above Taihape.  It was another great hill climb ending with a quick stop for more photos.

Dropping down Ridge Road, we hit SH1 and made for Waiouru where fuel and lunch awaited.  It also got a bit cooler with some nasty black clouds hanging around the mountain - no nice pics of it today.

After lunch it was time to find the top end of Turakina Valley Road again,  but this time to head South.  It was quite dusty at the start but once we got South of Rangiwea, the road got better and was a lot of fun.

There is a mountain back there somewhere...

To complete my weird figure of eight we were forced to tackle the Okaka Hill climb again before riding down the always lovely Pohonui Road.

Back on a sealed section of Turakina Valley Road we had a bit of a sporty ride back towards Hunterville with Colin turning off just before SH1 for the trip South and I carried on to take in Vinegar Hill so I could pop into my parents deserted house to wish Ma a happy Mothers' Day...

Another fantastic day charging around some our best gravel roads!  Check out that figure of eight!

And now for the animal tally...

Well, there were a few sheep on the road at one stage, at least three slow hawks and the usual splattering of other feathered creatures but I'm not quite sure if we'll top this one...

Yeah, it's that big box again...When the truck pulled in, Colin and I were getting a coffee and then looked out the window to see the big box.  We then started trying to work out what it was - some sort of water tank?

Then I noticed some mesh on the front of the box and I started wondering a bit harder - could it be...

Well, it turned out to be Sunny.

Quiet little fella
Certainly something you don't often see on NZ roads, I wonder when we'll see the rest of the big 5?


  1. KTMs seem to be getting more and more popular. Looks like you had a perfect day for flinging some gravel though.

    That giraffe just looks sad. Wonder where it was headed.

    1. Dunno why those KTM's are so popular, everyone knows Yamahas are the pick of the discerning rider...

      Apparently Sunny was as happy as Larry (so said his vet). He was very quiet and on his way to his new home in Wellington - only a couple hours down the road.

  2. A good mate of mine bought a 1090 last week and we got out for his first blat on it last Sunday. Very nice bikes with oodles of go.
    As for the box? I was going to say it was a Velociraptor but I guess a giraffe is kinda cool too.

    1. Yeah, the KTM seems to go alright. Maybe a Velociraptor next time...