Yesterday was the day to park the farkling and get out on the Ten to enjoy Day 2 of summer.
Naturally, the motivating force behind this was Colin and his desire to see that he continues to remember how to ride. He even rounded up a couple of other keen
With the others coming up from down towards the bottom of the island, they got to ride a bit of SH1 (suffer in ya jacks guys) while I only had to pootle over to Sanson to meet them.
We got underway pretty quickly and crossed over to Turakina where we hit one of favourite roads. It just happens to wind it's way up the Turakina Valley too...
After the first tar section was dispatched it was onto our first taste of gravel. And it wasn't the most tasty of gravel either. Some sod had been through with a grader recently and there was a decent layer of marbles to roll around on. We even had to pause to comment on it - and to remove extra layers, open vents etc - it sure was warming up.
|KTM twins ruining a perfectly good picture...|
Luckily for us the next few sections of gravel were pretty damn sweet with just the occasional section where that maniac grader operator had been stuffing things up. Regular readers (if still awake) will probably know by now that I really, really enjoy the North end of Turakina Valley Road. A bit dusty though...
Man, that mountain looked pretty damn nice!
|Love that view!|
|Andy in action|
After our wee pause we toasted the rest of Turakina Valley Road and made our way into Waiouru where, you guessed it, we partook in some vittles before refuelling the horses for the next stretch.
Just for a change, this next leg involved a jaunt across the Napier-Taihape Road before turning South onto some more of our favourite gravel. The squirt across the tops was fun but with the sun out, there was the odd bit of hot tar to avoid or not (depends whether you were a particular KTM rider).
At the turn-off, we stopped for another look at the mountain before charging off on that delicious gravel.
|That mountain again|
|Yeah, that brand new tyre is toast Colin...|
I think that the gravel was in better condition than our last run through here and somehow it didn't seem to take as long to get back out onto the seal...Here's some of my favourite bits:
Parked up at the intersection by the Pukeokahu School and looking at the road sign we started mumbling about checking out the road to River Valley Lodge. It had been a few years since I'd been out there so we thought it was worth a look. Here's the drop down to the lodge - they do not recommend campers on the steep road down (steeper than the video makes it look).
It was only actually a short ride in from where we'd stopped and it certainly is a nice wee spot.
We had a bit of a breather there and chatted to the owner before finally turning around and making our way back to SH1 via the last of the gravelly bits and some nice windy seal.
But we didn't stay on SH1 for long turning off again to take in the long-cut (see map) through to Rangiwahia Road. After a brain-fade that had us go into Rangi, I sorted myself out and led the gang over to Apiti where we tackled the last of the gravel for the day.
I took us across Ridge Road thinking that it would be the icing on the cake but alas, the accursed grader had been through here as well. It was pretty slow going but at least there was those mint views out across the valley - and bunnies to try and squish...
It was a nice drop down Finnis Road into Pohangina to finally say goodbye to the gravel and then some boring seal back into Ashhurst where I parted company with the others and headed home to wash the dust off. Fabulous day out on the world's best adventure bike!