Tuesday, September 29, 2020

FRDC MC Ride #3

 After being locked up working from home and finally almost getting through winter (the weather here has been rubbish since Sunday), I thought it was time for another FRDC ride.

Extensive planning (yeah right) started about 3 weeks ago and it appeared that quite a few were hanging out for a pootle but the weather really was our major concern.  Early on we decided that we would make the final decision on a ride either East or West of the ranges depending on the weather much closer to ride day.  I then came up with a couple of route options and refused to share them...

Getting closer to D-day we had planned the ride for Sunday in the hope of getting the most riders along but then came weather forecasts with phrases like "weather bomb", "heavy rain", "snow" etc.  At last minute we chose to swap to Saturday and that ended up being a pretty good idea.

I arrived first at one of the local BP's to meet the crew and was soon joined by 4 other bikes (and one pillion) while another 2 went to the wrong BP...

Ian visiting his 2nd BP of the day

Once we had the gang together I gave the guys a quick idea of where we were going and what to expect from my favourite types of road (back roads) and we were off.

The first little leg was out of town, turning off at Mount Stewart to sneak past Halcombe and through to Marton.  Out the Northern end of Marton we took a left onto a favourite of mine - Makuhou Road.  Surprisingly, (we've had plenty of rough weather) the road was in a really good state with very little metal or other wreckage on the road.  The Connie enjoyed it.

At the turn-off to Turakina Road I stopped for some pics:

Pretty girl

Ivan (Harley)

Glen (KTM 200)

Paul and Marie (Honda Shadow)

Ian happy to be in the right place at the right time (1250 Bandit)

Kyle (250 Suzy)

We didn't do any of the interesting (gravel) bits of Turakina Valley Road but there was metal on the road in the usual places.  I had one little squiggle in some while being harassed by a teeny KTM but it wasn't too bad and everyone rode sensibly through there with no issues.

Next up was Mangahoe Road and more harassment by the KTM until I had to stop for a very important photo.

I've enjoyed every one of them

Actually a few photos were taken...

Not a bad spot for a memory

I really like this shot of the team (Glen missing)

Hitting the old 100,000 mile mark was pretty special (next stop 200k) and even though I knew it was going to happen on the ride it put a big smile on my dial.  The others were also enjoying the ride (well, I'm not sure if Marie enjoyed her bee sting) so I suggested a slight deviation on our route to go visit the falls just off Ongo Road.  Everyone else seemed keen so we were off up the valley on another great road - this time I had a Bandit join the KTM in harassing me.

Falls pretty charged up after recent rain

Pretty girl with harassing orange thing and friend

Layers being shed as the day heats up

While at the falls we had a bit of a break and I got queried on the name of the falls.  Name?  I'd never really given it much of a thought and the internet was not happening out in our little valley.  Eventually we discovered that the river was Turakina River (wow, imagine that)...

Anyway, by now we were in need of sustenance so U-turns were executed and we made our way back into Hunterville for lunch.

Damn KTM somehow got in front of the Connie

The cafe was a bit of a disappointment (slow) but at least we got to talk plenty of crap enjoy each other's company and work out a plan to get home.

I had a few ideas up my sleeve but knew that some were keen to get home (Kyle even had to skip lunch!) so in the end we decided to return via Vinegar Hill.

Somehow I managed to get ahead of the team and also hit the lights on the hill at the ideal moment so I had plenty of time to get up the hill and get the camera out.


Heard the little single before I saw it...

Great picture of 2 people enjoying a motorcycle


Last photos taken and we all said goodbye to make our way home.  Nice little pootle and a big day for the old girl!  Great stuff!


  1. 160,000 time for a new one then eh?
    What's wrong with your zoom lens, is it broken?

    1. Nah, she's all good.

      My zoom lens was as zoomed as it gets. I was using my little water/shock-proof adventure riding camera. i can't afford flash pro gear like some people ;)

  2. Great weather in the end, Andrew. Nice to see that the Connie got an airing and even nicer to see a KTM prominently featured ;-) . Now with the upcoming 1600 km ride, I hope that you're going to do it on Mighty Mouse to make it a genuine challenge! I was planning on doing the 2011 event on a Sachs Madass but couldn't find one for love nor money!

    1. Yeah, a really nice day before the bomb hit. The little KTM was singing all day...

      Actually only doing the 800 again. I still have to do last year's 1600...

      You get that Sachs and I'll join you on the WR...