Monday, March 08, 2021

2021 TT2000 - Getting there

 This years TT2000 both started and finished in Oamaru which is just over 700km and a ferry ride across the straits from Palmy.  So, with the ride start at Friday midday it seemed sensible to take a couple of days and make the trip a bit easy on ourselves.  

Well, that was our plan and and we ended up being very lucky.  A combination of a Covid lock-down in Auckland and some pretty shocking weather saw all sorts of ferry issues and a lot of the guys had to do epic rides just to get to the TT start - some didn't even make it...

An offer of a bed in Waikanae for the night made things even easier for me to get to the morning sailing on Wednesday.  After coming home from work, I dropped the dog off at her hotel (well, it cost nearly as much!) and then returned home to load up the bike and make for Colin's place.

It was then I discovered that there wasn't a lot of air in my rear tyre - panic stations.  Getting pretty much no reading on the gauge was a little worrying to say the least, but a quick spin of the wheel showed no sharp things in the tyre so I pumped it up to 50+ psi and went hunting.  It turns out that there is a very small leak between the rim and the bead quite close to the valve.  I decided to ride onto Colin's and check it in the morning - dreading the idea of having to have tyre hassles once over on the mainland.

In the end the leak was very small (and with the help of the green goop in the tyre) and it just needed a bit more air a couple of times on the whole trip - phew!

Note the leftmost icon on the top of the BMW's screen...

That little scare over, it was time for a bigger one.  Tuesday (and Tuesday night) saw a pretty decent storm hitting the straights (it was damn windy riding down to Waikanae I tell ya) and our ferry was the one that got stuck out in the straights for over 9 hours.  We went to bed not knowing if we'd have a boat in the morning but with no emails or texts telling us otherwise we got up and hit the road to the ferry terminal.

That's what a new rear E-07+ looks like...

Anyway, as mentioned earlier, we were lucky and got our boat and even better the sea was a lot more friendly than the night before.  I did have to get some fresh air at one stage but I happen to prefer that to the alternative.

Rough as guts

Always lovely in the Sounds

As usual it was absolutely fantastic to get off the boat and start turning the wheels in the South Island and we quickly found ourselves in Blenheim where we topped up our tanks and then made for Taylor Pass - our gateway to the Molesworth.

No Starbucks here Colin

Taylor Pass was a nice wee gravel entree before the main event and it was fantastic to be on the Molesworth on the Tenere again - much more fun than in the ute last year.  Just lots of great gravel and fantastic scenery!

We arrived in Hanmer somewhere around 5pm and had a lengthy break as we were ready for a drink and a nibble and started looking for accomodation somewhere nearish to, but preferably not in Christchurch.  This took a little while but we eventually were able to book a couple of rooms in Kaiapoi.  Even better, once we got there, the bloke upgraded us and we both had quite nice rooms that could have held four in each unit - the air-con was very welcoming too.

Kaiapoi doesn't do clouds

The next morning we didn't have to hurry as it was less than a tank of gas down to Oamaru, so after a coffee and perhaps missing the worst of the Christchurch commuter traffic we set off.

Once again the South Island had put on some great weather for us and after fuelling up in Christchurch we ambled our way down to Rakaia for a late brekkie.

No salmon were harmed in the making of my brekkie but a pig's mum got some bad news

Yeah, there was coffee too...

Still with plenty of time to kill we took it easy on the cruise down SH1 before turning off to go sightseeing in Waimate.  Some time ago I'd seen something on TV about the silo murals in Waimate and felt that we needed to check them out and get a picture of the bikes next to them - mission accomplished!

All that art and culture (or maybe the hot weather) had an effect on the BMW rider - he forgot that he liked coffee for a while and decided that we needed a real fruit icecream from an orchard we'd passed back up the road.  The double-back was worth it.

Leaving Waimate behind, we only had about 40km or so ride before we landed at our motel and could get out of our hot riding gear.  When we arrived there were already a couple of groups of TT riders there and it wasn't too long before Chris and Stella rolled up after their scoot down from Auckland.

The day ended with a meal out with a bunch of the riders and just the odd bit of chat about bikes, riding and perhaps even the TT...roll on Friday!


  1. That's a lovely blue...

  2. Some great photos there Andrew! A bunch of my IAM mates from Auckland and BOP did the TT too and a couple did the Molesworth who had attended the IAM conference in Chch. Unfortunately, one of them dropped his Explorer 1200 in a dust cloud kicked up by a ute and did a bit of damage. Still able to ride home to Wellington though.

    1. Thanks Geoff. Bummer about ya mate on the Triumph. The Molesworth is a fantastic ride - something that should be on every riders bucket list (hint, hint).

  3. Come on man, hurry up with ya report already.