Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Working out

 So after a sedate cruise on Saturday, it was time to get dirty again on Sunday.

Colin was keen to cut loose on his quad again so reasonably early on Sunday I loaded up the RMX and cruised down to his place where there was coffee. 

Arriving at the Maungakotukutuku Road carpark we unloaded and then took off up main track.  We had plans of investigating a number of different tracks but arriving at the top of the hill we hit a road block (if we'd really tried we could have actually hit a Dodge Ram) and important people in hi-viz.

On our way to disappointment

We soon discovered that the tracks were closed to public access as there was a silly bicycle race on.  Would have been nice to have had a sign at the carpark...

Disappointed, we about-faced and trundled off in search of some other tracks that we might be able to access.  Instead of looking for a track, Colin just turned off into the scrub...

Well, actually, it was an old overgrown track and we set about investigating where it went.  Eventually it got quite overgrown and pretty tricky for Colin to maneuver in so he sent me off to check out whether it was worth pursuing.

You can see some of this exploring in the first video below.  I eventually stopped after crossing one log safely (but hitting the bash pad on it) and then coming to another much bigger one that would have been difficult to get back over if I needed to turn around.

I then had to somehow turn the bike around in the scrub.  This involved getting it hooked up on trees, nearly dropping it, stalling it and some vigorous sweating.  Adding to the fun was that the starter didn't seem to want to play ball all day so I had the added fun of having to kick over a hot bike...


After making my way back to Colin, we decided to take another track off in a different direction.  Once again this got fairly gnarly and not long after passing Colin the poor old bike started getting a bit hot and bothered so I parked it up and we had a breather for a bit.



After our breather we continued on down and things didn't really improve.  After crossing a muddy ditch I looked ahead and only saw trees so turned around to go and find Colin attempting to squeeze through some fairly small gaps.

It took a bit of effort (and some forest realignment) to get the quad turned around and then we high-tailed it out of the mess.



Getting out on the main track, it was great to try out a few more gears and get a bit of breeze over me and the radiators but Colin did lead me off onto one more side track.  This one was a bit shorter and ended in a very steep descent where someone managed to stuff up, stall and dismount their Suzuki.  Never mind, at least I was able to crash start the beast...

Back at the carpark, we turned back up the road and went in search of some other tracks along the river.  It turned out there were quite a few that led you in and out of the river and into some mud holes etc.  A quick play in there and it was time for lunch...



Ah yes, I brought along my own chef...

Coffee and sizzlers scoffed we got back into it, following the river and searching for more tracks until we ran into the law - well some council blokes I 'spose - who discouraged us from riding in the river.  No probs, we weren't there to destroy the place, but also no signage and plenty of tracks...


A quick return blat down the gravel road and then the bikes were loaded up and we were outta there.  The only thing left to do was to go see a man about a water blaster...

Always take a chef and experienced blaster master with you on dirt rides...

So, a bit disappointing that we couldn't quite do the ride we wanted but a lot of fun anyway and a real workout in that tight stuff - my arms and shoulders definitely felt it and a hot shower was pretty damn good at the end of the day.

Monday, May 02, 2022

It's been a while...

 ...and probably too long...

But, on Saturday it finally happened!  Yes, believe it or not the poor old Connie (resting on brand new, zero km rubber) was wheeled out of the shed for a little pootle.

Following a short trip to and from the local servo the bike was parked up for a while to await the BMW rider and his pillion for the day, Suzanne.

After the obligatory coffee, we mounted up and made our way up the valley.  A cooler morning was slowly warming up to be a really nice, still and sunny day - it really made the views across the valley look pretty damn good.  Must be why it's called the Manawatu Scenic Route...

Suzanne works with Colin and Adi so naturally we had to take some caution across Adi's bridge and then stop to check out the ice...One day we'll stop giving him grief about his little whoopsie, one day.



Pretty girl

More great scenery and fun road got us out onto SH1 and the now fairly normal stop in Mangaweka for coffee and err, pies before a quiet trundle down the road to Hunterville.

Here the plan was to take back roads through to Marton but I thought that seeing we had a guest we should also pop out to the waterfall on Turakina Valley Road.  So we did.

Same pretty bike with pretty background


Back-tracking a little (and avoiding a wee bit of gravel) we were soon back on our way towards Marton.  I managed to take out a magpie along the way but Colin left the peacocks alone.

The neat little climb up Makuhou Road was once again neat, although autumn leaves across the road did slow us down a wee bit.  We slowed down even more at the top of the hill to make sure that the reservoir was still there.  It was, but I failed to get photographic evidence...

Beauty and the beast...

From there, we were soon in Marton where we paused for refreshments and a yarn before trundling off back to Ashhurst via Halcombe, Feilding and Colyton.

Superb day to be out riding and I'm pretty sure that the old girl enjoyed herself.  She's probably about five minutes away from hitting 165,000km and still an awesome machine.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Terrorizing Takapari

After having a blast on the yellow bike last weekend, I decided that maybe I'd like to see if it was still as much fun this weekend.  I then managed to persuade Rhys from work and Colin to join on WR's - Rhys borrowing mine for the day.  The idiots took the bait...

Come Saturday morning and Rhys only just bet Colin to my place where all that was required was loading the RMX onto the ute and the other guys going in search of fuel.  I took the direct route out to the bottom of Takapari Road and once again somehow managed to persuade the others to go via Pohangina so they could have a wee gravel warm-up.

I beat them out to the bottom of the hill, had the bike unloaded and was just starting to get my gear on when I started hearing some revs approaching.  It took a while but I could hear them for ages before they arrived with grins already plastered on their faces.  Yeah, WR's are a blast!

Geared up, we hit the gravel up to the first gate.  I played tail-end charlie and had fun sitting behind Rhys who was riding fairly well for someone who hadn't been on a bike for a few years.  The RMX was a hoot on some of the gravel corners.


The next leg was the squirt up the farm track to the top gate.  Once again I stayed at the back for a while until Rhys made a slight navigational error (gave a bank a bit of a scare) and I snuck past and chased after Colin.

Missing a WR somewhere...


We waited for a few minutes wondering what was keeping Rhys and then:


Is that dirt hanging off the bike?

Well, it turned out that Rhys had had a little bit of excitement back at one of the gates and ended up hitting the ground fairly hard.  He managed to dislocate a finger (which he fixed straight away) and pick up the odd graze along with getting the wind knocked out of him.

We sort of commiserated (and also gave him a bit of stick) with him and let him have a bit of a breather for a bit before he said he was up for the next bit.

The next bit is the climb up to the corner where we usually stop for photos and it includes those 4WD churned up bits.  These were also fairly muddy and slippery from rain the day before and we also had to get past three 4WD's on the way up.  They were great though and saw us coming and then let us through easily.

Unfortunately, I somehow started the camera recording in hyperlapse - doh!


One of the things about the 450 is that it goes fairly well and eats up most terrain up there fairly well too.  This meant that I may have got away on the other chaps just a little.  It did enable me to get a few cool shots of them making their way up though - I really like the ones as they are crossing the ridge.







Rhys looking good up on the pegs

Here comes Colin!

Time to take in the scenery:







On the next wee leg to the hutt I finally managed to persuade Colin to have a spin on the yellow bike while I tried out the sofa on his WR.  I think it went well enough for him...

At the hut there were already some 4WD's and we let them know about the other three on their way up so that they knew to expect them.  Shortly after they left (and while we were enjoying a snack), the other three vehicles arrived and we spent a bit of time yarning to them.


Seeing as there were three of us to help each other get out of trouble, we decided to head on past the hutt and check out the track a bit more (I'd last done this about 25 years ago).  The 3 4WD's tagged along too.

The first bit involved a reasonably steep and rocky descent which was no issue but the next uphill was a different story.  The track split off to the left or right and taking the left one we quickly came unstuck in some fairly soft (not muddy) rock and dirt.  The 450 proved very good at digging holes in this stuff.

We did a 180 and dropped back to the bottom for another try on the right side track.  Colin got away first and disappeared up the track with a Pajero chasing him.  Rhys and I went next.

Nearing the fork in the track the Pajero was blocking my way (actually backing down for another crack at the climb) so I was forced to go left again and hit the soft stuff again.  I quickly got bogged down again and Rhys and I had a bit of a go at trying some different paths but we seemed to always end up getting stuck again.  

Looking up the hill we could just see this sort of thing continuing all the way up the hill.  Maybe if we could have had a good run at it with plenty of pace we might have got up it but it was also fairly rough.  I'd pretty much had enough of getting stuck, stalling the bike and lifting it around (even with Rhys' help) so we ended up parking up to take in the views and wait for Colin.


Back at the hut is was my turn to ride Mighty Mouse so that Rhys could have a bit of fun on the 450.  Heading across the tops, I got away on the guys again and managed a few more action shots:




And then it was time for the downhill.  I was a bit more careful in the slippery bits this time with the WR not quite having a front tyre as good as the RMX's and the rear brake peddle a little hard to find for some reason 😉.  There was also an added hazard of a dick in a Hilux not stopping or pulling over at all for us - check it out on the video.


Safely back at the bottom, the RMX was loaded back up and we trundled off back to my place for a drink and a debrief.  Yet another great day out playing in the dirt and mud 👍