Saturday, January 29, 2022

Dusty fun

 So summer is well and truly here and there are roads to be ridden...

Today Colin not only twisted my arm to go riding, but he also managed to persuade Ross, on his new to him T7, to join us in an outing that involved hot tar, plenty of dust and marbles, a burger and some great roads and scenery.

After our normal pre-ride coffee we set out across the Saddle studiously sticking to the pathetically low speed limit (used to be a 100km/h playground for bikes) and into Woodville where I filled up the Tenere with some liquid gold.

Next up, I led the lads through Hopelands Road on some really nice, tight seal followed by a short bit of gravel (it's important to have a wee warm-up before getting stuck into it) on Millers Road.  At the end of the road we had a quick catch-up and Ross seemed to be enjoying himself even though he had been dining out big time on the dust off Colin and I.

Pahiatua-Pongaroa Road and a nice flick through Makuri got us onto our next section of gravel on Coonoor Road.  Through here we spent a bit of time cursing the sod that invented graders as they'd been hard at work spreading gravel all over the show to provide a not so nice surface to slither around on.

Don't the two Teneres look good together...

I let the other chaps go ahead of me up Towai Road as the deep stuff is not quite as much fun on the Tenere and I was probably holding them up.  Just up the road though, the road improved and there was a really nice surface up to the lime works and then to the summit.  The weather was a bit poo though...

My personal photographer even got a couple of pics of me.

Dropping down the hill we even encountered the odd vehicle coming the other way - kinda surprised to see a little Peugeot trundling along on the gravel at one stage.

By the time we turned off onto Waihi Valley Road the gravel had improved and I got to eat plenty of dust following the T7 through to Route 52 before we made our way into Pongaroa for those burgers.  I may have enjoyed a quick sample of the T7 on the way in - cheers Ross.

Checking to see if his baby is ok after experiencing some separation anxiety...

We had a reasonably long lunch break and during this Colin and I discussed our route options for the afternoon leg.  We ended up sticking to the seal and made our way South on 52 until turning off just out of Alfredton onto Barton's line.

It was fairly dusty through here, although the gravel wasn't too bad through to Eketahuna but when we started in towards the ranges again we discovered that a grader had been at work again so we had plenty more practice at skittering around on marbles again.

As usual though, it was a great ride up North along the ranges and the roads are pretty friendly even if there was a the stretch of deeper gravel here and there.  The last section before we popped out on the seal of Nikau Road was a lot nicer and it was great to end the gravel ride on some nice fast stuff.

Hot tar through to and over the Pahiatua track made for some careful tip-toeing and at the bottom of the track it was time to wave off the lads and skedaddle for a cold drink at home.

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