Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Friday, August 25, 2023

After work farkling

 Another wee delivery from Ali-express...

Bigger foot

Water pump protection

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Just a short pootle

No riding on Saturday and a later start on Sunday saw me finally deciding to get out and take in a little ride around 11 in the morning.

We'd had some pretty chilly weather earlier in the week and on Friday, Whariti got a big dump of snow on it.  There were plenty of photos online of 4WD's clambering up through the snow and ice, towing sleds and all sorts of chilly shenanigans.  With Saturday being warmer, I thought that it wouldn't be an icy trip up but that there still might be some snow to check out.

So that was the plan.  After crossing the Saddle, I turned up towards the peak, stopped briefly to attempt to start a GoPro with a flat battery, waited for two 4WD's to go past and then took off up the gravel road.

Rounding a corner, I encountered a bit of slippery stuff, pulled my head in a little and then popped out of the trees and into...wind.

Now, for those that don't know, it blows up there.  That's why there's windmills all over the place and sometimes it's too windy for them as well.  On one BRR ride, a group us got a bit further up the hill and then nearly got blown off it.  Turning the bikes around was a mission...

Being on my lonesome, I was not keen to be blown off the side of the hill (and not even having got up as high as that BRR ride), I decided to change my plans.

On our last ride out East (no blog 😟) I'd really enjoyed our last squirt of gravel on Tararua Road and decided that I could just nip over to Pahiatua or ride through Ballance to get there before the short bit of gravel and then home for lunch.

Or I could meander my way all over the place and then do Tararua Road.

After plugging in the GoPro to sort out its lack of ergs, I made my way through to Woodville and then onwards.  The weather didn't look the best so as I rode through Hopelands I kept my options open with a number of different ways I could wimp out and still take in Tararua Road or skedaddle home.  The thing was though, I was enjoying myself too much and kept coming up with other options to extend the ride and get in more good gravel.

In the end I picked a route through Coonoor and Waitahora Roads and then back into Dannevirke for lunch before making my way to Pahiatua and Taraura Road.  

I picked up the odd little shower on my way to Coonoor and the roads (sealed) were certainly a bit slippery but did have one other rider on a Beemer come past heading the other way. 

Hitting the gravel on Coonoor road, I stopped briefly to refit and turn on the GoPro and managed to capture 16 seconds of video and 20 odd minutes of audio of the ride - awesome.  So what you don't see in that awesome footage is a slightly slippery (slippery hard clay with marbles on top) start to the gravel followed by some much better fast gravel.  The gravel section of Waitahora Road was much the same and life was good.

All pics taken at the Northern (Dannevirke) end of Waitahora Road. 

Cruising into Dannevirke, it was only about 1pm and the worms weren't getting too carried away and there was still fuel in the tank so I decided to carry on to Pahiatua and check those items out there.  No gravel on my route but I did stick to the back roads to keep off the main roads and enjoy the slippery, winter seal.

Somewhere near Mangatainoka, the fuel gauge finally started giving me the evil eye so I made for the BP in Pahiatua where I put just under $60 in the tank!  And discovered (yet again) that they had some pies that could be had if one was peckish.

19.3L and we were ready for the next 400+ kms...

Leaving Pahiatua I had my objective in sight and have to say that Tararua Road was just as much fun as it was the last time I went through.  Well worth my little tiki-tour to get there 😜

And then there was my last little bit of excitement - testing out the wet weather performance of my E-09 front.  Not too shabby for what looks a lot like a knobbly...

And ten minutes later I was home and hooking into a coffee after a pretty neat little ride.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Winter gravel the best!

With that extensive maintenance and farkling complete, Sunday was the day to put the T7 through her paces.  As per usual Colin had to get in on the act and dragged Andy along too.

Leaving my place, we road tarmac across to Cheltenham and up past Beaconsfield where we eventually hit some gravel on Beaconsfield Valley Road.  

Further up the road we started to drop down the hill on Upper Pakihikura Road and I really enjoyed the ride through here all the way back to the seal on Otara Road.  The views are great and the gravel was mostly fast with the odd little slippery bit to keep things interesting - good stuff.

Not long after the bridge crossing we were out onto SH1 for a short cruise up to Mangaweka where I got fuel and we all got coffee and ummmm, pies.

After popping over the hill, we turned off again and made for some our favourite gravel through to the summit of the Napier-Taihape.  No snow (except the odd bit in shady spots) but once again the gravel was mint and again included the odd little slippery surprise.

After failing me to this point, the GoPro decided to play ball on the last section up to the Napier-Taihape and as you can see it was pretty fast, fun gravel.  Video not the best - blame YouTube...

Ford at around 6:00.

A few weeks ago Colin and Andy went through here and couldn't cross the ford as it was in major flood.  Maybe all the damage was caused then:

From the summit, we turned towards Taihape but managed to get in some more gravel on Moawhango Valley Road.  I hadn't ridden this in ages but it was well worth it and like most of the other gravel on the ride - fast and fun.  There was just that one surprise one lane bridge that stepped out in front of me...

Back in Taihape the KTM's needed fuel and the riders needed coffee so we hit the BP before wandering on down the road a bit and turning East just South of Utiku.  After a bit of seal we got in some more gravel on Auputa Road.

Auputa got us back onto the seal just out of Rangiwahia but we skipped Rangi and headed around the Manawatu Scenic Route to Apiti.  Ran into a small road block along the way.

The run from Apiti along Ridge Road to Pohangina was our last bit of gravel and while it was a good run, there was a bit of traffic on the road and the low sun was a bit of a pain as we road in and out of shaded spots.

Back at my place we had another coffee while discussing the awesomeness of the ride.  Another goodee in the books.