Tuesday, April 23, 2024

More Maverick Madness

Ok, so at least one person wanted more buggy stuff...

How's about this slideshow I made up for the chaps at the work - pics and just a few video snips:

PS: had another outing in the buggy the weekend before last...

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Buggy Madness - the Maverick Muster

Ok, I should be writing up a wee ride from two weeks ago - but, I've been busy.

Colin and I are about three weeks back from another South Island adventure.  This time around we took his Can-Am Maverick down and joined up with 6 other buggies for 6 days of magic mahem in the Central Otago region.

We had an absolute ball and covered quite a few tracks that we've done before on the WR's but it was a different experience in a buggy - they go anywhere and it doesn't really matter what the terrain is like.

Well, sometimes things happen...

Anyway, I'm not sure if I want to blog the trip on here unless readers are interested?  But, I have created a new YouTube channel (there's a Maverick Muster playlist with all the videos) where most of the video has been uploaded.

So, please comment if you're interested in this stuff - there's 500+ photos to go with the video and we also had a play in the buggy last weekend...


Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Chris & Stella - Eggsanity ride

On Sunday I had the chance to tag along for just a wee bit (500 or so km) of yet another IBA ride that Chris and Stella were attempting.  Not happy with having completed a SS1600 (that incorporated this years NI800 route) on Good Friday, they had decided to do the NI1600 (having ridden the special NI1600 Super Twisty on the day), but with a couple of twists...

First, they decided to start and finish from their home North of Auckland (the NI1600 started and finished in Ohakune) and to also include all the requirements for an IBA Eggsanity Gold ride.  Here I'll just steal the ride requirements from Chris's FB post:

We had to find and photograph 5 Easter themed items: A business sign with 'Egg' in the name, a Bacon and Egg pie, eat an Egg meal, have a chocolate egg and take a photo of somewhere worth investing our Nest Egg with, each of which need to be at least 241km apart from each other.

Anyway, spoiler alert, this meant that they had to ride a total distance of 1938km with the required 1610 for the IBA ride done inside of 24 hours.  They nailed the full whack in 23 hours, 58 minutes!

To meet them I kept an eye on their Spotwalla and then rode out to one of the NI1600 checkpoints up the Pohangina Valley.  I got my timing pretty right too as I reckon it was less than ten minutes until I heard a Concours and R1 coming my way.

Triumph porn

Stella on her Yamaha YZF R1-LD

I'd promised to be TEC so I just settled in behind the two maniacs as we rode back to Ashhurst and then pottered over the Saddle to Woodville and then on towards Pahiatua.  There's video coming but none of the poor learner rider struggling there way over the Saddle holding up traffic and eventually been buzzed by three bikes wearing IBA platebacks.

We gave Pahiatua a miss by turning early to make our way to the next CP at Alfredton before popping into Masterton for fuel.  Chris & Stella also picked up the chocolate egg requirement for the Eggsanity ride and I may also have joined in on this but failed the rest of the requirements...

From Masterton it was back out East again to pick up a couple more NI1600 checkpoints and for Chris to vandalise a sign...

Chris & Stella both have IBA numbers less than 1,000 as they completed the Iron Butt Rally in the US last year.  I have to put up with being #73,269

Cruising out of Martinborough we rejoined SH2 at Featherston for the run over the Rimutakas.  The hill road was typically busy with only a few opportunities to pass.  Then it was onto another interesting section - crossing Wellington City at around 5 o'clockish to get their next NI1600 CP.  This was a picture of the Wellington sign.  I completed failed at getting this CP, preferring to get another picture of the sexy Triumph and the other two.  I did manage to steal Chris's picture off Facebook though...

Besides, this picture has a nice bird mural on it...

I'm not really that gigantic...thanks Chris!

Now it was time to turn around and retrace our steps a bit before carrying on North on SH1.  Probably shouldn't mention the IBA veteran's wee navigational mistake...

The ride up to the next stop in Levin was mostly on the flash new highway so was easy k's and I got to utilise the Tiger's cruise control:

Once we got to the miserable 80km/h section things got a bit boring but Chris and I might have caused a bit of entertainment to the car following when he passed me over a bierstick - it was delicious!

The next stop was in Levin where two bikes needed fuel and the team took on a quick bit of sustenance (I got another bierstick and some rations from Stella's tankbag!).  Then it was around the corner for the guys to pick up another of the Eggsanity requirements - a bank for Nest eggs.  I didn't bother with a photo as I was now well aware that I had only met one of the other ride requirements (mmmm, chocolate).  Not sure why I bothered with my Spotwalla:

More SH1 and slow traffic got us into Sanson where I at last said goodbye and went home for some sleep as opposed to continuing on riding until after 3am like some others...

Anyway, as always it was great to catch up with the guys and join them in just a slice of their mad fun, maybe I should look at another 1600 at some stage...

Oh, and this one didn't survive all the Eggsanity...

Monday, April 01, 2024

Good Friday Gravel

It felt like it'd been ages since I'd ridden a bike and when I threw a leg over the T7 on Good Friday and hit the gravel I was decidedly wobbly for a while.

I'd ridden out to Pohangina and then climbed up Finnis Road where the corrugations were pretty bad and the road doesn't really allow you to go fast enough to smooth them out.  

From there I hit Ridge Road and I still hadn't really got my head around the gravel.  I was blaming the gravel, the front tyre and all sorts of things but a lot of it had to be a rusty me.

At least I had the road pretty much to myself as I carried on towards Apiti.

Rather than visiting the delights of Apiti, I turned at the end of Ridge Road to take in Makoura Road where the first bit of gravel heading up the hill was a delight.  The previous days rain had settled it down nicely and the bike left some nice marks in it as I gassed it up the hill.

The ride home via Pohangina Road was more of the same with mostly nice fast gravel except for the last bit near Pohangina (normally in great nick) which was a little deeper than normal.

Just a quick little 110km ride in mostly (the odd little spit here and there) to kick off the long weekend.  Love it!

Saturday, March 09, 2024


Popped over to the folks for a visit and took a slightly longer route home.  Tried out Sport mode, think I like it...

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

2024 TT2000

You'll never guess but I've actually finished the write-up!  Record time eh?

Here it be: http://banditrider.weebly.com/2024-tt2000.html

Oh, and we followed up the 350km on Sunday morning with a wee ride up SH1 to Kaikoura (approx 590km including one 445km hop where we didn't get off the bikes) in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

2023 TT2000

Yeah, it's all about the TT2000 at the moment.  And as far as I'm concerned that's just great!

I thought that having just finished teh '24 event that I should definitely get my '23 write-up done.  Actually, it's not that slack of me as we only just completed it in October...

Without further ado, here it is: 2023 TT2000

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Getting organised early...

2025 TT2000 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Thursday, January 04, 2024

I think I like it

 ...two photo stops on a short ride from Feilding to home...

How did this make it in here?


Time off must be put to good use.  This means riding!

Prior to Christmas, Colin and I had been kinda planning out which rides we might want to tick off over the break and one that I'd suggested was a trip through the forgotten highway as we hadn't been through there in quite a while.  With it being the holiday break and summer we thought that the road would be busy and running with melting tar - but we went anyway.

The ride started with Colin and then John turning up at my place for a ritual coffee and then we were off around the Manawatu Scenic route for some scenic stuff.  I knew from my scouting trip through there a few weeks back that the road was in good nick nut but did warn the other chaps about the couple of bits of new seal.

Colin (radar'd up) led the way up SH1 and then through to National Park.  Coming through here I for one kinda regretted having all the vents open on my gear as the temperature dropped at Waiouru to between 14 and 15 degrees and stayed there until we stopped at Owhango for lunch.

After lunch the temperature didn't really get any better until after we stopped at Taumarunui for fuel and hit the Forgotten highway proper.  We did also pick up a few spits of rain too...

The ride through to Whanga was a lot of fun with the road actually in reasonable condition.  no melting tar, just the odd slip and a few road debris to contend with.  The gravel section is currently being worked on in preparation for seal but after getting a bit of a feel for the new bike/tyres it was sweet as.  What isn't sweet as is the Harleys that (as everybody knows) can't corner, coming around blind corners on my side of the road - it seems that only a hospital trip or wooden box cures this.  Twats!

Riding through the tunnel was an experience for the other guys.  I got through sweet as but they ended up sliding around on some of the mud at the top end of the tunnel, apparently sunglasses are not ideal when descending into a black hole.

At Whanga we stopped for the obligatory photo (got to get all the bikes outside the pub eh?) and an exorbitantly priced drink before carrying on to Stratford on roads that just seemed to get better.  Love the way the new beast handles!

The rest of the trip was a bit of a quiet cruise as we got stuck behind a cop for a bit and then when we passed him had to be on our best behaviour (cruise control helps) until we caught a helpful tanker 😉.  A quick stop at Sanson where Colin turned for home and then John carried on with me as far as Ashhurst before skedaddling for the 'rapa.

Nice little ride of just over 600km with the bike telling me it would nearly have done the whole trip on one fill (thanks to that slow cruise home).