After my failure to complete the NI1600, there was a comment made, "Never regret failing - just regret not starting", to which I made a facetious comment about kaftan wearers. Well I just failed again so now I'm thinking I better pop out and buy myself a kaftan!!
It's not that often that I really look forward to riding a route, especially if it's one I've come up with, but last year I was eager to ride the 1KC and this year it was the same for the NI1600 and the 1KC, so maybe I better come up with something dreary for next year.
I had the bike prepped and packed on Friday night, got to bed at 10pm to arise at 0500, scrub, kit up and get on the road by 0545 and having learned my lesson on the NI1600, the very gloomy looking weather over the Hutt and Rimutakas prompted me to fill at the Hutt Road BP and don my wets. I arrived at Caltex Rimutaka before 0615 and was surprised to find almost 20 bikes already there, so I checked in with Brett, took a few pix and slipped off the forecourt at 0617.
I had decided to ride by myself, maintaining a good pace with short stops and I wasn't too concerned about the wet roads on the Rimutaka Hill because it looked like we should get good weather for most of the ride and although there was no rain, I was surprised to find the wet roads persisted until almost up to Waipuk'.
I caught the Masterton starters before Eketahuna and Ken was maintaining a good pace so I just slotted in behind them, taking the bypass around Woodville and heading for Dannevirke. A bit north of there some flashing red & blue lights appeared up ahead as we came on to a passing lane and Nik eased off a bit, so I passed him, and a bit further on passed Tony & Michelle to slot in behind Ken. About 5-8 Km before Dannevirke, Ken opted not to pass a truck, so I took them both, thinking I would rather be in front of the big cruiser on the tight roads and I was soon taking Makirikiri Rd to get to the Weber road.
It was soon very apparent that a wet Mangahei Rd was not going to be a walk in the park and even with much care being taken, I found myself twitching once or twice, especially if I found myself on the paint. I still managed to maintain a reasonably good pace though and had taken my pic at about 0820 and was departing as Ken arrived at the CP.
From here the road widened and dried, so about 30 mins later I had enjoyed a jolly good fang to Waipuk' and travelled more sedately to the next CP in Waipawa and was departing for the anticipated fang up Argyll and Whakapirau Rds, because although I have known of this stretch for years, this was to be the first time I had ridden it.
With CP3 at Argyll East School taken at about 0900. and feeling in the groove, I was thumping up Argyll Rd when it all turned to shit as I entered a corner and realised it didn't quite shape out as expected so all of a sudden I found myself scrambling to get back on line, scrubbed off a shitload of speed, but drifted onto the gravel verge, kept it upright and about when I should of been back on the power, the rear wheel slipped off the bank!
Bugger! What a dickhead!
I was fine and the bike was unscathed but after a quick try, it was obvious that I wouldn't get it out by myself and at that time a young local arrived in his ute, confirmed it would take more than the two of us so he rang his dad to come down with a quad.
After 10 mins the Masterton team arrived, followed shortly by dad, No 2 son and the quad and within minutes the 300Kg ST Brute was back on the hard.
It was stuck in gear, but we got it moving, it came right and the pic at CP 4, only a few Km up from CP3 was taken at about 0940, but I was back on track, negotiated the rest of Whakapirau Rd and pulled out onto SH50.
There was ute approaching so I crossed onto SH50 and accelerated away, only to find I couldn't exceed 80kph! so I tried changing gears etc, pulled over to let the ute past, then puttered up toward turnoff to Fernhill as it got worse, finally giving up at the junction. Double Bugger!!
My day was done, so I sent a text to Brett and James.
The Masterton team and Steve arrived, I advised I was out and sent them on their way, called Ann then called the Roadside Assist to arrange a pick-up.
About two hours later we got the bike to Hastings Honda, (who were a bit confused as to the cause of my problems), I got it sorted, texted Steve to pick me up at Omahu Marae and started walking over there (as it didn't look that far on the map!! What a joke!
I hadn't realised how hot it had got... or how far it was, because I had probably walked about a Km, when a car pulled over and the two occupants offered me a lift and the driver advised, "aw shit, the marae is further from town than my place and it takes me about two hours to walk from there!" (I think I've already advised that I'm a dickhead)
Anyway, they dropped me at the marae and I settled down on the Our-Lady-of-the-Holy-Crossroads reserve to drink my water, eat my bananas and nut bars and have a snooze until Steve arrived at about 1530.
We scooted down to Dannevirke for a fill, where I put a skivvy and wet jacket on to stave off the cold, then made for the Backbencher, arriving just before 1900 after a rough ride over the Rimutakas. I'd been conscious that I'm a fat prick and I needed to try and be 'neutral' to make things easier for Steve and once we got to the hill, the wind was up so I tried to hunker down and get a bit closer in order to reduce the windage, but even then Steve got shunted right across the right hand lane as we turned a corner and the car in front had slowed down too much, so Steve passed him and the extra speed certainly helped.
I was a bit concerned that things would get worse once we had gone over the summit, but Steve's bike control and positioning were superb and we seemed to get through there without any further issues.
Steve was 5th back in and the rest of the night until a bit after 2200 was spent welcoming in the other riders and by that time we had heard that the hill was now treacherous and riders were turning back.
So it was another good event, but once again I find me being a bit grumpy with myself for my own stupidity. I had been cranking along, shedding minutes off my ETA, which at the time of my off, was down to 1645, but a moment's inattention could have proved fatal and I'm actually feeling a bit lucky to be just inconvenienced to not have the bike for a week or two.
I guess it's time to review what I'm up to and make some changes to attitude and application.
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.