I was out on the bike yesterday and had an interesting experience, but before that, perhaps a little insight about me.
I consider myself reasonably courteous as a driver / rider, but I have little time for idiots, ignorants and incompetents. Consequently my driving is often accompanied with some dialogue, advice and outright criticism ….albeit with the windows up. On the bike it’s a different story because it doesn’t matter. I tend to ride assertively and make good progress. Speed doesn’t do it for me and my idea of a jolly good fang is riding the likes of the Awakino Gorge or Parapara’s at or about the allowable limits and ending up with an average speed close to the speed limit. I’m no saint though, and when I had the red, I did establish that it could do 220kph (indicated, sitting bolt upright with the screen up) and on occasion, I have been known to exceed the allowable limits.
Well, as I said, I was out on the bike yesterday because I had an appointment in Petone at 1040, so I left work in Khandallah at 1020, cruised down Onslow Rd and onto the Hutt Rd, but as I approached the Ngauranga interchange, figured something was wrong because there was queue over 100mtrs long waiting to cross at the lights. …and I had cause to think, “Thank God I wasn’t in the car as I’d never have gotten there in time.”
No problem on the bike though, I just scooted up to number two in the queue and when the lights changed there was only room on the other side of the intersection for one vehicle, but once again no worries, I went straight into filtering. The first bit has two lanes but is a very tight slip-road as the Ngauranga Gorge and Hutt Road traffic merge to get back on the Hutt Rd, so I had to be a little ‘creative’ and may not have been operating to the letter of the law. No worries though, I didn’t get caught or upset anybody (to my knowledge).
So I was soon slipping into the middle of the two-laned Hutt Rd and into proper ‘filter’ mode. As per usual in Wellington, the traffic tends to leave good space between the lanes and if it does tend to get a bit tight, it is quite common for cars to see you coming and they visible make an effort to create more room, resulting in a wave. (I encountered several of them). Then there is the occasional twat that holds their track close to the centre-line, or as on this occasion, see the bike coming and move across to make sure there is no room. …Not a problem, I just hold back and soon enough a gap opens in one lane or the other …unless they are a particularly despicable and dastardly bastard and they hold position allowing big gaps to open ahead as they make it their sole purpose in life to ‘block the biker’! On this occasion it was about a 10second delay.
Then we came across the cause of the problem by way of a traffic management truck advising an accident ahead and indicating for all traffic to join the left lane because there had been an accident ahead.
All the traffic dutifully merged to the left …..except me. I moved to the left but stayed in the now empty right lane and made very good progress, …along with two turkeys in cars! (don’t you just hate it when impatient pricks do that!)
Anyway, the cars merged as we approached what was left of the accident site (between Horokiwi and the Petone off-ramp) and I went into the left lane but kept passing until we reached the area containing cones and cops …and at that point, some scrote in an oldish white falcon decided it was prudent to lean on his horn for an extended period!
I just smirked in my helmet as some thought (which I can’t remember) passed through my mind and cops didn’t even look over or bat an eyelid.
As we emerged from the accident site, I passed another car, then pulled back left as we were back up to highway speed with a large truck about 50 mtrs ahead and a ute beside me doing about the same pace. Then the white Falcon joined us, positioning himself half metre behind the ute!!! More thoughts along the lines of ‘imbecile’ passed through my mind, but as we approached the truck I just eased back and fell in behind as we made our way passed it.
By this time we had passed Cornish St and were hooking left on the 80kph section, there was a car in front of the truck and I just slipped left, passed the Falcon and the ute, eased back right and I was in the clear ….but it was at this time that I saw the full affects of the ‘red mist’.
Falcon-man seemed beside himself as he was still right up the date of ute-man, but now he was swinging from side to side, but he was locked in the lane and must have gotten within millimetres of the concrete barrier. His extremely erratic driving and behaviour must has set alarm bells off for ute-man because as soon as he could, he pulled back to the left lane and at this point I was about 100mtrs ahead and considered that discretion might be the better part of valour …so I stayed in top gear but opened the throttle.
Sure enough, it appeared that I must have really pissed this guy off because for some reason or other, it appeared he was after me and although I didn’t see this as a big threat, I wasn’t going to give him any opportunity to get near me and if I had been going to or past Lower Hutt, who knows what speed I would have needed to get to, but as I was exiting on the Dowse, I hit the off ramp at about 160kph and by this time he was within 50 mtrs and fortunately I didn’t need to take any risks at the big roundabout because he continued straight ahead.
It’s a bit scary when one considers what makes some people tick? Apart from passing this chap when he obviously wasn’t expecting it (and he probably wasn’t even aware I was coming), I’m not aware that I did anything, but the effect was impressive …or maybe daunting is a better word to use. Nothing happened in the end but plenty could have!
Things have been very quiet on the biking front and very busy on the work side, so since this weeks Uly Ride was short and sweet and the weather was forecast to be very good, I figured ‘bugger it’ and went for a ride.
I put a bit of air in the tyres on Saturday, got my kit ready, charged up the Sena, camera & phone and left home about 0925, complete with skivvy over T-shirt and liner in jacket to deal with the 10°. I was only down one bar, so didn’t need fuel and went straight to Brown Owl where there were already about 10 bikes waiting and by 1000 the 15 bikes (one pillioning) departed.
We paused briefly at the top of the Hill for a photo, then regrouped at Featherston before heading around the Western Lake and straight down to Lake Ferry for another brief photstop.
Woody and I were last away for the 8Km scoot back to Pirinoa and although I’ve stopped at the store there once or twice over the years, I’ve never stopped at the café, which looks more like a tin shed and isn’t a lot bigger. We squeezed in though and the food was quite nice …and that was it.
Woody asked if I was in need of more Km, but we were going out and I had a few things to do, so just went back via Martinborough, checked a few roads I haven’t been on for some time, got a bit warm with the liners in and winter gloves on when the temp hit 18°, enjoyed a bit of a fang over the hill and was home before 1445.
That was nice!
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.