I managed to slip another ride in this afternoon after working working yesterday and this morning. …well, working most of yesterday except for going to the gym and taking the Pukeko to netball. (The Pukeko is what my sons call their niece)
I had looked at the weather forecast yesterday and it was crap, so I wasn’t expecting to ride, then when I was on my way to the gym this morning I was thinking, “hmm, looks alright”, then checked the forecast again only to find that it was supposed to be raining.
I had sort of accepted that I wasn’t riding, but I’d worked a bit longer on Saturday so I could ride, the weather kept improving and another idea popped into my mind, that perhaps I needed to ‘test my wets’? Yeah right! …Riding an ST, I only ride gravel or wet roads if I really have to!
Anyway, my original plan was to ride about 300 or 400km and I figured State Highway riding would be best in order to start hardening the butt, so perhaps up SH2, across to SH1 via Vinegar Hill, then back across via Halcombe and back down SH2, so the plan didn’t change, I worked until just after 1pm, went home, changed, threw a couple of things in the bike and left.
The weather was still good, sunny and felt a lot warmer than 13° because my hands were feeling a little sweaty in the winter-weight Spidi gloves and I made good progress through to Upper Hutt and over the hill. Once in the Wai’rapa, it was more brilliant sunshine all the way to the coast, but the clouds were creeping over the Tararuas and as per usual, it was looking like it would be a bit wet as I went by Mt Bruce.
Sure enough, it was wet at Mt Bruce and that had me thinking, or perhaps re-thinking the plan. Should I continue through to Woodville to test the wets or bale, head East and have a nice ride ….so I stopped for fuel in Pahiatua, then headed to Alfredton via Tane.
The road was still wet and I had a couple of those horrid twitches, but as I got closer to Alfredton it did dry up and I started to make better progress again. Once there, I turned for Te Ore Ore, then made my way across to Te Whiti Rd and out to Gladstone, but rather than go via Tablelands like last week, this time I decided to go past the Gladstone Pub then take middle road to Martinborough, then back home.
It’s the first time I’ve done those roads for a few years, or at least from North to South anyway and it was quite pleasant. The ride over the hill was quite quick, thanks to more courteous drivers and I was home before 6pm, having done 300-400km. My butt was getting a bit uncomfortable by Featherston, so I would have to say, the ride was worth it.
It’s been 5 months since the last decent ride ….so what does a man expect!!?
With it only being 2½ months to the NI1600 I have been mindful of my lack of riding and all the Wgtn Ulysses rides having been cancelled over the last couple of months hasn’t helped much, so when a ride was scheduled for today, I was keen to go, but alas, after working on Saturday, there to were still things I needed to do … and the morning’s weather wasn’t that flash!
The ride was supposed to go out via Martinborough – Gladstone to Castlepoint, then back to Tinui for lunch, but I was at work by 0800, by the 1000 departure time I was buried in it, then by 1130 I was thinking “bugger it, I’ve had enough”, but I had more things to do ….so I did the essentials by just after midday then gapped-it for home.
After a quick change and pack I figured I might as well do the branch ride, but because the bike had just over half a tank, I figured I’d do it in reverse because, then I could fill in Masterton, probably on the way back from the coast, because filling in Wellington wouldn’t allow me to use my accumulated discounts. Being slack my Sena hadn’t been charged and was flat as a pancake, so I put it on charge in the top-box in the hope it would be charged by the time I needed fuel. …and I left home about 1300.
The weather was OK, but looked awful over the Rimutakas, however, as I got closer to Brown Owl, one could see that it was going to be OK (with wet roads but!!), so I took care but made good progress as most of the traffic was heading to Wellington, then the ride up SH2 was uneventful and just after 1400 I was heading out of Te Ore Ore and lifting the pace a little….and that’s when the fun began!
It wasn’t long before I felt as if I was tapping the brakes, adjusting lines, over-cooking into corners and generally feeling downright incompetent and uncomfortable. Anyone with half a brain would just slow down a bit and get in the groove …but there’s some dumb bastards out there!
After fumbling through the curly bit from Blairlogie to Langdale Rd, I decided I didn’t need to go all the way to the beach, so I turned back to do it again and head back to Masterton for fuel. The ride back was slightly slower and a bit smoother and I had soon filled and was on the back roads through Gladstone, Tablelands and Martinborough, then heading back to Wellington. Funny really because the Tablelands road is probably a part of the staple diet for Wellington riders, but it wasn’t until I was there that I realised how infrequently we tend to go Nth to Sth on the road (a bit like Route 52).
By now the wind was up a bit but at least the roads were a lot drier than when I rode over, so more care was required. The traffic wasn’t too bad but I caught a big queue before the top, but made good progress because most were very courteous and made room, but found the inconsiderate twat at the front had an ‘L’ Plate and no idea that if you have 20+ cars behind, it would be nice of you to use the slow bays!!! What a muppet! I hope I scared the crap out of an him/her because I usually give plenty of latitude to L’s, but this dork had no idea and when they went wide on a right hander on the decent and were realigning, I bolted past. On the basis that there was such a big queue, I am assuming they had no spatial awareness and therefore no knowledge of my presence, so me holding my line inside the yellow as they were closing back to it should have scared the bejesus out of them. Looked like they had someone in the passenger seat giving instructions so that made the situation (ie not using the slow bays) even worse.
I guess I wasn’t really riding like my Nana’s Nana, because that would probably involve a lot less pace and me causing a queue on the hill and I did have a good ride, but it made me realize I certainly need to do a lot more kms in order to prepare for the NI1600 in October.
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.