As the title suggests ....this blog isn't about the NI800 ...but three of us did ride it on Saturday ....and that's all I have say about that ...except maybe that we did it as our final conditioning ride for the NI1600, departing from BP Mana at 0600 and arriving home at 2135, after doing a few kms.
After my last ride I decided I had had enough of of riding in silence with my Garmin 660 GPS, so I ordered a Garmin 595, plus 2 tyre valve bluetooth caps, then after receiving the items 3 days later, I ordered a case for the unit since it didn't come with one.
I registered it, uploaded the Garmin and NZ Open Source maps, dumped my music into it, paired it to the phone & Sena, then transferred the 800 route into it and had a play to familiarise myself with it....and I'm still doing that after my play on the ride.
It's different, but all good so far.
Oh yes, and on Wednesday, I took the bike in for its 102,000km service, as well as pre-GC Super WoF (I guess I should be calling that a pre-NI16 check) as well as fit the GPS cradle as I wanted to try it on the weekend and didn't have time to do it myself.
So all that done, three of us rode the NI800 on Saturday ...and we enjoyed it ...so hopefully the other 50+ entrants will too!!??
It's been another hectic couple of weeks because my laptop died last week and I couldn't do much except the filing that I've been putting off for over a year, then our 2nd migrant hair stylist is flying in from Jordan today, so I've been busy with Steve getting another room sorted for her.
That was a joke! I did a bit of painting (in the wardrobe) in case the weather was optimal and Steve and I needed to ride on Saturday. (which we did last night). Anyway, I painted the ceiling white, as you do, then painted the shelving structure in a nice white gloss and came to the part where one applies a couple of coats of half-tea to the walls. I carefully cut around the shelving, skirting and door frame, then came the need to cut to the scotia. Well, the shelving is at different heights and on the right hand end, one can insert head and shoulders, in the middle one could almost think about swinging a cat …or at least the smallest of mice, but at the left hand end, one is restricted to a head and an arm, but only at certain angles, none of which lead to a long smooth stroke! And the easiest bit, where one doesn’t need a triple-jointed elbow, being the back wall I found I couldn’t focus because I was too close ….so I removed my glasses and found I couldn’t focus because I was too far away!!!??? What a bloody marvellous mess I made! ….but it’s OK because it’s in the wardrobe …and when I looked at the room Steve did, I realised probably why he hadn’t bothered to paint the ceiling bit white!?
Steve turned up yesterday to finish the job so we decided a night ride was in order and I ended up meeting him at Caltex Rimutaka at 1830 ....and that was another joke! I'd been trying to sort bits and pieces for the room so I was a bit behind time, then when I got to the bike, I realised I hadn't been out this week so needed to check the tyre pressures, then Ann had parked too close, so I had to get the Volvo keys and shift it in order to get the bike out, then I got on the road and got stuck behind a couple of crawlers, then I discovered I was getting cold because I had washed my gear and forgot to put the liner back in ....and then when I was at the servo, I discovered I had forgotten to bring my wallet!! *Sigh* ...just hope it's not the first signs of dementure!!
I put on a couple of skivvies and the wets to keep warm, we paired the Sena's and we had no real plan except we were riding in the Wai'rapa so Steve led out over the Rimutakas.
It had looked extremely gloomy and clagged in to the north as I approached the Hutt and we were a bit trepidatious as we departed, but once on the road, it transpired that the rain had cleared leaving us with wet and dry roads ...so care was taken as we pootled along.
At Featherston we turned off and headed for Martinborough, went through town and around the tablelands with more care, and headed for my scariest moment since doing my epic Wellington - Cape Reinga and Return ride ( http://longjohnbiker.weebly.com/old-blog/a-really-big-ride-for-a-change )
As we approached Masterton on River Rd, just before the cemetery, I was puttering along in a straight line when all of a sudden, the back stepped out to the right and I found myself in a two-wheel drift, but before I had time for the first BHM (Biker Hail Mary), the bike had flicked and I was now drifting left with the distinct sensation that the rear was sliding faster than the front and going down!! I knew I was toast as there was no saving this ...when the bike just righted, straightened and continued along its original track. ...and here I sit blogging but for the grace of God!!
We paused at the junction of Colombo & Te Ore Ore Rds to discuss the merits of slippery roads, how neither of us were really enjoying this adventure, then decided to head for the beach with me in the lead.
I had a few more twitches along the way and could hear odd noises coming from Steve as he hit the same spots, we paused at Riversdale, then headed back to Tinui and crossed toward Castlepoint, but by the time we got back to the main road, we had had enough and turned back for Masterton.
I was a bit apprehensive about riding through the atrocious slick road by Clareville, but by the time we got there it was dry and OK and same as we crossed the Rimutakas, so the end to the night was much more pleasant.
The temp had started out at 10° and dipped to 7° along the way so I had been doing a bit of squirming in my jacket to keep warm and the heated grips had made it up to 50% and in the end, I arrived home at 1050 having done 350Km for the night.
Starting out behind Steve was a bit of a culture shock and I found my lights drifting in an out of range of the rear of his bike, but after a bit I settled into the routine of being positioned to ride off his lights, then when I took the lead, I found my speed varying a bit as my confidence in the wet roads waxed and waned, so although a certainly didn't enjoy the night, I certainly needed it!!
Damn, I just hope it's dry for the grandy!
It’s only four weeks until the 2017 North Island 1600 and I figured some conditioning was in order, especially after checking the riding stats to discover that I’ve only done 5,500Km since 19/12/16 …and nearly 2K of that was between Christmas and New Year. …How dismal!
We (Steve & I) normally do 3 or 4 rides as a build-up, maybe starting at as little as 300-400Km then graduating to 1,000+Km and including at least one night ride, so with only a month to go and a serious lack of riding, I really needed to make a start.
Since I had planned nothing I just decided to go, checked the tyres, packed a few things and since I had heard there was some sort of kite thing happening in Whanganui, I thought that might be a good place to start and hit the road at about 1040 (I had to go to the gym prior). From Whanganui, I would cross through Halcombe to the Wai’rapa and visit mum on the way back and that should result in around 500Km.
The weather looked uncertain, it was a cool 10°, rain was sort of threatening but it did look clearer to north, I was on three bars for fuel so figured I might fill in Levin, but after soon dropping to two bars, I ended up filling at Mana …and then I really was on the road.
Riding up SH’s 1 & 3 is always a good way to start hardening up the butt because with few corners, one does not tend to shift their weight on the seat and that will more quickly result in a numb-bum. All the same, I did instinctively switch into GC mode and made good progress at the allowable limits. I diverted over Speedy & Faulkner Rds to avoid Sanson, then had to stop in Bulls thanks to the cold squeeze and having a coffee prior to starting, and before you knew it I was parked up at Springvale Park.
I’m not exactly into kites, even though I was rather proficient at constructing basic jobbies and flying them as a lad, so I didn’t linger long and started back towards Turakina. The temp had climbed to 14° so it wasn’t too uncomfortable and I was making good progress through the traffic, but about this time the GPS started to play up. Not a biggy as I wasn’t using it for Nav, but it is looking more and more that I won’t have any music for the NI1600 because I’m too miserable to by a replacement right now.
It’s always a nice scoot through Halcombe, then I opted to go via Colyton rather than Bunnythorpe, then ended up behind a cop over the Saddle and what a bloody pain that was with 30, 50 & 80kph sections, then I was heading South from Woodville and the temp was suddenly down to 7° …so the hot-grips went on.
I visited mum then embarked on the last 100km in a mix of drizzly and cool conditions and although it was wet on the hill, I still managed to keep the progress up, finally getting home around 1730 having done about 520Km for the day. ….and my butt wasn’t really sore, so it was quite a good start to the conditioning.
And it’s about time I had something to blog about.
I am really looking forward to the big ride this year.
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.