Two weeks to go until the big event and once again, I hadn’t planned anything, but decided another night ride would be nice, and knowing the prick that designs the routes for these rides quite well and having a good idea of the route, I figured I really needed some tight technical night riding practice, but I didn’t want to go too far to get it because the tyres are getting down with the front on 17,000km which is a record for me as I’m usually lucky to get 12-14,000! …so I stayed local and decided to do all the Wellington curly roads in one hit ….except for the Akatarawa Road, …because I hate that road!
With no real prep required, I got home, had a feed, got changed and hit the road. I still had half a tank from last week so didn’t need fuel and headed straight for Karori, the Makara Hill and Ohariu Valley. It must be a year or two since I’ve been through there and it was quite nice.
I was soon in Johnsonville, took the motorway North and cut-off at Pope Rd to cut across to Pauatahanui and the Paukak’ Hill Road …another road that seems ages since I last did it (at least a year or two) and more sweet riding with the only marginal area being by Pauatahanui, where it was slick-as and I was glad it wasn’t wet.
I galloped through there, hung a u-e at SH1, then galloped back and continued onto the Haywards Hill road, but took Moonshine Hill Road from there. Moonshine is a diabolical single lane road, but being night time, one can take a bit more freedom to extend the pace a bit. I did manage to find some pine needles and crap though, which did result in a twitch or two, but it was a much nicer ride in the night than in the day.
I emerged by the Moonshine Bridge on SH2, then took Whakatiki St and Ward Streets to get across to Whitemans Valley. Jim lives on Ward Street and I did consider popping in, but the cars were there and the lights off …I guess that’s because Jim’s beard is very silvery, so he must be quite old and therefore supped his hot chocolate and retired for the night …even if it was only just after 2100!! …On the other hand he was probably drinking at the Miro Cinema?
Whiteman’s Valley is more narrow lanes but once again, the road surface is in good condition so good progress was made back to Silverstream before taking the tedious Eastern Hutt Rd and Cambridge Tce to Whaiwhetu to get on the Wainuiomata Hill, then have a good romp out to the beach and back …another road less travelled in recent times! This road is a bit wider with sweepy corners and although it has an 80kph limit, one can make quite good progress across the 15’ish km each way and from there I went home.
The ride ended up about 210km over 3 hours at an average of about 68kph, which was quite good considering the nature of the roads. It was a good night for riding and that will probably be it for me until the event.
I’ll book the bike in next week for tyres and the usual pre-1000 miler super-WoF. Bring it on!!
I was under a bit of pressure at work yesterday and at about 1630 I thought, “Bugger it, I’m going for a ride tonight”.
I was scheduled to pick up Ann from work at 1730 and go for dinner and with her being in town, that meant a wonderful nostalgia trip at Danny and Mary’s Istana Malaysia Restaurant. I spent two years of hardship serving the RNZAF in Singapore at the beginning of the 80’s and came away missing the weather and the food, particularly the Malaysian food …and Danny’s tucker is right up there!
Anyway, we were finished by 1900, went home, I slipped on my gear, went to the office to pick-up the GPS, found I was down to the last bar for fuel, so went to J’ville for a fill (and only managed to squeeze $62 worth in), and was heading down the Ngauranga Gorge by 2005 with no real plan in mind, other than stay off the main roads.
It was quite a nice night and I figured to be home by around 2200, so ended up deciding to go to Martinborough, over middle road to the Gladstone turnoff, then back again, which turned out to be 220km and I was home just before 2220 ….for a nice hot cup of tea.
The motorway/Hutt Rd is a drag one must endure, the hill was quite good but there was enough traffic coming the other way to be a nuisance, the scoot across to Martinborough was relatively quick and I managed to maintain a reasonably brisk pace along Ponatahi Rd.
I must say though, I felt a bit like I did about a month ago and didn’t quite have my eye in, so I will need a bit more of this. I wasn’t totally comfortable last week when Steve and I did a bit over an hour in the dark and this time I didn’t feel much better, baling on a couple of corners, generally finding myself turning in a bit early, I fumbled for the dip switch at times ….but it was OK ….and it was a good de-stress from a busy day.
I guess one could say that having to condition for a 1600 km ride isn’t all bad! Perhaps I should go for a short scoot tonight to consolidate??
After no riding for the past two weekends (for various reasons), Steve and I pre-rode the Nth Island 800 on Saturday ….and that’s all I have to say about that!
I had been watching the weather all week but …and the damn forecast shifted every day, but one thing was clear, I was going to be able to test-the-wets because the day would start clagged-in, then clear from the west.
We therefore decided on a late start at 0700 from Caltex Rimutaka, so I prepped the bike on Friday night, only to find that the rear tyre sensor was out of action. Drat, drat and double drat, but in the end, it turned out to be the “NEW” battery was down to 1.9V instead of the specified 3V! I pumped the tyres anyway, then left the rear slightly over-inflated after trying to use the front sensor, then went up and charged all the other batteries (Mobile Phone, Sena, Camera) and got my gear ready.
In the morning I fiddled about a bit more with the tyre and in the end, measured using the old fashioned technique, with a gauge. I was a bit late leaving, but fully attired in wets, bar the over gloves, and I had even fitted the pinlock the night before, then after filling, we finally got away a little after 0720.
The weather ahead was certainly looking dismal, the road was wet, but it wasn’t raining. Then by half-way up we were riding in cloud, so although it wasn’t raining, my visor was speckled with water drops and I tried adjusting the screen to clear it, but it was so fine, that wasn’t very effective, then I started having issues with the pinlock, so decided to remove it at our first scheduled stop ….then it fogged up so I had to announce to Steve that we would need to stop in Featherston for me to remove it …and he opted to put his wets on at the same time.
For the rest of the day we encountered plenty of wet roads, some splatterings of rain, but not enough to warrant putting the over-gloves on and consequently, not enough to test the wets!
I wore them all day though and that extra bit of thermal protection was just what the rider needed.
Needless to say, Steve and I did a few km for the day, which even spilled over to offer us a bit of night riding practice, we ended up with a moving average of about 93kph, I was a tad knackered when I got home and enjoyed a jolly good coma last night.
I commented to Steve somewhere along the way …wherever it was that we went …that is was hard to envisage the weather warming up much in the next four weeks, but roll on October 6 and a decent ride!
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.