I had to plan another ride for this week, so I took the easy option, I looked at the weather forecast to identify that Sunday might be the slightly better day ….then I rang Steve and let him choose.
The plan that eventuated was a 9’ish start from his place and to ride up Route 52 to Waipuk’ and back. That was a good plan because I haven’t been up that road for a year or two, it would result in a 500+km ride and that would put me close to the next service, so I rang Boyles to book in for the 114,000km service on Tuesday, which would include a fix-up on the heated grips, which haven’t been working for a month or two, but I haven’t had time to look at them.
Sasturday I went looking to get replacement batteries for the tyre pressure sensors, but couldn’t find any anywhere! I guess I’ll need to do a bit of research there.
Sunday dawned clear, albeit a bit crisp and it was 7° when I left home but it plummeted to 4° as I passed Silverstream and that had me squirming and thinking about another skivvy, as well as regretting I hadn’t attended to the heated grips already.
I gassed at Caltex Rimutaka, went to Steve’s, got on the road from there at 0925 and had a relaxed ride over the Hill with the temp rising back to 10° ….and by the time we got to Featherston I had to stop thanks to the cold squeeze! That would have to be a record.
We puttered on to Masterton then got into the ride proper. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and one would think the conditions were ideal, but bright sunlight also means there will be shade and the transition from one to the other can be a little tricky, especially at this time of year because one can never be quite sure if the shade also means damp road ….perhaps with a pretty smattering of green if the section hasn’t seen any sun for some time …so care was required.
Steve’s riding was nice and smooth with next to no braking and good steady progress. Mine was a bit more eratic.
It was a nice though and we were soon rolling into Pongaroa and Steve asked if I felt like a stop. I replied that I needed another ‘natural break’, so we paused at the pub for a coffee for Steve and hot chocolate for myself (in an effort not to aggravate my bladder). We chatted with a couple of bikers from Masterton and were gobsmacked to hear that this was their first time on Route 52, then after 20 minutes we continued.
I must say that the condition of the road was pretty good (for Route 52) and the ride through to Weber was more of the same, but cutting across from there to Wimbledon now has a sign to advise that the road is uneven. …more Kiwi understatement at its best! There are a couple of beaut slumps through there.
Approaching and after Porangahau is great though and this was opportune to get the moving average up and we were soon in Waipukurau, where I thought we would be stopping for a snack and turning for home, but not so. Steve bypassed the township and turned right for Waipawa, where we assessed our fuel situation, then scooted across to 50 and down to Dannevirke for a snack and fuel.
While there, Bryan, from Wellington Ulysses turned up and left with us, but he was going over the Saddle then back over the Track, so we led him via the back roads to Oxford St, while we continued on Pinfold to bypass Woodville and come out on SH2 and continue via Pahiatua and Eketahuna. By the time we reached Falkners Rd, my economy since the refuel was up to 18.5Km/Ltr and as is usual for Steve, he needed more corners, so we were soon scooting through Mauriceville, where I tried to keep the economy at the same level and manage to emerge on SH2 again at 18.4.
I thought that was it but when Steve missed the turnoff for the loopline I figured something must be up and sure enough, next thing you know we were tuning left at the Masterton Nth End Mobil, then onto Colombo Rd and soon heading through Gladstone, then cutting across to Ponatahi Rd and on to Martinboprough ….and then we were done. We were heading back to Featherston and over the Hill to Wellington.
More easy riding and the economy was back to 18.5km/Ltr when we embarked on the Hill and 18.4 as we dropped to Brown Owl …so a rather sedate trip over the Hill.
I got home just after 1735 having done 636km for the day, my butt knew it had been for a ride and that’s another step towards our Nth Is 1600. I certainly need more rides to get a bit more fluid and smooth but I have struggled with these sort of conditions since writing off the first black.
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.