Damn this rotten wet weather! The problem is, will it peter-out, or like last year, will it continue and reach a crescendo on Oct 6, just as a special treat for the NZ Distance Riders Nth Island 1600?
Once again, the prediction for this weekend looked a bit crappy but Saturday less so in the west, so the plan that formulated was to do the ride I was supposed to do last week, which was up over Vinegar Hill, but the change being that I would scoot up via the Kapiti Coast and Shannon to get to Ashhurst. This would probably be a better ride at this stage of the conditioning because it would push it over 400km and there’s nothing like straight roads to initiate a good dose of numb-bum and test how the big km butt-conditioning was progressing.
Saturday morning turned out to be rather dismal, so after my visit to the gym, I returned home and figured, “Oh well, good opportunity to test the wets!”
I pumped the tyres and gave some thought to the problem of fogging incurred on last year’s NI1600, so I tried a few drops of anti-fog stuff on the specs & inside of the visor, pulled out the wets and geared up, finally getting away at 1045….
…and by 1045 + 30 seconds I had to crack the visor open to dissipate the fog!! FFS!!! Bloody marvelous, but being ever the optimist, I thought, “once I get down on Khandallah Rd and up to 50kph it’ll be right” ….and that was a waste of time too, ….but at highway speed the problem did go away. *Sigh* …I suppose I’ll have to start playing with and testing the pin-lock, but I’ve taken the last couple out because I’ve had problems with them.
By the time I got to the Tawa area, the motorway was dry and I was obviously going to incur very little precipitation on my travels, so I wasn’t going to get any further testing done on the visor ….or the wets!
Once again I’d left on half a tank, so I settled into a steady, albeit brisk pace that was in, or around the tolerated limits and I incurred many more motorcycle friendly motorists who opted to drive well enough to the left of the lane to allow a big ST through, …so they all got a wave …on the basis that they were making room!
Riding up past Linton, close to the foothills, there was a bit overspray reaching SH57, but barely enough to notice, and around that time I noticed that the fuel gauge dropped to 2 bars and thought, “damn, I’ll probably get to Hunterville, but I should possibly fill in Ashhurst”, then realized it wasn’t far out of my way to go to the BP in Feilding to get the AA card discount ….and the ride across through Colyton was sort of brisk.
Filling in Feilding resulted in two downers! The bike only took 21 ltrs so I probably had enough to go over Vinegar Hill and get all the way back to Bulls (if I was going via Bulls) …and 21 Ltrs cost about $50! Sheesh, lucky it wasn’t 98!
More straight roads up to Cheltenham and through to Waituna West and then I had some fun. I one could say I enjoyed a spirited pace over Vinegar Hill, but yeah-Nah ….it was a bloody good fang, albeit with a modicum of restraint as the road had wet patches and in some places it was difficult to gauge if there was loose stuff there as well? As it was I did incur a wee twitch at one point, but I think I probably clipped the paint on a quick right-hand sweeper.
…and then it was back to SH1 and I felt it would be a good idea to try and get the economy back up from 14.7km/Ltr!!
I was soon turning off onto Kakariki Rd to return via Halcombe, which is a peach of a road with its rolling sweepers, but I was also mindful of the time and wanted to get back to Welly by 1530, so peeled off at Halcombe to emerge at Sanson and back down SH1 from there.
The traffic wasn’t too bad and in the end I got back just before 1530, but the Moving Avg had dropped from 94kph to 92 through that last section south of Paraparaumu, having done about 420km. That wasn’t too bad considering it was barely over 80kph by the time I reached Paraparumu on the way north.
I must say that the three rides over the last few weeks appear to have done the trick because the butt was feeling pretty good and I guess I will start pushing the distance up a bit now….
….and at some stage I’ll get to test the wets!?
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.