A weary sigh of relief has been breathed.
Yesterday I completed my first Distance Ride since doing the TT2000 at the end of Feb and I opted by starting with the 2020 1KC (Sth) ride. I mentioned ‘starting’ because I also need to ride the 2020 NI1600, as well as the 2020 NI800 ….but …since JulianB did them back-to-back on the event weekend, that got me thinking to try the same!!?? Yes, well 2400+km (and 2660Km if I start/finish out of Wgtn) in one shot will need a bit of conditioning and I haven’t had any, so then the plan stretched to include the 2017 1KC and 2017 NI1600, since I DNF’d on both those rides.
(More on that here: https://longjohnbiker.weebly.com/blog/2017-ni1600-failed & here: https://longjohnbiker.weebly.com/blog/1kc-failed-2-for-2 )
So, I did the 2020 1KC and that went quite well.
When I did the TT I had issues with the GPS and Sena, so, after finding my Sena unit had a bit of corrosion on the helmet contacts, I stole Ann’s off her helmet! Well technically not stolen as I swapped the units in their entirety, then mas sure I updated the operating system etc. Then same with the GPS. Firmware and map updates done and that all seemed to work OK. Spotwalla on the other hand is a work-in-progress and I need to review my phone settings etc to see what didn’t happen there!?
It was a pretty loose plan, with no programmed fuel stops, and I was rolling out of the driveway at 0610, which had me rolling past the official start point of Caltex Rimutaka, 33.6Km down the road at 0631. For what appeared to be a brilliant day, it was only 11º and the heated grips were on low.
The first leg was straight up SH2, bypassing Masterton, then Woodville and the main street of Dannevirke, to get to the Tikokino Pub on SH50 and since I was more attired for a brilliant day, by the time I got there, (260Km) the cold squeeze had well and truly kicked in, but the pub was shut at 0847, so the bushes in the carpark were visited and the normal 45sec photostop took closer to 5mins. (*Sigh* …poor old bastard!)
On on and the next stop was The Springvale Suspension Bridge on the Gentle Annie ….or it should have been, but 40Km later, as I approached Fernhill, I thought I should probably stop for gas ….and another pee!! FFS!! And Double Sigh, because that 4 minute fuel stop turned into 8 mins between queues and smile of relief!! …not to mention having to do 9 extra Km on the route. (so we’re now on 308Km and its 0930)
Right, time for the Gentle Annie! That was quite good as there was very little traffic at that time of day and the surface, although having the usual bits of grit scattered about …and some tar that appeared to be glistening (although I didn’t test that), 98Km later I was stopping at the old bridge having averaged 89kph (which had pulled the OA down from 97 at Omahu, to 92 here). I would have to say that I was feeling a little rusty at times though and opted for a bit of ‘almost straight-lining’ at times. That stop was just over a minute so now it was 406Km done and I was pulling out at 1038.
The next leg was more easy going with very little traffic on SH1, then up the Western Lake Rd, so 203Km later at 1236 (at an Avg of 103) I was pulling into the 3rd CP at GAS Whakamaru, and since I had to stop anyway, I thought, “Oh dear, I seem to have that urge again …so I might as well stop for fuel!” Yes, well, it said ‘Pre-Pay on the pump so I had check, “No” Ok, I top-up, then as I’m pay I ask if they have a dunny and I’m not sure if he was saying, “no, it didn’t work” or “no it’s so disgusting I wouldn’t use it!?” ….but there’s one just down the road. So after my 5min fuel stop, I went 285mtrs down the road and had a 10 min break, in a queue, then got in and decided I should sit rather than stand, then figured when I got out to take a layer off as the temp was now up between 16-18º …..so tumbled the OA from 95 to 93 to 91. So I departed Whakamaru at 1252, 610Km into the ride.
Next up was a scoot across SH30 to Bennydale, then across Waimiha Rd to SH4, with a CP at that junction. SH30 is sweet (as always) and I haven’t been on Waimiha Rd since the 2015 NI1600, when I was around dawn and I was rather weary, but I seem to recall that it was narrow and unmarked in places, but it was pretty good so perhaps in my delirious state in 2015, I confused it with the Ohura Loop, that followed? Anyway, that was OK and 86Km later, at an avg of 91, I was pausing at SH4, taking a casual 1.5mins to take a photo, then get back on the road at 1350.
Two legs to go, so now it was down SH4 to the pub at Upokongaro, which was pretty much same ol’, same ol’ stuff, but SH4 is general quite nice sweepy stuff, plus the Para’s, which had a couple of light controlled stop-go’s. so 173Km, followed by a 1.5min photo-stop, I was pulling out again at 1538, having done 869Km. …and now I was onto the tedious crawl back down SH1.
There’s not much worth mentioning about that, except there was a big queue into Otaki, then again before MacKays Crossing and pretty thick all the way to J’ville.
I finally got home at 1758 having done 1067Km, arse feeling like it had done a thou and a little weary, but that’s one down and hopefully number two will be next week.
This blog is pretty much just about motorcycling ...but every now and then I might rant or dribble on about other things.