A night ride was scheduled for Friday this week but after unseasonal snow on the Rimutakas and Tararuas earlier in the week, the weather was still crap so we called it off. Sunday was looking good and I considered a ride up to Tokaanu for a soak in a hot pool, but in the end and after sleeping in, I decided on a reasonable local ride.
The bike was set to go so I just had to get ready and leave to top-up at Caltex Kaiwharawhara, even though I didn’t have a fixed rideplan yet, apart from head North and use a tank of gas, so I was on my way to the Rimutakas by 1040.
I started out at the usual 110kph but as I got closer to the Hill that crept up a bit and the pace wasn’t impeded too much going over. From Featherston I stayed on SH2 and had a wee moment in Greytown where a stupid bitch pulled out from the curb about 10 metres in front of me. Needless to say the ABS was utilised and as soon as I was back under control and settled, I passed her reminding her in no uncertain terms that her mirrors were there for a reason. If she didn’t get the hint, it would have woken her up at least. With everything back to normal, I continued up to the Masterton Bypass, taking the Loopline, then off for some more exciting roads through Mauriceville, Dreyers Rock, Alfredton and back to SH2 at Pahiatua via Tane. The weather through here was a comfortable 15° and the roads were pretty good apart for the odd bit of loose stuff which did result in the occasional twitch on the rear end.
By this time I’d decided to do the Track, Gorge, Saddle then come back via the Wairarapa, which meant a return over the Track. I was getting a bit pumped and after the economy had peaked at 18K/Ltr, it was steadily dropping back through 17.5 as I decided to try and maintain a 100kph average and needed to pick it up as I was already well off that pace. This certainly made the ride more interesting as I headed over the Track with the wind getting up a bit, a little precipitation in the air and the odd patch of snow still on the ground near the summit. I had no problems though and was soon through Aokoutere and on my way to the gorge.
I haven’t ridden through the Gorge or over the Saddle for some time. The Gorge because it has double yellows all the way through and the Saddle because it usually has smatterings of loose stuff and I prefer the Track. Having said that, I passed about four cars just past the entrance and enjoyed a brisk pace most of the way through, so it was quite good and although the wind was up over the Saddle, the road was probably as clean as I’ve ever seen it.
At this point I’d done just over 270Kms and would need to do a bit more than heading straight back if I was going to use a full tank. As I travelled back along SH57, I contemplated my options and in the end decided to go back through Mangamaire, then in order to maintain a more exciting pace, I would go down Fullerton Rd and back through Mauriceville to avoid any revenue collectors on SH2. I flew through this section, continued into Masterton, then took Johnstone street out and onto Gladstone then Martinborough.
I managed to maintain a reasonable pace over the rest of the ride which was pretty uneventful, getting onto the last bar as I headed into Te Marua and I got back to Caltex Kaiwahara’ at 1550 having done 479Kms for the day, which translated into an average of 91.2kph.The economy was back to 17K/Ltr after dropping to 16.6 at one stage, but based on the fuel put in I calculated 18.67kpl which was pretty good considering, and the bike now has 76,075 Kms on it.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.