With crap forecasts predicting crap weather, I haven't done much riding lately and didn't expect to do any this weekend either. This hasn't been very desirable because after the long lay-off and with the Capital 1,000Km Cruise on next Saturday, a few rides to harden up the butt would have been quite good, so with a hint of blue sky this morning I thought, 'Bugger the gym, I better go for a ride!'
I figured anything up to a tank of gas (500-600Km) would be good...but where to go? A trip around the local traps (Lake Ferry; Ngawi; Martinborough Wind Farm; Riversdale; Castle point) would mean I could get some distance in but peel off for home anytime (if the butt got too sore), but then I remembered the Hill Climb was supposed to be on this weekend so best stay away from the Gladstone area. Oh well, straight up two would be OK and there's a couple of roads east of Dannevirke I'd like to check out if I feel OK by Woodville....or whatever!!
So I got up, scrubbed up, kitted up, downed some leftover fish curry, checked the tyres and hit the road at 0941. The rear needed a top-up so a pause at Shell Crofton was in order before getting on SH2 and heading for the hill.
Traffic was light so it was easy going and although the weather looked a bit claggy out to the east, it was OK where I was, the road was dry, the temp was around 11-12.....at least, it was like that until the top of the hill and then it became obvious that the weather in the Wai'rapa was less than desirable. That definitely eliminated any ideas of heading over towards Lake Ferry and as I went through Featherston, it had started to drizzle so I stopped under a shop front and put the wets on...Damn!
I've had the odd very slight twitch in the dry on the PR2's fitted to the bike, so they aren't a tyre I have a lot of faith in. Combine that with the fact that, at this stage after my accident, my wet riding confidence isn't that great, I wasn't particularly enjoying threading my way through the tar slicks on the road to Greytown (I don't recall the slicks being that bad along there too). So with the weather ahead looking dismal, I pulled the plug and swung off on Waihakeke Rd ….yeah, well I did after turning down the dead-end Ahikouka Rd....sheesh!! It wasn't too bad cruising along Ponatahi Rd back to Martinborough, although I was probably exercising more care than usual and once I closer back to Featherston, the roads dried again and I felt more comfortable.
I figured once I got back I could shoot out to the coast from Wainui' or go over the Paekak' Hill and after slipping past the most courteous string of cages I have ever encountered on the hill, it was obvious that the west was to be the preferred option and the Paekak' Hill was most pleasant. In fact, as I swung up to the lookout, it was a great day all the way up the coast so I pulled in to strip off the wets before heading down to SH1.
By the time I went through Paraparaumu, I'd done 210Km and been in the saddle for over 2½ hours and not being particularly fussed about riding SH1, I thought, “Oh bugger it, that'll do!” so I turned off at Waikanae, rode a little around there, then headed for home, getting there at 1340 after managing 284Km at an average of 74kph. The only thing I managed to achieve was to sit in the saddle for nearly 4 hours (with a couple of brief stops) and it's going to be a bit of a mission to do the 1,000Km next week.
If I had thought about what I was up to, I would have checked the weather forecast, seen it was better up the west coast and planned a decent ride and day of it.... There's some dumb bastards out there!!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.