With not much riding over the last couple of weeks and a huge week at work to finish the financial year, it seemed that a ride would be in order and the Apiti Scamper was just what the doctor ordered.
An email out to my riding buddies resulted in five of us leaving from Caltex Rimutaka at 0740 on a pre-dawn morning that was a crystal clear sky and rather fresh 7º. I had put a skivvy and the winter gloves on at home but fortunately I put another layer and the glove liners on because the temp later got down to 4º as we cruised over the Rimutakas with Steve leading out.
We scooted up through the Wairarapa and the temp obviously got a bit much for Dennis, the cold squeeze forcing a natural break in Eketahuna before we embarked on the Track. A cage ended up between Steve and Ken through here, but he was sitting on Steve’s tail so Ken was happy to sit in behind through Mangamaire. I, on the other hand, being a bit of a dumbarse, thought I should take Ken and the cage in the passing lane at the foot of the Track proper. All I did though was overcook into the corner when I realized the surface was a little rough and so maintained (got put in) my place.
We were in Ashhurst by about 0935, registered, chatted and took a few pics before being briefed and departing around 1000. By now the temp was rising so I swapped the Spidi Gloves for the Darbis and set myself up at No 3, behind the ride leader Al. I did this ride last year getting stuck amidst a raft of Harleys that were quick on the straights but painfully slow through the curly bits, so this time I managed to position myself where I could sit at the relatively constant pace that Al Daytona maintained. We were soon pulling in to regroup at Apiti and were surprised to find the 1st 40 odd bikes were several minutes ahead of the main group, but apparently a Ducati had lost its chain and I guess the rest had paused until it was sorted.
Off again and we enjoyed a nice pace through the delightful section of road between Apiti and Rangwahia Rd, and then the muppets turned up to play. Some silly tart on a V-Max decided that she needed to pass everybody, which almost included Al, then pulled in behind him, (but almost beside him), then after another regroup pause in Cheltenham, a drongo on a Rocket did the same. It was of no real consequence, but I did drop back a bit to give them both a wide berth as riding is fraught with enough danger without having to ride closely to a loose cannon.
Once back in Ashhurst, we were treated to lunch, a brief on what Ronald McDonald House does, a draw of spot prizes, then an auction of donated items and vouchers. It was worth the effort to attend the ride and well done to Flynn, the Lions and other Palmy guys that helped organise and run the event.
We filled in Ashhurst, then opted to take the gorge and Balance road for the trip back. Once again Steve led out maintaining a brisk pace to Carterton, where we enjoyed a coffee stop at the Wild Oats and Barry shouted Red Cross buns. (He asked for five before realizing that buying six would be cheaper).
We finished with the usual fang over ‘the Hill’ after which I went straight to the Renouf Centre to see how Ann was getting on with her tennis tournament. It was a great day, riding with mates who ride well and are comfortable riding together at whatever pace is set. The weather was kind with little wind and the temp settling to 19º. I managed 533Km for the day at around 18.5K/Ltr and now have 113206Km on the bike. I guess that means another service after next week’s overnighter to Whangamomona.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.