Today was my 1st ride for about 3 weeks as we went to Melbourne for the 1st week of the Aussy Tennis Open. I'm not really a tennis fan but Nanny Ann is and I guess the top echelons of any sport are worth watching...although I did keep a book handy, just in case.
After reading banditRider's Blog yesterday and being reminded that the Chateau to Plateau was on today, I considered joining that ride but it would have meant having a 1,000Km day, and as the bike wasn't really prepared with only a 1,000 or so K's left in the front, I decided to give it a miss and join the Ulysses ride to Lake Wairarapa.
I managed to get away from home at about 0920, topped-up at Caltex Kaiwhara' and pootled out to Brown Owl to meet up with 7 other bikes. We eventually left there just before 1020 taking it easy over the hill as there was a bit of drizzle at Kaitoke, some fog at the summit and the temp bottomed at 13°, but the weather cleared and we regrouped at Featherstone with no incidents. From there we rode around the lake, then headed into Martinborough, turning off just before there to nip up to the windfarm and add a few more K's on to the trip before going into Martinborough for lunch.
Initially we went to the pub but after pouring the first beer, the girl advised that they weren't cooking. I thought that was poor form so we wandered along to the Wine place and got a coffee and snack there.
After chatting for awhile, the rest headed for home but I took the back road past Gladstone and went to Masterton to visit my Mum, spent about an hour with her then pootled back over the hill myself, getting home around 1630, 300'ish Kms for the day and a most pleasant way to spend a Sunday.
I had three small rides this week.
After work on Monday, I felt the urge for a wee blat so I rode over the Paekak' Hill, then continued up to Waikanae in order to sample the Akatarawa Rd, which I haven't been over on a bike, and haven't driven over for many years. I figured that New Years Eve would be pretty quiet and therefore I should encounter very little traffic, but it was certainly an odd ride. I found the road was so narrow that if I encountered a 4WD coming the other way there would be very little room, if any, to get by and many of the left-hand corners were so tight that I couldn't see round them and couldn't risk extending my view by keeping to the right. The result was that I found myself leaning the bike into the corners, but swinging my body out the wrong way to keep the bike as far left as possible but trying to retain as much view as possible round the corners.
I did encounter some vehicles and got through okay, but it's not a ride I'll be planning to do again as even at night there would be little warning of approaching vehicles.
On New Years Day, Nanny-Ann and I headed up to Riversdale to visit a friend. We travelled up via Martinborough-Gladstone and returned via Masterton, stopping at Wild Oats in Carterton for a home made Ginger Beer and snack. It was a great ride in about 24º and a pleasant day out.
This weekend, Nanny-Ann was to play in a Vet's Tennis Tournament in Martinborough. She wasn't playing on Saturday so we decided to have a pootle around, planning to have a hamburger in Ngawi and maybe ride up to the wind farm. We departed at about 1115, headed over the hill and took the Western Access road, which was an intriguing little diversion as I prefer riding with my visor up, but as the temp was so high I had the screen right down. This led to vicious attacks by giant-sized kamakazi bugs with one such bug lodging between the foam padding and my left temple, which soon resulted in an odd burning sensation....I guess it was a bee and although Ann was used to the odd twitch as I got hit, it must have seemed rather odd as I braked hard with one hand while vigorously trying to clear the foreigner from my helmet with the other. After that I thought better of it and dropped the visor. We continued on deciding a visit to Ocean beach was in order, after Mr H had extolled it's virtues, and although I tend to loathe gravel on the ST, I guess it was firm enough and the views were rather pleasant, but by this time the temp was over 26º so the slower pace was causing a little discomfort and having missed breakfast, we kept moving as the urge for a Mrs Macs Pie at Pirinoa was upon us.
The next short burst to Ngawi was rather pleasant, especially the drop in temp as we cruised along the coast road, and I was soon devouring the long awaited Hawaiian Burger after dipping my toes into Cook Strait. We lazed in the sun for a while then headed for Martinborough to watch a few games of tennis and enjoy a friend’s 40th birthday celebration.
Sunday was an early start with breakfast at 0730 and when the others headed off to the tennis courts, I headed up to the wind farm as I haven't ridden there for some time. It's only a short ride from Martinborough but a very nice road and definitely worth the effort. I was in the groove so decided to continue on until the end of the seal which is just past Tuturumuri on the Tora Road, approximately 35Kms from Martinborough. After the windfarm the road narrows a bit and is in need of a couple of minor patch-ups but I had had a great wee pootle by the time I got back to the Tennis and watched a few games before heading back to Wellington just before lunch.
The bike now has 30,000Kms and is booked in for a service and first WoF on Tuesday.......Happy Birthday Bike (for the 11th) and a Ridey New Year.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.