I've done little riding this month but I have been busy on bike related business and signed-up for this year's TT2000. ( http://www.tt2000.org )
The TT' is a great event and has evolved over the last 4 years, offering a broad spectrum of riding opportunities in that one could just do the basic 2,000Km in 48Hrs, or get really serious and up the ante to different levels to do up to 3,000'ish Km to achieve the various levels of awards, and along the way, those that were inclined could get a reasonable dose of gravel.....or not! That was until last year when the silly tart that heads the Tasman Police totally lost her ropes and got the stupid impression that riders were going to be embarking on a 5,000Km 'Race' to pick-up photos of 150 check-points!! Fortunately the organisers got together with the enforcers to discuss any issues, refine the event...and most importantly, continue to run it, albeit in a new format.
One of the changes was to drop all the flyers and additional awards, so that the event is now just a 2,000Km ride whereby one has to amass 10,000Pts, from a selection of 71 check-points (CP's). This can be achieved by obtaining as few as 6 CP's, or getting lots.
As far as endurance rides go, half of the fun of the TT' for the dyed-in-the-wool endurance riders has been to play with MapSource to design one's route by deciding what flyers to go for and plan the ride around one's required fuel plan, pace/time limits, Saturday night accommodation and just how hard one wants to go. With all the 'flyers' and awards being dropped, my first reaction to this year's ride was....'Boring!'....but of course, with half of the fun being in the planning, I had some fun anyway and soon decided, “Hey, this will be cool!”
The CP's are generally scattered along the Eastern side of the Island between Picton and Queenstown, so I started off looking at Northern & Southern options, then found that I had a surplus of points but was short on Km’s, so each option required excursions into the other sector / side of Chch…virtually wasting Km’s for the sake of doing 2000.
I then figured, if I have to stack Km’s, why not do it on favoured roads, so I opted for Northern and started trading off:
Stony Beach ….well last time I was in that vicinity was 1977 (or perhaps that was 1974??) on an XL250 with a mate on same and another on a KTM or TKD or something exotic at the time
Inland Route …cos I’ll be up & down SH1 getting there.
Picton & Queen Charlotte Dve…I normally avoid QC but there’s plenty of time and I haven’t done it for awhile and Picton is a 1,000Pt CP.
Whangamoas …cos I love that road. Have I mentioned that I love the Whangamoas.
Takaka Hill ….well, there’s no CP's over there and once I’m there I have to come back!!!
Buller Gorge ….it would seem such a waste to only do half of it!! ….especially to leave out the better half!
Lewis Pass vs Coast Rd…Lewis Pass / Coast Rd …shit …there's CP's along the Lewis, but...oh that’s right, Coast Rd has the lower Buller Gorge attached!
Lewis Pass vs Arthurs Pass ….Lewis Pass / Arthurs Pass …oh that’s right, Arthurs Pass has the Coast Rd and the lower Buller Gorge attached!!!!
Lyndon Rd vs Sheffield …. Lyndon Rd / Sheffield …..*shivers* hoooohhhh, the dark side …..but Sheffield has a CP and damn it, I need the Kms!
The rest is just burning Km’s on roads around Timaru that I doubt I’ve been on.
My plan ended up accruing 18,000Pts...and why pick up all the unnecessary points?……because they’re there ….and I’m just naturally greedy!!
Having come up with a plan, I liaised with a couple of mates to see what they were up to, to compare plans and perhaps hook-up with them, but in the end, my riding-buddy, Steve, confirmed he was in so I just refined my plan. My attitude when approaching these rides is to sort everything down to the last detail, so I worked in the fuel stops for Steve's (Hyabusa) range, work out where we would overnight, then book accommodation for the 3 nights, then book the ferry trips and when all was ready, register for the ride....and now all that is done.
I downloaded what we needed off the TT' website (disclosure, CP check sheet, CP PDF's), printed them up, spiral binding the CP pix & maps into a booklet (in case the GPS glitches and we need to go manual) and yet need to transfer the route to the GPS unit to ensure there's no issues there. Then I drafted up a checklist for the usual gear to pack/take, like tie-downs for the ferry, Sth Island map book, camera, snack bars, etc, etc.
I will have to check the bike over, but I don't plan to do much riding between now and 20 February, as the conditioning is generally OK, so I don't expect to have to do any servicings or tyre replacements before the event. The only thing I need to do now is try to familiarise myself a bit better with the route, so I don't have to rely on the GPS.
This will be my 3rd TT' and I'm looking forward to a cruisy ride (with only doing the 2,000Km) on some of the better motorcycling roads in the country.......yeah baby!!
One could be forgiven if they thought that I am about to launch into a tirade about the New Zealand Cricket Team...but no, this weekend I've managed to do my first three rides for 2013!
When I got back to the office after Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised to find the replacement stebel horn had arrived so that was fitted straight away....works good, but I didn't get to go for a ride, then had to work Thursday and Friday and didn't expect to get any riding done this weekend either. However, as my mum always says...”the Lord works in mysterious ways!”
Ann was to go to Martinborough this weekend to play in the Vets Tennis tournament there and I had heaps jobs to do around the house but when I got home at 1730 on Friday and Ann said, “Let’s go to Martinborough for dinner. You can either, take the bike and I'll take the car or we can go in the car then I can get a lift back on Sunday.” Well, you can imagine how my eyes lit up at that prospect.
Ann got on the road straight away (at about 1810) but by the time I got myself sorted, got kitted up then checked the bike, I found it needed a couple of psi in each tyre, so by the time that was done, I didn't leave Crofton until 1830 and had to ride a little briskly whilst trying to stay within the allowable limits. By the time I got to Te Marua a bad run on lights had my average at 85kph, then a brisk pace over the hill at 82kph had the overall average down at 84kph and with the last leg done at 98kph I finally got to Martinborough at 1927hrs, doing the 80Km at an average of 86kph.
The Thai Dinner was great and I was back on the road for home at 2112 at a slightly more sedate pace, although I still managed 97kph back to Featherston, 77kph over the hill and 87kph back down the motorway for a total average of 85kph. It was certainly a nice way to finish the week and although it was a great wee pootle, I really screwed up a few corners so after a short deliberation and a meeting with myself, I decided......“I needed more practice!”
Saturday dawned another spectacular day and I had lots to do so after a workout at the gym, I visited Dougie...that was quite pleasant and when I got home at midday, I mowed the lawns (which was a rather sweaty sort of affair) then straight after that I showered and feeling in need of some R&R, I went for a ride before the BBQ at 1730.
Since I needed corners but didn't want to go far, at 1409 I setout for Makara...or at least, I did after gassing up at Crofton Z. The hill between Karori and Makara is quite a nice ride but care must be taken between Makara and J'ville because it's rather narrow in places. I was soon through there and on the motorway out to Plimmerton, taking the turn a Pope St and on to Greys Rd, where I managed to scrape a boot, before taking on the Paekak Hill road......and I note the bloody powers that be have dropped it to 60kph all the way through!!....Not to worry, it was another nice wee pootle over to SH1 and back, over the Haywards.
By now it was 1550 so I would just have enough time for a wee fang over the hill and back. That was nice! I caught a couple of bikes as I approached the summit and the trailing one had some blond hair hanging out the helmet and a number plate KT P13....can't think who that would have been..... but they pulled over at the summit and as soon as I was behind the cage they were following, he pulled across as well and let me slide on through for a nice wee run down. I paused by the bridge at the bottom to let some cages past, then turned back to do it all again....well, just the hill bit.
I got home at 1702 having done 190Km....That was nice! The Z8 on the rear is feeling quite nice, and as well as the boot scrape along Greys Rd, I managed another on the Hill, so I guess I'm feeling that I might be starting to get my Mojo back. Bloody marvelous...and I just had time to strip out of the gear before heading to the BBQ at Jim's.
Sunday dawned another spectacular 'Ditto' day and I still had all my jobs to do....so I put a load of washing on, went to the gym, changed a wheel on the cage (had a nail/slow leak), washed the cage, washed the bike, took the Christmas tree down, got changed and went for a ride!
This time I thought I should go and watch some of Ann's tennis, so I hit the road but had to go via Ocean Beach and Lake Ferry. It was 1130 and a stinking hot 25° as I made my way along the Hutt Motorway and the temp climbed to 28° by Featherston but dropped off to 23° by the time I got to the cooling sea breeze at Ocean Beach. I was also pleasantly surprised to find it is now sealed to within a Km or 2 of the coast.
A brief pause there, then on to Lake Ferry where I ran into Andy (Mstn Uly), started to expire then hit the road for Martinborough. On the way in, the temp really started to soar and although I was being careful to avoid the melting tar (I'd just cleaned the bike), there was one corner with a great slick spot spread across the other lane and encroaching half way onto my side and even though I took a wide line, I clipped the edge of it and both ends of the bike transitioned as the wheels hit it. “Bloody Hell” I though, “Lucky I've been riding conservative lines!” As I approached Martinborough, I noted the temp at 32°!
I spent an hour and a half at the tennis before kitting up for the return. By now the breeze was getting up and the temp dropping to a more comfortable level, but I still took care in case any bits of road were still soft. Once again I had a pleasant, but albeit uneventful ride back, but the wind didn't do a lot for the economy.
I did another 268Km for the day, arriving home at 1645 and achieving my 3 for 13. The bike now has 24,581Km on it.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.