An early(ish) start to the day, and on my last bar for fuel, I commenced by filling at the Caltex Kaiwhara’ before heading the 30km on to Rimutex.
After years of travelling in cages on main hiways and utilising ‘big’ signs, I have found my nav skills to be wanting as I find myself forgetting to look for the small yellow jobbies for directions. (No ladies, this is not an admission that men don’t know where they’re going). This can be further compounded by going on group rides whereby you follow the leader, enjoy the scenery and don’t really bother to take note of where you’ve actually travelled. How many of you have done a group ride, then tried to work out what roads you had taken and had difficulty?
This accepted I decided I needed to either get a GPS Nav Unit or a decent map book and being a Jewy Bastard, it was the map, complete with all the road names, yellow roads for sealed and white roads for unsealed. However, on studying up for potential rides, I soon discovered there were white roads that I new were sealed….bugger!!
Well, the reason for this wee digression is that when looking at possibilities for the day’s ride ahead, I noted that there was a potential ride around the Gladstone Water Towers then along Te Parae Road to Tauweru, but it was a white road. I would have to check it out.
With this in mind, I pulled into Rimutex at 1035, fuel economy on 18 km/l, and checked in with Hels for the planned route, advised her I would meet them at the Masterton Mobil, and off I went.
What a blast, I think most of Wellington were heading over the ‘takas and I probably passed 15 – 20 cages on the way up and 30 – 40 on the way down, including 2 on a yellow line with a cop coming the other way. Fortunately the cages had left enough room to slide through inside the line. (NB. I rarely pass any cars going down the northern side except for a couple of places near the bottom but the traffic was soooo slow.)
Anyway, through Featherston and onto Martinborough, round the square and out past the golf course for Gladstone, this was great, rolling countryside and I only encountered 4 or 5 other vehicles in about 50kms. Past Gladstone, then the water towers and looping around, I found Te Parae road and it looked sealed so on I pushed but about a km down the road, sure enough, great berms of thick stuff. It was definitely a white road so back I went and continued on to the Mobil where I found Lissa & Garry H waiting. I must have been travelling at 1 or 2 klicks over the limit as my economy at this point was down to 16 km/l…..like I said, what a blast.
About 10 or 15 minutes later the rest pulled in, we chatted for a bit then moved out. As I had already had a good time, I was quite happy to go sweep behind Garry H. We settled into a comfortable pace around 110 kph and the group stayed together until a brief stop (at Uncle Bruce’s corner I believe) after which I ended up following Lissa on the GN, which I didn’t find a distraction, but it did make me appreciate having tons of grunt. She was good as gold till it came to cages, some with boats, and short overtaking opportunities. Consequently we slipped behind the others until we roared around a 25kph corner and there they all were, lying about and milling around like they’d just come out of church. I parked up the ST by the apex with the hazard’s on and waited for about 30 minutes (who knows how long) until a decision was made for Ronin and STR8 to head back while the rest pushed on for the coast. A few minutes later and we were there, drinks were had, food consumed, views taken in while sitting on the rocks and ‘chewing the fat’ and before long it was time to leave.
We were all ready to go but no one was moving so I took the initiative and led out. I tried to keep the speed around 110kph again but often found it drifting up and before long we were back over Bennett’s Hill and I was indicating to turn off toward Stronvar. I stopped at the corner to let the others decide what they were doing and just two of us continued on, back past Gladstone and into Martinborough where he had to fill up. He went off on the Paliser road, but that was too straight for me so I continued directly back to Wgtn and heading up through Khandallah I noted 412 kms for the day and 16.9 km/l on the economy. Indications that we’d had a great day.
Thanks to Hels for organising the day. I’m just sorry that you’ve ended up the butt of all the jokes…or is that…your butt has everyone’s attention. It was not a ride I had not thought of doing but what a great road and it’s about 30 years since I was last out there. (I think from memory, there were 7 of us in a Fiat Bambina)??!!
Sorry Ronin, bad news sure gets around on these forums. Next time you find yourself getting distracted, feel free to think of my hairy arse…and snap out of it.
Here’s looking forward to the next awesome adventure !!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.