After getting the front tyre checked this week, it turned out that it was slightly damaged but as I don't have any marathon rides planned, we just fitted a tube and will contine to monitor it.
We had the Ambulance Charity ride on ANZAC day this week. There was about 50 bikes turned up to ride from Maidstone Park, over Haywards to Plimmerton, then down SH1 to Murphy Street and the Ambulance depot on the corner of Hobson St and Thorndon Quay.
I rode as TEC and arrived about ½hour after everyone else as John's V-max stopped at the top of the Ngauranga Gorge so I picked-up his pillion to take the rest of the way while he got it sorted, then I found Don at the bottom of the gorge as his bike was already on reserve when he went to switch it over!!?? So, I had to drop John's pillion then nip down to Shell Harbour City, get a container and $10 of fuel and head back to Newlands to turn and come back down to save Don. It was a bit of a worry because when I got back to him, he said that quite a few bikes just rode on by with barely more than a wave. I think it's poor form that we bikers all wave to each other on the road, but couldn't really give a toss if one of our own need help.
Straight after that ride, I filled-up on the way home, then fitted the already packed panniers, Nanny Ann and I mounted up and we headed off for Tokaanu for the long weekend. I had booked us in for 2 nights in a Studio unit at the Oasis and we got away at 1255, heading straight up SH1 to get there for a soak in a hot pool as soon as possible.
The weather wasn't bad being overcast with the temp varying between 18° & 11° (on the plateau) and the traffic was light. We stopped for a coffee and snack at the Brown Sugar Cafe in Taihape and arrived in Tokaanu at about 1700 with the economy on 18 K/Ltr, checked in, grabbed a few supplies at the Turangi New World and finally got that long awaited soak in a hot pool.
After lots more soaks over Saturday, we were up at 0700 for our last one before a quick snack and getting packed to leave by 0915. It had been pissing down for much of the night and was still drizzling when we filled at the Shell station and the weather was pretty dismal until we were over the summit of the plateau, where the temp dipped to 10°. After that the temp climbed to 22° and I was getting a bit hot in my wets but left them on, even after we stopped for a kebab in Bulls, just in case we hit the odd scattered shower along the way. We managed to get home unscathed although we must have only missed some showers by minutes as the road was still quite wet in places.
We caught-up to the Hitchers along Centenial Hiway and were home before 1330, 19K/Ltr economy, 324Kms for the day, 697Km for the trip and 41,633 on the bike so I'll have to get the next serviced booked for next week. That's 12,000Km so far this year.....and I was going to cut down on the K's after overdoing it a bit last year!
We had a busy week trying to sort out some year-end accounts, working all Saturday on them, and today I was planning to go to work to do some catching-up there but instead, we decided to go over to the Wairarapa to pick-up a new car for the business.
I had to go to work first to sort out a couple of things and Nanny Ann was to meet me there so I got ready and departed. I struggled getting the bike out of the garage and was heading down the drive before I realised something was wrong because the bike felt like shit.....it had a flat front tyre!
I rode back up the drive and parked it in the garage on the centre stand, checked the pressure at 10psi, then inspected the tyre for damage, but couldn't see a thing so I got the foot pump out of the top box and tried pumping it up a bit. At 20psi there were still no signs of a leak so I brushed some water on it, still to no affect, then pumped it up some more. At 30psi I finally decided it was just a slow leak and headed off to the local Shell, put over 45psi in it then went to work to do my bits & pieces and would then decide if we were to take the bike or car over the hill.
An hour later the pressure had only dropped a pound or two so after checking the rain map, we put the rest of our gear on and headed to my sister's place at Woodside. As soon as we were on the Hutt Road, it was looking like we made the wrong decision as the weather up the Hutt Valley was looking a bit grim and by Upper Hutt we were getting showers (Which must have just been low cloud as there was no rain forecast) and the temp was heading for 10°.
We carried on regardless and and although cold and the road wet in places, we had a pleasant ride over the hill, the temp rose back to 13°, and were soon enjoying a hot drink and snack at Woodside, finally moving on to Masterton at 1500.
Ann took the car back over the hill while I spent a bit of time with mum and headed home about 1630. The weather had cleared a bit more but was still around 10° and although I had an extra skivvy on, I still haven't put my liners back in and only had my summer gloves on, so I wasn't that comfortable. It was a good ride though and when I finally got home it was 8°, the economy had risen from 14.6 K/Ltr, from the round-town running, to 17.2 K/Ltr, The 200'ish Kms I had done today took it to 270 for the tank and 40,774 total.
I think I better wash my gear and put the liners in this week.
I've hardly been on the bike over the last three weeks, since the Mini's Return. I guess it was such a good ride, everything else seems to pale in insignificance, but I suppose I'm getting over it because this week I rode to Rotorua and back as I had an AGM/conference to attend and it was an opportunity to include a ride as well as visit the kids and Moko'.
I was scheduled to get away from work around lunchtime on Wednesday and it wasn't looking too pleasant when a front came through between 0900 & 1000 but once that had passed, the weather quickly cleared and by the time I left Mobil J'ville at 1105 it was fine and 18º, albeit a chilly 18 so I put an extra t-shirt and scivvy on, electing to leave my liners out. As I needed to get their reasonably quickly, I took the direct route up SH1 and as usual when taking the main routes, I focused on economy, sitting at around 100-110 and tried to get 20K/ltr.
There wasn't much traffic for drafting but with a bit of self control, I soon had the economy hovering around 19.9K/ltr and once on the Foxton straits I picked up a couple of cars which enabled me to get the pace up a bit so by the time I got to Hunterville the economy had just clicked over 20.4K/Ltr, which was lucky as it was pretty much up hill from there and the temp was on the way down (bottoming out at 11º on the Desert Road).
Going up the Desert Road, I latched onto a VW 4WD which was honking along at 120 – 130 until we got to a set of lights for roadworks, where I jumped to the front of the queue which left no traffic in front of me for a bit of fun though the curly section and I went over the summit with the economy back down to 19.6K/ltr but the long downhill into Turangi had me back up to 19.9 by the time I arrived in Taupo at 1500hrs. I had to stop here to photograph/survey a building for insurance which took about 20 minutes, after which I grabbed a snack at subway and got back on the road at 1540 for the short stint on to Rotorua.
I finally arrived in Rotorua at 1610, 460Kms done averaging 102kph, economy at 19.8 and temp back up to 18º. I was pretty wrapped with the economy because I still had 2 bars on the fuel gauge and at that pace, would have easily got 550 Kms out of the tank. (Before I filled for departure on Saturday, I was up to 498.1 Kms after the round-town short runs had dropped the economy to 19K/Ltr and the fuel gauge had just dropped to the last bar, indicating 63K to run on 4.6Ltrs and I know I can get 50+Km off the last bar on a trip)
After a couple of great days in Rotorua, Saturday was no different and I headed off for SH30 at 1000 under clear skies and temp at 19º. This time I decided to head back via the Western side of Lake Taupo, National Park, Wanganui and SH1 and once again manage the trip without any refills. I started quite sedately, but had difficulty getting the economy over 19K/Ltr and I didn't help the cause when I latched onto a cage at Whakamaru and was doing 120-130 through to SH41, then found it even more difficult to show restraint over the hill to Tokaanu and I didn't ease up until Ruapehu was in sight. By the time I got to National Park I had my average speed back to 100 Kph and picked-up another couple of minutes through to Raetihi, ready to take on the Para's. Through here I tended to ride at the 'Pace', keeping the speed as high as possible, minimising the braking and easing the throttle out of the slow corners, which provided a nice ride and I pulled into Wanganui at 1315, 321 Kms done at 18.8K/Ltr, having maintained an average speed of 98.97Kph.
After visiting whanau, I got away from Wanganui at 1351 for the last leg on SH1, where I struck a bit of a South East wind (not good for the cause but it was pretty mild). I puttered along finally flicking to the last bar on the fuel gauge at Pukerua Bay and getting home at 1600 on the dot, temp still at 20º, 516.6Kms done for the day at 18.9K/Ltr. 1,014Kms for the trip, 40,494 on the bike and the fuel gauge still read 80Kms to go (which would probably be 30-50) but indicating I may have got up to 560Kms on the tank. Pretty good stuff.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.