This week Gremlin had some work to do in Welly so he and GIJoe ventured south and took the opportunity to visit, GIJoe for one night and the G-Man for two...it was great to catch-up, although the long night and all the yakking on Thursday night meant for a rather long day at work on Friday!
GIJoe was under orders to return Friday but Gremlin had work, then some uncharted roads to visit, on the way to and around Taupo, so amongst all the crap talked on Friday night, he did manage to plan a 550Km circuitous route up to Taupo.
I was supposed to have a Uly Ride last weekend but missed out due to having family visit as well as the bike needing it's 12,000Km service. This left me hanging out for a ride and when I saw that a KB group were having a ride on Saturday, I figured I'd lead Gremlin out to meet some Welly KB'ers before taking off, then I'd join their ride.With that in mind, we got away from home at about 0915 for Gremlin to fill at Z Hutt Rd, then pulled into Caltex Rimutaka at 0949.
A couple of years back, I would have turned up to a ride like this and known at least half of the riders but today, ….out of 20+ riders, I only knew two (Buck-Buck and _Stain_), so after getting enlightened on the state of local biker politics, observing the range of bikes and bikers and learning the the ride would be to Gladstone, I considered that after helping Gremlin plan a 'Roast' of a ride last night, this ride would seem more like 'Fish n' Chips'!!....and I was hanging out for a roast!! I therefore advised Gremlin that I'd come up to Mangamaire with him and that we should get away first so we wouldn't get held up on the 'Hill'.
We quickly kitted up and I managed to hit the front by sneaking out of the Servo entrance and jump the queue of cars and bikes trying to exit from the Caltex exit, and we settled straight into our hard-out pootle. The weather was overcast but the temperature was mild, there wasn't too much traffic (until well down the 'Rapa side) so conditions were good to get straight into our rhythm, although the traffic did mean our 84kph average to the top of the hill dropped to 70kph by Featherston.
I was leading so decided once we'd been through Greytown to add an extra deviation around Carterton, via Carrington, then was pootling along Ngamutawa Rd when Gremlinm pulled up beside me, passed, then swung back!! WTF, I'm thinking as I check to ensure my Top-Box is still fitted!!...but it turned out he just needed a photo of a Tui Billboard! Whew!
On On and we were soon flitting along the LoopLine, then through Mauriceville and onto Kaiparoro, across SH2 onto South Rd, left on Priests Rd in order for Gremlin to get his first 'Dark Side' fix for the day as he blasted along the 4-5Km of loose shit on Mangaraupiu Rd. I ushered him through once we got to the gravel, then held back to preserve my Air Cleaner, but I needn't have bothered because he was like a dog let off the leash!, a shawn sheep...and a rat up a drainpipe!...He was gone!...and I think he'd had time for a cup of tea and a clean up by the time I pulled alongside, then continued on for Mangamaire...wrong! Gremlin had found his mojo and wouldn't be tamed with a straight run down Doughty Rd, he needed more gravel and struck out along Kopikopiko Rd while I sccoted through Mangamaire and waited at Nikau Rd. From there he did concede his really gnarly strip along North Range Rd and joined me along Balance Rd, then over the Saddle for a snack in Ashhurst. (He was clearly distrissed at missing out though)
We had done 245Km and after our hour+ stop, his plan was to continue up the gravelly Pohangina Rd, the more gravelly Makoura Rd to Apiti, then more hard pack, dust and crap tp emerge at Ohotu.....I on the other hand had much more sense and with time getting on, I decided to return from here via SH2 and the Wairarapa. I embarked at a sedate (legal) pace and maintained that all the way....well almost all the way! I did encounter an old fart on his Norton on the hill and it was great fun to sit behind him as he let rip over to the Hutt, then catch a few other bikers on River Rd....who then decided that their pace was too easy and they seemed to end up egging each other on!?
I got home well satisfied with my adventures for the day, arriving home at 1640, having done 425Km at an average of 16.6Km/Ltr and the bike now has 12,466Km on it.....and the damn thing needs a new front tyre!! (Probably Gremlin's fault that it's worn out...he's good like that!).
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.