We had two rides this week, which was a bit fortuitous because when I went to fill this morning. I noted the last fill was on 31/03/13....at 0444....that's am... in the morning ….and would have been the dawn ride! Sheesh, lucky the gas hadn't gone off in the tank after such a long break between rides!!
Anyway, ANZAC day was the annual Free Ambulance Charity Ride...which isn't really a ride because it didn't require a fill of the tank, but I did get the bike out, got it wet and we gave $2K to the Wgtn Free Ambulance Service. That was good from the 170'ish of the biking community that turned up, but a drop in the ocean considering that new ambulances are needed.
I rode out to Maidstone Park so that I could ride back into town as TEC and I would have to say that it must have been a historic event as, from the Haywards lights, I found myself following Gat, who was struggling to keep up with the main bunch....so perhaps a new Tui Billboard is in order, “Gat's turned a new leaf, I nominate Gat for Ride Leader!”
Today was another Coin Toss ride. I say another but it was actually 2-3 years since the last one. It was a nice day (sunny and 21° as I ventured out along the Hutt Rd) so I expected a good turnout, but there were only 9 of us to depart (including Warwick as leader with his broken thumb and in his MX5).
The first toss was, 'heads - Ride' or 'Tails - Bugger the ride, let's go Go Karting', and it fell Tails, but I hadn't booked Go Karting so we had to go for the ride. The second toss was 'The' Hill or the Paekak' hill...but it was too nice a day and I wanted some pix on the hill so we forewent that one, I left a minute or two before the others as we headed for a toss in Featherstone.
I got my pix then assumed TEC position, rolled into Featherston where the option was SH2 or Western Lake and it fell to take the lake to the next decision point at the Kahutara / Lake Ferry Rd junction. That one flipped to Martinborough where we paused for a coffee stop at 1130, then tossed for Middle (Ponatahi) Rd or Tablelands for Gladstone and Tablelands was the winner.
We enjoyed a pleasant meal and chat outside between 1256 and 1352, before heading for home and I was in a bit of a fangable mood so I took off the Uly vest, turned up the sounds and hit the road at my usual sedate pace. I averaged 90kph to Featherston, then 95 on the early part of the hill, but unfortunately, the traffic and wind transpired against me and I only averaged 70kph over the hill in the end, finally arriving home at 1504.
It was a rather pleasant day with the temp above 20° for most of the day and I managed 255Km at an economy of 17.9Km/Ltr and the bike now has 30,926 Km on it.
In 1973 I left home and joined the Air Force as an Aircraft Electrician, moving to Blenheim for the year. Having had an interest in taking pix, I joined the photographic club and acquired my first SLR, which was an old dunger (even then) but took some great photos...and taught me how to take photos because it didn't have all the trimmings and automatic features of today’s cameras...although I continue to function on the basis that if I take enough photos, I'm bound to get one or two good ones!
As far as my nostalgia trip goes, my scannings reminded me of my first flights in the aircraft of the day being: Devons, Bristol Freighters (which were a permanent fixture on the Woodbourne (Safe Air) Flight Line) and Hercules. We were transported about in old Bedfords, sport continued to play a big part in my life, particularly rugby and softball, I continued to do a bit of gliding. We went on camps, hiking through the Wairau valley sleeping out in Bivvies and Para-Tepees. Some mates and I climbed the Ring-Buster above Dip Flat Camp, crossing a razorback and descending a massive scree slope (which is now the Rainbow Skifield). We shot SLR Rifles, made bedpacks, marched, served on ceremonial quarter guards and a full guard of honour to welcome the Duke of Edinborough into NZ. We learnt to file, weld, file, operate lathes, file....and we did a bit of filing.
I earned about $3K for the year and saved $1100....Life was fun...life was good!
About ten years ago the business bought a scanner. It was bloody marvelous to be able to scan documents for filing and emailing....and of course I bought a CanoScan 8000F that just happened to be able to scan slides and negatives as well. At that time I embarked on a project to digitise the hundreds, or more like thousands of photos I had taken myself as well as those inherited from my parents and grandparents.
I made a good start capturing many old family prints and made a huge dent in scanning all my slides from the mid to late 70's and colour negatives from the 80's & 90's before running out of steam....for a few years....quite a few years!!
That was pretty dumb because when I finally got around to resuming the project, I struck problems in that I'd lost my disc for Photoshop Elements and the only copy I had was on a redundant old pc and the CanoScan doesn't function fully on the new 64bit PC's so I couldn't use it for negatives. Bugger....so I grabbed some obsolete PC's that hadn't been disposed of, took them and the scanner (which had now been written off the books) home for a play.
Having established that one of the PC's was up to the task, I recomenced scanning, starting with my Black&White negatives from 1972-74. These included a mixed bag of pix taken on an extremely cheap, plastic lensed instamatic and my first SLR, a Zenith B, which had no light-meter and fastest shutter speed of 500th of a second.
There were a few family pix, but most of the 1972 neg's were old gliding pix taken on my gliding exploits out of Hood aerodrome in Masterton. Many were damaged and hadn't passed the test of time very well but there were a few beauties that need a bit of retouching.
These pix invoked memories of soaring over the Wairarapa Valley. Reminders of how small the country is because at 6,000 ft over the 5,000 ft Tararuas, one can see the coast on both sides of the North Island. How the Tararuas generate some of the best Wave flying in the world as the Gliding height record was gained out of here by Doug Yarrall in 1968 at just over 37,000 ft. Of days when ply and fabric covered metal framed old shitters shared the skies with high performance glass ships and how I'd achieved 'C' status, 'Silver C' height gain of 1,000 mtr & duration of 5 hours soaring and 'Gold' Height gain of 3,000 mtrs (but I had to go to 17,000ft to get it because the prat towing me took to 8,000ft over the 'rotor'!!). I was lucky enough to soar in the days when they sometimes still used Tiger Moths as tow planes. ….Fun Days!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.