After looking after my Moko's/mates Jake and Eleni-Mei on Saturday (we played with Thomas, James, Edward & Diesel) I returned home to clean the ST in preparation for my first 'good' ride in a while on Sunday. The rest of Saturday was spent with our friends Murray & Ma'. The girls played golf at Titahi Bay while Murray & I went to the Classic Bike show in Lower Hutt.
The bike show was a rather interesting and nostalgic experience with a wide range of bikes displayed (probably 100 or so), some old favorites and some I had never seen or heard of. There was also a wide range of people viewing the bikes, old & young, bogans & businessmen, Ulyssians & KiwiBikers. I was most impressed with a couple of mint Honda 500 Fours, a Yamaha RD 350 and a couple of Kawasaki 500s. The thing I noticed most however, was how small and in particular, how low the bikes were, or perhaps how big & tall my ST is. An afternoon well worth the few $'s spent.
Sunday was ride day and I had planned to join the Ulysses ride to Mt Bruce but continue on from there to explore some new roads in the Manawatu and I advised Steve (Twosup-Hyabusa) and Adrian (DougieNZ-ST1300) of my plans and invited them to join me. I never heard back from Adrian and in the end we decided to skip the Ulysses ride and leave early so Steve, Neil (another ST rider) and myself departed Rimutaka Caltex at 0920 and headed over the hill for the Mangamaire turnoff, the Pahiatua Track and our first coffee stop in Ashhurst. From there we headed north into the Pohangina Valley, taking the Pohangina Valley East Road up to Apiti. This was good riding except for a few kms of roadworks just out of Ashhurst and the odd bit of scattered loose stuff along the way. When we emerged just north of Apiti we turned right and headed into Marton Block, not knowing if the road was sealed or not, just that this road should bring us around to Ruahine Road that runs between Maungaweka and Kimbolton. As it turned out, this road did have about 6-8 kms of hard packed gravel that didn't offer any problems but there were some great views and it was an interesting ride.
From Ruahine Road we were supposed to turn onto Karewarewa Rd and head to Ohotu, but that was gravel so we decided to head through to Mangaweka, down to Vinegar Hill, turning off at Waituna West for Fielding, on to Palmerston North and our next stop at ANZA motorcycles for Neil to look at some gear. We arrived around 1430 and as usual, you can't go anywhere in NZ without being spotted so who should turn up there but Mr & Mrs Hitcher. A quick chat, an hour later and Neil undecided about the gear we headed back over 'The Track' (a light drizzel and just a couple of twitches on the paint here), down to Eketahuna, off through Mauriceville and on to Carterton for another coffee, after which is was a quick blat through the traffic over the Hill and Home.
I stopped for a bit at friends in Upper Hutt getting home at 1900. 9½ hours and about 580 kms later. I managed to just touch a right peg on 'the hill', scrape my left toe on 'the track' (don't know what happened there) and hold it after a 'front - rear' twitch followed by a catch, then rear twitch on paint on 'the Track'.
Another great day on the road with mates.....We bikers are certainly a privileged few.
It’s easy to get wrapped-up in our jobs and get too busy to enjoy the small moments that come along.
For me, my day is pretty much spent at a computer and there’s always plenty to get on with so it’s head-down, arse-up, but the highlight of my week is often a visit from my mate Jake.
Jake and Eleni-Mei (pronounced E-lay-nee May) are my Moko’s, or more correctly my Great-nephew & Great-niece, or if you want to be really pc correct…my first cousins twice removed. Jake is nearly 3 and Eleni is about 7 or 8 months and these visits occur when my niece Caroline takes them past my office on the way to the library, postshop or supermarket. I might note here that for her to attempt to pass without a visit would be futile and met with all the furore that a three year old can muster.
The visits follow a set format, but there is room for variations by either party and they generally go something like this…..
I hear him coming and position myself, back-to-the-door, a picture of concentration.
Jake strolls in and says cherrily, “Hello!”
To which I respond in a semi-gruff voice (because I’m a grumpy old man), “Who’s that!...Where’s my glasses so I can see?” as I turn around making a show of changing glasses. “Oh it’s you….What d’ you want?” I say, voice still sort of gruff.
At this point my mate stops and rolls his eyes up and to the left, searching for an appropriate response because it would be poor form, not to mention bad manners to get straight to the point and ask for a lolly…. “Ummmm!” comes the reply.
I save the day with another question, “Where are you going?”
And he replies, “To the library.” Big smile plastered across his face.
“Going to see Thomas I suppose?” not quite as gruff
“And James.” He adds quickly.
“What about Diesel?” I ask.
“Yes him too.” He replies thankful that the niceties are almost over.
“You’ve come a long way…..must need some energy?” I add.
“Yes I do.” He replies in thoughtful contemplation.
So now we are back to where we started and I can ask again, “What d’ ya want?”
Quick as a flash, eyes lit up like Christmas trees, Jake blurts out “A lollipop!!”
At this I have to make a show of searching to see if I have that which initiated the visit in the first place, but we aren’t allowed admit to this fact and therefore pretend that this is a first. My mate waiting patiently knowing that I will eventually get to the right drawer, his eyes getting wider all the time and the smile erupting with joy to “A lolly” when I eventually emerge from my bottom drawer, lolly in hand and asking “Oh…what’s this?”
My mate Jake can now carry onto the library knowing he has received sufficient energy for the long trek home (about 2-300 metres), and that his uncle John has come to the fore once again.
I can now carry on my day with a smile on face knowing that I have fulfilled my ‘Koro-ly’ duties which is all about pay-back time for my children, nephews and nieces. I see it as my job to, in the words of eminem, ‘create a monster’ that I can spoil then give back to the parent to deal with. I might add that this is an easy roll to fulfil ‘cos Jake’s my mate.
!!?%#@!! Broke my right mirror and scuffed the right mirror cover and right pannier this morning! !!?%#@!!
I was riding down my driveway (steepish) and about to turn right down the road when a prick in a ute came down from my left, but on my side of the road. Didn’t see him coming due to the ecology and his position (hugging the shrubbery) and had no where to go but stop dead….right where my feet can’t touch the ground.
Two problems here…There was nothing to hold the bike up so it fell over (taking me with it) and….there was nothing there for the wings to rest on so it landed on the mirror and the bag. I ended up rolling down the road and the f…… c…. (frightful chap) just drove off without so much as a pause. The least he could have done was help me to pick it up because I couldn’t and had to get Ann out. So I’m !!?%#@!! Off.
I am amazed that the bag didn’t shatter, collapse, or crack. Just a few scuffs, mainly on the black. Also, the mirror shield took pretty much a side on impact but did as it was supposed to and flew off, just getting a few bad scuffs on the end. Mirrors don’t like holding the bike up though.
I’m obviously getting old a doddery and must be getting closer to having to trade down to a GN250. Bugger, that’ll make it harder doing the Grand Challenge Four Points and Southern Cross, but it will make it easier for Ken to keep up through the Awakino Gorge.
He reckoned a DR650 would be a better option as he has the ST and a DR (but he came off his DR and hurt his ribs) so I replied that “I’d love a DR650 but I might hurt my back, or ribs, or pride or something…….hey, I’m doing that now…why not. An excuse…I need an excuse.”
He also recommended I leave the bags off but basically I keep them on because I just about always have something in them and they’re real handy when you get anywhere and can lock the helmet and other gear away. In the mornings I have my gym bag in the top box and work satchel in one side and after the gym the teknik pants go in the other side.
It was interesting reading on the ST site though how a lot of riders found an improvement in handling/performance with the bags off. I wouldn’t have thought you’d notice.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.