The weather forecast was pretty crappy for today but the Ulysses Club still had a ride on…..well at least the Wgtn Branch did…..well…..6 Wgtn members went riding.
The programmed ride was up Route 52 to Pongaroa, then out to Pahiatua for lunch but after arriving at Brown Owl in marginal conditions, we decided to play it by ear and see what the weather dealt us, so with that in mind, Ken led out over the Rimutakas and I bought up the rear.
After a sedate ride over the hill, the weather looked pretty clear to the North East so we opted to stick to the original route, continuing down SH2 to Greytown, then diverting on Waihakeke Rd via Gladstone to Masterton, out to Te Ore Ore and up Route 52. The weather was clear through here and often we were riding on dry roads, but it did look clagged in to the North and West and as we progressed toward Alfredton, we started to encounter drizzle again.
Consequently, Ken paused at Dreyers Rock and as it was looking more and more gloomy to the North, we decided to scoot back to Wild Oats, via Mauriceville, for lunch. By this time the inclement weather had crept further across the valley from the West, although it was still only drizzly and we had an easy ride back to Carterton, although I did have an uncomfortable two wheel twitch when taking the big right hander at the show grounds by Clareville. I hadn’t noticed until now how bad SH2 is around this area, as in places the tar snakes are verge to verge pancakes.
All good though and we enjoyed the usual great kai at Wild Oats, taking over the up-stairs as it was quite busy and that was the only place we could sit the 7 (one pillion) of us together (without sitting in the rain). I had the buffet breakfast with a bowl latte, eating far too much, but it was most pleasant, spending an hour there between 1220 and 1318.
On the road again for home and I led out from here but maintained a sedate pace so the group could stay together, although once on the hill again, we soon spread out. I was happy to putter along using minimal brakes and there wasn’t too much traffic to impede our steady flow, but even then, I was rather surprised to experience a very greasy step-out on the rear when going through a right hander. It was odd as I was on a section of hot-mix surface and I hadn’t noticed anything on the surface. I guess it was lucky I wasn’t pushing it as it just seemed to commence an easy slide for a few inches then resumed traction with no twitching or grabbing. It was a prudent reminder though to continue to take it easy.
Once I had passed the summit and began the decent, the heavens really opened and the wind got up to a light gale, so I sat behind a cage, who was maintaining a good pace, down to the bottom. I had trouble with the helmet here because it was fogging when I closed the visor and water was pumping in when I cracked it open and either way, I couldn’t see much, but by the time we approached Upper Hutt, the weather settled again and I was home by 1430, having done 277.7Km for the day at an economy of 19.1Km/Ltr and now have 116,241Km on the bike.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.