Today hailed the introduction of Police Rodeo riding to the Wgtn Ulysses.
We’d organised the day for a short ride around Whiteman’s Valley and Moonshine Road for the members while I set up the courses at the Riverbank Carpark and although I intended to get there at 0900, I was a bit early after putting some fuel in, and arrived at 0830. Ron & Sue turned up a minute or two later and we got into it. Starting from the Northern end, Sue & I set up three ‘Shield’ courses at 40% oversize, 20% oversize and standard, then a ‘Mid-Atlantic Cone Weave’ (standard size but with a 20% over loop at the top) with an ‘S’ turn (20% oversize) on the entry and a ‘Figure 8’ on the exit.
I then had time for a tester through the courses, after which we decided to up the ’Figure 8’ to 20% oversize as well. By this time Ann had turned up so her and Ron had set-up the gear for teas & coffees, sausage sizzle and soft drinks to keep the punters fuelled, as well as make a few bucks for Muscular Dystrophy. (We ended up making $68.05 for that cause)
The punters arrived around 1100 and after a short briefing, they were into it. I assisted for a bit guiding some through the courses until they got the gist of it, then I joined in the fun. 26 bikes had left from Brown Owl and as well as myself, a few more turned up direct at the carpark, so I expect we ended up with 30 odd bikes in the end. There were a couple of minor drops (one while parking) and all in all, it was a pretty good day with positive feedback to have more of the same.
It was good that Andrew Templeton turned up as he was able to pass on a few tips as well as demonstrate the riding level we should be aspiring to achieve and it was great to see the range of bikes and riders having a go, stumbling, persevering and improving. It was good having the various course sizes as the riders were able to work at a level they could cope with.
It’s a slow process but I’m certainly finding my slow skills are improving, although I still lack any consistency. As usual, the bending over etc played havoc with my dodgy hip and by the end of the day I was hobbling about like a doddery old fool, but I enjoyed the ride doing 40Km for the day at 12.3Km/Ltr (including the return trip from home), and the bike now has 116,855Km on it.
It’s not often that ‘Long John’ enjoys rides of less than a few hundred Km!
Today we finally got to do the Three Passes Ride (Track – Gorge – Saddle) which was cancelled due to bad weather a few months back.
After yesterday’s practice, I finally got the opportunity to clean the grime from the last ride off the bike and when I checked the fuel log, I saw that this was the first fill for a month, so it’s definitely been an economical period of weather (although there was a wee excursion to the Gold Coast in there).
I wasn’t expecting too many riders thanks to marginal, but improving weather forecasts, but after getting away from home by 0900, filling at Shell Mana on the way to the Weigh Station, then waiting and chatting, we departed just after 1000Hrs with 18bikes
With Mike at TEC, I lead out and maintained a light pace to keep the group together, stopping at Otaki for a few small tanks to top-up, then scooting up SH57 via Shannon to SH3, pootling through the gorge and up to the Wind Farm Lookout for another brief stop. We did encounter a few very light showers and some wet roads along the way but made it to the Fusion Cafe in Ashhurst by around 1215Hrs.
While we paused at the summit of the Saddle, Dennis nipped on ahead to video the group as they descended, then we enjoyed some sun at a very busy cafe, but I had rung ahead from Otaki to warn them to expect 20 bikers.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.