The usual winter blues have been prevalent this year but compounded by an effort to cut back on spending and the easiest way to save money is to cut down on the Kms. This hasn’t been too hard because the weather has been so crappy and I’ve been so busy at work, it’s been pretty easy to not ride, other than the Ulysses Club Rides.
I have found however that one can get a bit stir-crazy and in desperate need of a blowout and that happened last weekend. There were no programmed rides on and my younger son, Lance, was visiting prior to embarking on a trip to Europe so I felt he should visit his grandmother as well, resulting in a well deserved fang over the hill.
Prior to this I had seem some discussion on Kiwibiker about the proliferation of double yellow lines and was expecting an inhibited jaunt, but at that time, only half of the Wairarapa side had been done and the other surprising thing was that several cars actually made room for us so the ride was barely affected. I might add that there were also one or two occasions where dickheads didn’t manage to keep us in check as well.
Today was another Uly Ride and although these tend to be a bit short and sedate, we usually have a good time. This ride was programmed as a combined Road and Gravel ride to finish and meet at Wild Oats but with marginal weather predicted, there were only seven starters and only one of which was an adventure bike, so he went off to do his own thing.
After a short discussion with Steve, we had an improvised route and the rest of us got on the way with me as TEC. It was fine, 15° I was riding at a very relaxed pace so I just chilled and focused on my economy…..so I enjoy the ride and save money!
We were soon in the Wairarapa where the temp had edged up to 17°, which started me thinking that it must be time to take the liner out of my jacket as I was feeling a bit warm and Spring must be close by, as well as Martinborough, where we turned onto Middle (Ponatahi) Rd to head via Gladstone for the Water Towers, Stronvar and onto Te Ore Ore. From there we had a short scoot up Route 52 to Dreyers Rock, then across to Mauriceville and back to the Mobil on the Bypass for the two Cruisers to have a top-up.
The weather was still good, but as we took Haringa Rd down to Carterton and the Wild Oats, it did start to spit a little and the predicted fowl weather was certainly on track to make it’s presence felt, but not until we had enjoyed a coffee and snack and were heading for home.
From here, I led out and maintained a steady pace through the traffic and by the time I got to the hill, the rain was quite steady and the roads very wet. I still maintained a good pace and the traffic was light enough that the cursed double-yellows didn’t present too much of a problem and I was soon home with just slightly damp gloves. (The ST is bloody great for minimizing the impact of the weather).
After leaving home at 0905 this morning, I was home by 1445, having done 319Kms at an economy of 18.9Kms/Ltr and the bike now has 73755Kms on it. Another great day but I think it will be best if I have a few conditioning rides to get in shape for the upcoming ride season and in particular, the GC.
Today was programmed for a short ride to Lake Ferry, but we figured to go via Ngawi first.
Having checked the tyre pressures yesterday I just needed to fill at Caltex Kaiwhara then head to the meeting point at Brown Owl. The weather was great in Ngaio but once I got on the Hutt Road it looked a bit dismal over the Rimutakas.
By 1000 there were ten riders assembled for the briefing and I led out on the free ride over the hill. The conditions were OK, with just the odd spot of drizzle and a few big puffs of wind but I made reasonable time and we were soon regrouping in Featherston before heading out on Kahutara Rd.
We did stop at the Pirinoa store in case anyone needed gas and what do you know but Neil fronted up to the pump, so I couldn’t resist turning to Steve and commenting that Neil was like a dog on a Boulevard when it came to fuel stops….he just couldn’t help himself. The rest of the ride to Ngawi was pretty uneventful and once there, four of the guys continued on the gravel to the lighthouse, some returned via a feed in Martinborough and a couple of us headed to Lake Ferry for a coffee.
Looking back at the Rimutakas, the weather was closing in a bit so I figured we were less likely to cop any crap if we stayed south, plus I was planning to get home reasonably early so I could spend an hour or two at the office and Lake Ferry was the shorter option. We maintained a sedate pace and were soon ordering our drinks, followed shortly after by the BEARS riders who were also out for a jaunt, then a bit later by the four riders who went to the lighthouse.
After a pleasant chat, Guy and I continued for home, and by now the roads were a mix of wet and dry so a bit more care was required to avoid any slick patches. I found myself taking extra care on the hill as well with a combination of wet road and strong gusts but by 1430 I was home, having done 283Km for the day at an economy of 18K/Ltr and I now have 72,837 Kms on the bike.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.