I didn't think I'd get any riding in this weekend, but today cleared enough to have a start and we ended up with 23 bikes departing from the Plimmerton Weigh Station and picked up Buzz in Waikanae....so, with that many turning out, it was obviously the first half-pie decent day for quite awhile!!
The forecast looked pretty miserable during the week, but in the end it wasn't too bad, proving drizzly on Saturday and quite clear this morning, so last night, I ensured my gear was at hand in the event the ride was on, then this morning it was an easy job to pack the bike, check the tyre pressures and hit the road at 0912, fill at Z Mana, making it to the departure point at 0943.
For the first time in a long time I wasn't required for Lead or TEC so it was quite nice not to have any responsibilities and just cruise along in the field. I departed from Plimmerton at No.2, positioned myself at the lights in Paraparaumu, in case the group got split, which didn't happen, then did the same at Waikanae where four did get split. I had paused until the lights changed and we soon made our way back to the group, then I filtered back up near the front.
We had a coffee stop in Shannon, where I took the time to put my wets on and fit the Go Pro to the bike. From there, I got some footage but I had to stop to check it at Aokautere because the Wi-Fi connection with the remote ceased functioning and I couldn't get it right ...so that was that.
I trailed the rest into 'Beyond the Bridge Cafe' by Balance at 1219 and only two of the Hawkes Bay crew were there, having made it through the weather. We enjoyed lunch, had a draw for a $50 fuel card and chewed the fat unto 1340.
Steve and I departed together and I figured it looked very gloomy to the south, so we headed to the Track to make a decision at that point whether to stay in the Wai'rapa or head back to the dryer west, but with Steve living in Brown Owl, I guess there was only ever going to be one choice. So even though it looked awful, we continued through to Mangamaire, onto Eketahuna, past Mt Bruce where we did encounter a little drizzle, then down through Masterton and home.
As it turned out, the roads were generally wet so I was rather tentative as the rear is getting down to its' last couple of thousand Km, but we were fine. Steve needed to gas in Featherston but I kept going and finally got home at 1552, having done 341Km for the day at a moving average of 82kph....and I need a lot more Km's because the butt was starting to get a little tender!
After the Ulysses event a couple of weeks ago, Jason was keen to do more so we agreed to get together and today was our first session. We met at the the car park by the Petone Rec' on Udy Street at 0900 and fortunately we were that early because I've been out of the kiddy sports scene for some years and had forgotten that it would be busy.
No worries....we were cheeky enough to cone off about 15 metres across the bottom and started by setting up the 'Black Rum' course as I had converted it to a square measure for the Uly event but it didn't look right so I wanted to check the measurements. That didn't take long and since it was set-up, we started on that one.
The amazing thing about the Slow Riding / Police Rodeo / Gymkhana (call it what you will) is that you can do it one week and nail it, then try the same thing a week later and be utter crap....and so was the case today. I was whistling through Black Rum the other week, but today I just couldn't get it....at first. Try as I might, I just got more frustrated as I watched Jason nail it time after time, and then the light came on and I had the ST sliding through the cones and just managing to stay within the perimeter of cones....and all it took was the confidence to up the pace a little!!
That done, we decided to try 'The Shield'. This is one of my preferred options as it is quick and easy to set up but very challenging and one tends to get fatigued before getting bored. Jason was doing really well so we took the bull by the horns and went straight to the standard size layout. I don't think I've ever gone below 10% over on this one so it was a real challenge for me and once again I was in for a good dose of struggle and frustration!!.....*sigh*
I did 'sort of' manage to get around the course but I was never really happy with my performance as I found that at times I would really cruise through parts but I couldn't string all the good parts together on any one run. It was after midday before we were starting to get fatigued and decided to call it quits for the day.
The second aim for the day was to get some more experimentation in for the Go Pro and this time, I had decided to try mounting the camera on the front of the bike below the screen. This worked out quite well and I did get some good video and pix.
After we'd packed up I continued with my road testing by heading up to the Blue Mountains Rd to record it as one of Wellington's Curvy Roads. Because mounting the Suction cup on the front of the bike means removing a couple of extension links, the footage is much more stable, plus I have the advantage of being able to see the red record light at the back of the unit so I know when it's operating.
All in all, it was another good day and even though I've been doing lot's of riding lately but no Km's...the bike has over 33,000 on the clock. I'm looking forward to some good weather and a good romp though, and hopefully that will happen next Sunday when we are programmed to meet up with the Hawkes Bay Branch at the Balance Cafe.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.