Bloody marvellous! I went for my first conditioning ride this morning. I decided that about 500km would be good and worked out a route up by Wangas, then across and back through the Wai’rapa, which ended up at 530km, would be just what the doctor ordered. The straight and boring ride up ‘1’ & ‘3’ to Wangas would be arse numbing and on an early (0700) start I wouldn’t have to worry about cold, damp patches, then I could enjoy a few nice roads on the way home. And when it worked out at 530km, I thought, ‘all good, I’ll try to do it on one tank’. It would have been easy on the old Red, but this bike just isn’t as economical so it would require some ‘smooth’.
I went up to Fordell, then heading through Kauangaroa and hello, my bike felt funny!
I hop off, kick the rear tyre, very spongy….ahhhh FFS! Put bike on centre stand, give rear a spin and nothing…..ahhh FFS!
Get out compressor, start huffing and hello, there’s a largish hole and inch or so off centre and right in the side of one of the tread grooves.
Pull out kit from under the seat, dog turds old but nice and soft, two tubes of vulcanising goo, one had been opened and was shot, other is unused and good.
Put reamer through tyre, slightly difficult but goes through. Thread dog turd into other end, coat with goo, try to work through the tyre. Tyre just flexes so figure a bit of air might help, turn on compressor…..nothing……ahhhh FFS!!!
Check connection at lighter socket in top-box and the plug on the compressor is disintegrating …….you guessed it……ahhhh FFS!
Nice man in truck had just pulled up, “I’ve got some air”, he says, “but not sure how we’ll get it in there?” I show him elbow attachment, fit it and do the deeds on the doggy-doo-plug.
He blows some air in, I check, “5psi, have another go”, more air goes in, “15psi, I need 40” has another go and gets it to 33psi. “She’ll be right I say, that’ll get me into Wangas”
Thanks are given and we are both on our way back to Fordell. There’s quite a bit of crap through there from the flooding and obviously a sharp stone had done the deed on what I would have called ‘very good tyres’. 8,000km done of 12-15,000km usually, so between ½ & ⅔ worn but with very good looking deep tread and life.
Get to Wangas, “Hello, Honda shop has disappeared”, have a look around, need a piss and air in the tyre, so stop at Z Dublin, come out of shop and looking for someone to ask and hello, there’s a chap with two M/Cs on a trailer,
“Any bike shops around?”
“I’m a bike shop” says he, “Well a bike mechanic” he qualifies.
“Had a puncture and want to get it plugged.”
“Oh bugger” he says, “I’m just delivering these and can’t help you….and the bloody shops around here are rough on your rims”. He has a look, “That’s bloody good, it’s sealed well, they reckon ya shouldn’t ride far on ‘em, but they’ll last 6 months those things.
‘Yeah right’ I thinks, but says, “She’s right, I’ll go to Palmy.”
….so more air goes in …..but not until after I realise that my valve cap and elbow attachment are still on the ground at Kauangaroa!!!.......you got it……..ahhh FFS!! and off I go.
Gets to Sanson and just comes home. Oddly enough, the economy was better on the way home!
Now I needs to fix the compressor or get one of those natty little ones off Andrew at TSS, plus the Wof-able plug kit that comes with a small back-up bike type pump….and a new tyre at this point (start of my conditioning rides) will be most inconvenient.
What a bloody bummer!
My day turned to shit because I only got to do the boring, shit part of the ride….upside I guess is, that the 400+km I did would have to be rated highly for butt-hardening, but I was really looking forward to the scoot across to the Wai’rapa where I was going to venture over to Route 52 from Pahiatua and it’s nice flowy stuff through there….and call in to visit my mum.
My whole conditioning programme has been shot to shit because I was looking to do somewhere between 3-5,000km over the next month, then put a brand new set of Z8’s on for the NI1600. I wouldn’t normally do that much conditioning, but the state of the tyres meant I needed to use them up, plus I’ve been working 7-day weeks for all of the last 3 months,…..except for two Sundays I took off to have a ride….I deserve some nice Km’s!!! Also, this bike only has 68,000km on it. At the same age, the old Red had over 120,000km!
There’s not much change from $750 after fitting a set of tyres to the ST. A few more km would have been nice and I have to have it fixed by Friday because I’m booked to take the bike up to KSS to get the new rear shock fitted after a recall on them.
Upside….better it happened now rather than in the pissing rain, at 0200 in the morning in the back of beyond on the NI1600, because now I know I need to upgrade my tyre repair kit and I guess I better check the 1st aid kit at the same time.
Damn, two months between rides is tough going. I got a bit of a surprise when I filled this morning to see that the last fill was on 14 June and even if I hadn't been working 7 days a week since that last ride, I doubt I would have been out much as the weather has been such crap. I don't mind riding in the rain but what gets me is the focus required to find a line through the tar slicks. Our roads really are in crappy condition.
I was supposed to work today but last night I thought, “Bugger it!”, work can wait and I was going to take the day off to go on a Wgtn Uly ride. It wasn't much being just up to the Bridge Cafe, at Ballance (by the Manawatu Gorge), but at least it wouldn't be too onerous if the weather did get a bit nasty.
I got away from home before 0900 and went into town to get on the motorway because I still had 3 bars on the fuel gauge and I wanted to make sure I could put at least $40 in the tank in order to get the AA discount at BP Mana. I also went for a wee scoot around the Pauatahunui inlet before filling, but I didn't need to as it took $41.50 which thanks to a couple of fills in the car to earn some extra credits, only cost me $37.
I arrived at the Plimmerton Weigh station at about 0940, chatted and farted around with the phone to try and get the Sena sorted. Last night I had tried to upgrade the firmware, but my unit wouldn't hook up to the notebook, so I did Ann's one and used that today, but it didn't have any connections in it. I didn't manage to get it set up though so hit the road with just music going.
The ride up SH1 was pretty uneventful, except for scraping a boot as I went around the outside through the roundabout at Otaihanga, then receiving a phone call from Ann up around Tokomaru. That was the first time I'd managed to answer a phone call and I managed to give her half the recipe for pumpkin soup before it cut out.
The roads were a mix of wet and dry but got wetter as we approached the Track, then wet and gritty as we turned north. We got to the cafe just before midday and I just had a bowl latte and scone. Food was OK but the guys that got big breakfasts had their plates loaded with fungus.
The group of 11 split down to 7 for the return through the Wai'rapa and three of those needed fuel at Woodville....sheesh, I was only 2 bars off full! (not even down to ¾ of a tank). More uneventful riding on wetter roads and although the sky to the south looked particularly dark and menacing, it didn't amount to much in the end. The ride over the hill was pretty tame as I'm never prepared to push the limits there, especially when it's wet.
I finally got home at about 1540, having done 362km for the day. It was ok for a bit of a blowout and I guess it was a nice soft start for all the conditioning that is needed for the NI1600, coming up on 11 October. Lynn will be back to work at the end of this month so I'm expecting September to be a big riding month.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.