Two weeks of not much riding, but it's been quite eventful.
A couple of us were talking on Tuesday of last week about going down to Blenheim for the 'Longest Day' 1000km endurance ride on 3 November when I suggested, “Why bother with the Ferry, we can organise our own ride”. The next day I had established several route options, but on that day, my mate Steve came to grief when his 'Busa decided it didn't like p-gravel.
He wasn't going to be much help (and it put him out of the GC) so I picked a route and posted it on the Ulysses and Kiwibiker websights. There seems to be a bit of interest on the KB site so it looks like we might end up with 10 – 20 riders...another ride to look forward to!
I had a visit from my mates Jake & Eleni and she's walking now. Jake and I still go through our pantomime of good form and manners before he gets his treat, but she just walks in with her hand out and a big grin.
I have been taking it easy on the riding to try and preserve my tyres so they only have 6 – 7000kms on them by the 1000 miler. I didn't have a ride organised for this weekend but when we got up Saturday morning and I asked Nanny Ann what she had on or wanted to do, we soon decided to visit her parents in Waverley and we were on the road by 0730. We took the direct route up SH's 1 & 3, so as usual, to make it more interesting I focused on the economy. By sitting under 110kph I soon had it up to 18.3 k/ltr but couldn't seem to get it much better so I tried slip-streaming some vehicles and I was soon sitting between 110 & 120 and getting the same economy. We eventually got to Maumahaki at about 1005. I went off and visited a few friends and we were back on the road around 1530. Another uneventful trip, we were back in Wellington about 1800, with near on 500kms up for the day.
Today I was booked in to photograph some ladies from the Country Womens Institute, on motorbikes, for a calender. I headed out to Maidstone Park about 1120 to recce for a good spot, then headed to Ron's for a coffee and sandwich before the shoot. We went back around 1300 with 8 bikes and a dozen ladies were there, some in their fishnet stockings and boas, ready for action. It was good fun and hopefully we'll have a few good shots for them to use.
From there it was home and straight back out to go to the World of Wearableart. It was an excellent show, with shades of Cirqu-du-Soliel and definitely worth a WOW. Afterwards, we went for dinner and I got pinged at 65kph on the way home. Another 20 demerit points...Bugger!!
I have booked my bike in for its' 18,000 km service on Tuesday, so needed to do a 400+ km ride this weekend to get the kms on the dial. The plan was to do a pre-GC (Grand Challenge 1000miler) night ride, probably over the 'hill', up through Pongaroa to Dannevirke, Saddle then Track, back over the 'hill', Akatarawa Road to Waikanae and back to home. (approximately 450 -500 kms). But after meeting up with DennisR in Motorad on Friday, I had a change of plan as he and Bazza57 were looking at a ride on Saturday, Dennis just a short one as he's in recovery mode, but Bazza had a full day leave pass and obviously needed a buddy.
It wasn't a hard decision to can the night ride and hook up with the boys at 1000hrs at Fraser Park on Saturday, a quick decision to have a coffee in Martinborough, after which Dennis would return and we would carry on. Bazza was looking to do something different so it was decided to go to Wanganui for lunch, via a few back roads.
We got away from Fraser Park and had an easy ride of the 'hill', arriving in Martinborough at 1055, economy at 17.8 k/ltr. After a coffee and chat, we farewelled Dennis at 1135hrs and took the back road past Gladstone, diverting off Lees Pakaraka Rd to Te Ore Ore Rd, bypassing Masterton, then heading out on the Bideford Rd through Afredton and Tane to Pahiatua. We were only sitting on 110 – 120 but the Pilot Road II's felt a little insecure through here, moving slightly on a couple of smooth patches and road markings and I even baled on a couple of corners. We averaged 100kph over the first hour but, and kept that up through Woodville, over the Saddle and out through Cheltenham, although I was still feeling uncomfortable on my tyres and Bazza was all over me on the FJR through the tight stuff coming up to Vinegar Hill.
From there we headed down to Hunterville and over to Wanganui via Fordell, always a nice ride, and we arrived in Wanganui at 1450hrs, 365kms on the clock and economy down to 16.8k/ltr, and although Bazza had managed 17.3k/ltr we decided to fill-up here before heading on to Bulls for a Donor Kebab.
We finally got back on the road heading straight down SH1 taking the Paekak' Hill to Pauatahanui, where Bazza went home via Haywoods and I came back through Whitby, arriving home at 1750hrs, 566kms up and 17.4 on the economy. I will be able to clean the bike tommorrow and take it in for the service on Tuesday. 18,150 kms in 7½ months...I'm glad I bought a big tourer but I'm not that happy with the tyres.
I never felt that happy with the feel of the OEM Battlaxs and although the Conti Road Attack was great on the back for the first 4500kms, it didn't wear well, felt awful after that, and was shot by 9500kms. After 4000kms the Pilot Road 2's are wearing very well (showing minimal signs) but I don't feel totally confident on them. It's a bit disconcerting as Hitcher prefers the PR2's to the Storms on his FJR, but I think I may have to try the Storms next.
Last Sunday, after spending most of the week in Masterton with my family, it was a lovely day and I felt the need for a blow-out, so I popped out to Riversdale for a coffee. Without really pushing it I got out to the beach in 28 minutes and went for a wee tiki tour / nostalgia trip to check out the old haunts. It's a very different place to where we used to holiday. I enjoyed a coffee at the shop, then realised I was supposed to be back for a family gathering in 20 minutes, so it was a fairly quick trip back, taking a bit over 25 minutes. That certainly blew the cobwebs out and I found that with the screen up, the ST feels the same at very high speed as it does at 100kph.
Today was a great day too, I was supposed to go on a Ulysses ride but with the Cold Kiwi on, I didn't expect a big turn-out. I left Ngaio at around 0920 taking a casual run out to Caltex Rimutuka, where I pumped the tyres and gassed-up. Nasty and Grub were there for the TCSMR with not much of a turn-out and after popping down to Brown Owl to see off six Ulysses riders, two of us returned to Rimutex to boost the KB ride. There were six of us there and we decided to do the Gladstone Water Towers, leaving at about 1010. It was Grubs first venture out, back on the bike after his enforced layoff so we took it pretty easy, stopping briefly at the Summit before heading on to Featherstone in the rain. That soon cleared though and we were soon cutting through the wind along the Martinborough straits, having a brief pause to regroup by the town square before taking the back road past Gladstone, then looping out past the water towers and back through Stronvar. We were only sitting on 100kph which was lucky as we passed a couple of the local law enforcers monitoring the roads and eventually got back to the Gladstone Pub for lunch at 1205.
It was about 14ºC, but the fire was going and the place was packed with tables reserved for guests yet to arrive so we were offered the covered pool table. Suited us and we had an enjoyable feed and chat before eventually heading back via the middle (Ponatahi) road about 1400, a fill-up in Featherstone, a good burst up the hill and I left the others at the summit to go visiting relly's.
I eventually got home about 1630, 280kms for the day and the very 'cruisy' Spring ride was just what the doctored ordered.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.