This week’s ride was scheduled as a Wellington Scenic Round-the-Bays, which is a bit dry as far as rides go but provides a bit of variation and is a relaxed social ride.
My gear was getting a bit stinky so I gave it wash on Friday night then Mike rang me on Saturday to see if I could take a pillion and as Ann was busy, I agreed and got away from home at 0840 to swing by Whitby to meet them. That meant we were early enough for a quick blat over the hill and back before the ride. By the time we got to Brown Owl, it was 0933 and only 9° with the road still a bit wet, so a bit of care was required but it was quite a good wee blat before having to show constraint within the city limits.
We arrived back just in time as the lead riders were pulling out so slipped in at the rear of a group of 17 bikes to head back into town, around the quays to Oriental Bay, vans Bay, Shelly Bay and the first brief stop at Scorching Bay. From there we continued through Seatoun, Breaker Bay (didn't see any ambergris but!), Lyall Bay, Houghton Bay, Island Bay and a pause a Ohiro Bay before going up through Brooklyn, Aro Valley and Kelburn before the next stop on Wrights Hill in Karori. By this time, it was warming up nicely and some strolled up to the lookout while the the rest of us just 'chilled out' and chewed the fat.
From here I took over as TEC to follow the bunch out to Makara for another stop before the last leg back to Johnsonville, onto the motorway and out to Whenua Tapu where we diverted back to Plimmerton via Airley Road and finally, lunch at the sandbar just before 1400 where the dozen or so riders that were left posed for a photo with our visitor from Canberra and her pet plastic blow-up sheep.
I finally got home around 1500 in a pleasant 15°, 260Kms for the day and 49,455 Kms on the bike. That's 500Kms on the new Storms and they feel awesome so with only 3 weeks until the Grand Challenge, 5 weeks until the Manfield Training Day, 6 weeks until the Capital 1000K Cruise and 9 weeks until the Muscular Dystrophy Run......bring it on!
Nanny Ann bought a Spa Pool last week which was delivered on Monday. I wasn’t that keen and when I realized I would have paint the house starting at that part, I was even less impressed. (I did buy the paint last October but!......I’ve just had too many K’s to do!) Anyway, the pool was delivered Monday but had to be leveled, which was done Tuesday and I went in for a brief, only to find that to own a spa you need to be a chemist as well as a janitor……wow, and I had the privilege of paying for all this. I filled it Wednesday and embarked on the associated processes but it only got to about 30˚ by that night so the first try-out was a dawn breaker on Thursday.
This thing is designed to accommodate three people, one reclining with a jet system that massages your back and blasts your shoulders, while another gives your feet a Shiatsu. The other two positions are seated with 3 & 4 jet systems. I was expecting this wee investment should invigorate me, breathing new life into my tired back and arthritic hip……yeah right! A few days later and I can feel all the aches and pains that my brain has been carefully masking and ignoring….Bloody Marvelous!......so by the time Sunday came round I really did need to ride.
This week’s ride was to go up through Shannon, over the track and back to Carterton for lunch, departing from the Plimmerton Weigh Station at 0930.
I was up before 0800, greeted by brilliant sunshine, a quick cuppa & toast and on the road by 0840 for a fill at Shell Mana, arriving at Plimmerton just after 0900.
There were already a dozen or so there and we chatted until 0930, had a quick brief, then 22 bikes headed off with me on TEC duty. It was an uneventful ride up SH1 until Paraparaumu when another 3 riders caught-up and joined us, then 1 pulled off at the turn-off prior to Levin. From there we rode through to Shannon where the small tanks could top-up….and hello! ….there was Neil, topping up his ST….again.
After regrouping in Shannon, with my economy at just shy of 19K/Ltr, Ken took over as TEC and I pootled along, marking a turnoff, then riding back through the group, checking briefly at the Aokautere turnoff as well to ensure the following riders wouldn’t miss it. I had a bit of a fang up the hill and over the Track, relieving Steve at the Mangamaire turnoff, until after about 10 minutes and I was still a few short, I decided to go back up the hill to check things out. Apparently one of the riders had had a wee incident, but all was OK and I settled in the front of this group, riding through to SH2. We were over half an hour behind the main bunch by now and most had already headed on to Carterton so we puttered on pausing briefly and enjoying the sun at Mt Bruce, finally getting to the Wild Oats at about 1300, only to find the town was packed because of Daffodil Day.
Some had stayed here but most had carried on to Featherston, because of the crowds, so after a brief chat, I decided to head on as well, enjoying a Ginger beer and a coffee at the Tin Hut. We finally left around 1500 and I had another Fang over the hill finally getting home at about 1350, 340 Kms done for the day at 18.1K/Ltr, in temperatures of 12-15˚ and the bike now has 48,945Kms on it. I’ll take it in this week to get a new set of Storms fitted.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.