The first day of 2009 dawned sunny and clear and with nothing in particular to do, we felt the need for a ride, so decided to go to Masterton to visit and pay our respects at my father’s grave.
By the time we got ready, it was 1205 when we left and a very warm 22° as we puttered along the Hutt Road, encountering the odd caged psycho, but staying well clear of trouble. There's a lot to be said for reading body language, even when it is a cage, but having plates like HIRISK certainly makes it easier to identify someone that's likely to switch lanes on you.......although to be fair, I did identify he was likely to change lanes and held back to create the gap for him, then later on the River road when he was at the back of a queue, he left plenty of room for us to slide through, as did many of the cars we encountered on this particularly nice day.
It was rather windy on the Hill, but as usual, a tail wind heading north, which didn't pose too many problems and as we weren't in any particular hurry, we took it easy and were soon coming into Featherston when a bird flew into the front of the bike so I paused to check the radiator was clear before heading on via Martinborough and the back route past Gladstone to come out on Johnstone St and right by the new cemetery.
By now it was 25° so we didn't linger too long at the graveside and were soon on our way back and this time down SH2 to visit my sister at Woodside. She was out when we got there so we had a cuppa and chatted with the kids for a bit before heading on again.
Coming back over the Hill was into the wind this time, which was reasonably strong, so care was taken to go down that extra gear for the exposed left handers and we were soon back on the Hutt Rd, detouring through Johnsonville to pick-up some vid's for a relaxing evening.
We got home at 1630, with the temp still at 20°, although it felt much warmer, and the economy was up at 18.1k/ltr after doing 250Kms for the day. A nice short ride to start the year.
We're off to the races at Tauherenikau tomorrow and it's supposed to be crap on Saturday (when I'm supposed to be doing a bit of painting) so I'll wait and see what Sunday brings before deciding if I have another ride before taking the bike in for a warrant and new rear tyre on Monday.
What another great year it’s been! At this time last year I decided I had blown the budget and should ease up on the K's after having done 30,000 for the year. I didn't do very well though because I've managed nearly 28,000 this year, which is odd because it feels like I've done a lot less riding this year.
My highlights for the year were;
Going to the Australian Tennis Open in January, which was a good trip even though I’m not really into tennis. I’d probably prefer Melbourne when the Philip Island MotoGP is on but since Ann is right into her tennis, I guess I’ll be settling for January trips henceforth.
In February, Ann and I did a day trip to the Art Deco Festival with Steve. (That’s always an interesting event and they seem to get great weather).
The Mini's Return in March was awesome. I managed 5,600Kms in 9 days which included two 1,000Km days. The weather was superb, the roads fantastic and I was in good company most of the time, although I did travel alone on 5 of the days.
The Kiwibiker Gathering in June was another good weekend away and we were introduced to some interesting Hawkes Bay roads by MSTRS.
Completing my 3rd Grand Challenge in October was the most difficult ride and oddly enough, I found it harder than last years ride with the extension. I think it was harder because most of the first half of the ride was on curly roads and the concentration required to push the pace in the first half increased the fatigue factor late in the ride. It didn’t help either when I watched my mate Steve go down in front of me, at about 2am, and breaking his collarbone.
November was a big month with another Training Day at Manfield, The Capital 1000K Cruise and my 4th Muscular Dystrophy (MDA) Ride. This month also had the lowest point though as Steve, Trevor and myself were riding with, and witnessed Grub die on the C1KC ride.
After having problems obtaining them initially, finally fitting Avon Storm tyres to the bike this year made a huge difference to the handling and my confidence. I now buy them in advance to ensure I can just change them when I'm ready. The year has raced by and once again, I consider that I’ve spent way too much money on riding and should cut back…….but there’s some great rides programmed for 2009!!??
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.