We had a reasonable ride this week which was supposed to go up SH1, avoiding Sanson and Ohakea to get to Bulls, then head off through Santoft (a road I haven’t done for 30+ years) then cut across to Ashhurst via Halcombe (204Kms) for lunch at the Fusion café…...but the best laid plans!
The weather forecast wasn’t great for Sunday but I figured, since I haven’t done much riding lately I would see who turned up and go for a ride anyway.
I gave the bike a quick check over on Saturday and noted the tyres were getting down a bit with a most unusual wear pattern, which I can only attribute to the delights of the TT2000 on those South Island roads. The rear was down to the marker strips in the centre but the side tread was OK and the front was down to the marker strips on the sides but with plenty of tread in the centre…and both tyres have squared off a bit. ‘Not to worry’, I thought, club ride…I’ll ride conservatively and see how they are before we head sown south next month.
The day dawned with grey skies, but looked like rain would be unlikely and therefore a good day for riding. I got away from home just after 0900, with the temp at 14°, topped up at BP Paremata and proceeded to the meeting point at the Plimmerton Weigh Station.
By 1000 there were five of us, so I led out and the traffic was heavy enough to get the economy up to 20.3K/Ltr but light enough that we were able to maintain a reasonable pace until heading out of Levin and the weather to the North-West looked grim but one could see blue skies to the North-East. Entering Foxton, the grim looking weather actually made its presence felt so I pulled into the abandoned gas station for a quick consensus and after consulting the map, we had a change of plan.
Steve took over the lead and I dropped back to TEC as we diverted across to Shannon and took SH57 to Ashhurst. From there we went over the Saddle, pausing to take in the view and commenting at the strange way many of the turbines were pointing in different directions, before dropping down to Woodville for a top-up (I wasn’t even down to half a tank at this stage). Then we took Pinfold and Top Grass Roads to Dannevirke for lunch at the Black Stump café. It was most odd as we were now on 204Kms which was the exact same as our original plan for getting to lunch in Ashhurst.
After a pleasant stop, the five of us remained together for the trip home and we popped back to Oringi, where we diverted over Jackson and Bluff Roads to bring us back to SH2 between Woodville and Pahiatua. Then down through Eketahuna for another diversion through Mauriceville, where Steve paused so I assumed the lead to the Loopline and another stop at the Mobil on Ngamutawa Rd for Steve to top-up. (by this time I was down to 3 bars and estimated another 200Kms in the tank).
I led out again for the final run home and with the thickening traffic on SH2, by the time I was heading into Greytown I could no longer pick-out the others behind, so I maintained the steady pace until the Hill, but with still no sign of them I upped it a bit. The ride over the Rimutakas was pretty good, with few problems getting past the traffic even though I was still conscious of taking it easy on the tyres and by the time I was dropping into the 70kph limit at Brown Owl, the heavens opened and it really pissed down….so much so that the cage drivers forgot how to drive and the queue of traffic backed right past Akatarawa Road and onto the hill. No worries though, I just filtered on through to the motorway.
From here on in the traffic was thick and the road was swimmingly wet as it continued to bucket down. I was trying to be careful to avoid any paint and slick spots, but coming out of the lights at Gibbons St, I had crossed into the left lane and was accelerating to pass a Holden when I’m not sure if the rear twitched or I just had a premonition that it was going to twitch, so I buttoned off and settled into the flow.
There were no more hints of problems and I was soon stripping off the wet gear in my garage, when I heard an odd sizzling noise. At first I thought it was just water dripping off the bags onto the pipes, but it was too consistent so I bent down to check. I couldn’t see anything and had to get on my hands and knees to ascertain that it was coming from the floor under the rear tyre….Surely Not!.... Hmmmm….I put the bike on the main stand and got down again but had to get the torch before I could spot the bastard and sure enough, the air had been bubbling out of a hole which had nothing lodged to show the cause.
Bloody hell, it was no wonder it had punctured because the rear was looking almost as bald as a badger…..or Steve…or perhaps Ken with a little fluff around the sides and I was exceedingly grateful that it hadn’t happened on the road and I would have had to done the repair thing in that abysmal weather.
After going around and about, it was a great day, doing 440Kms at an average of 19.1K/Ltr in temps generally around 13°, but I had the liner in and the Spidi gloves on so I was pretty comfortable. The bike now has 91975Kms on it, continues to run like a dream and is checked-in to get its’ 10th rear and 7th front…hopefully with Storms to be the order of the day.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.