We had two rides this weekend!
The first was a wee overnighter for Ann & I up to South Taranaki for the opening of the new tino flash Dining and Ablution facilities, at her marae. We departed from work before lunch on Friday, pootled over to Masterton to visit mum, then over the Track for a fill in Palmy, before idling up SH3 to Kai Iwi Marae, where we helped with food prep for Saturday morning. For me, that included peeling kumaras, cutting up fillets for raw fish, slicing up sheep livers and slicing and dicing onions, but we were only catering for 300+, so it wasn’t tooooo many!
I hit the sack at 1030 but Ann, a little worse for wear, oozed in at about 0300 which wasn’t too long before I had to get up at 0350! We loaded up all the food and gear then transported it up to Nukumaru just before 0600, when the formalities were completed but the speeches were still flowing thick and fast. We took the brand new, empty kitchen by storm, firing everything up, carting in all the plates, utensils and food and got to work, which for Peter & I, was frying up a 40Litre container of bacon on a rather large bar-b-que, while about 20 fish were baking in a big gas bar-b-oven (we were outside and out of the chaos). Needless to say, there was heaps of tucker, all were well fed and we were cleaned up by 1030, when we were able to relax, catch-up with various whanau and hit the road back around 1500.
We were both knackered, so hit the sack early….and then it was Sunday!
This weeks Uly Ride was an economy run. I had come up with a plan to do 200Km up to Woodville via backroads that would require a little riding finesse to negotiate with minimal fuel consumption, while at the same time providing little traffic, which arseholes like myself would use to their advantage. We then heard that the Woodville Caltex would be out of action for 6 weeks, so we clipped a section around the Water Towers, which meant we still had 200Km to Ashhurst.
To gain a little more advantage I was planning to fill with BP 98 Ultimate, but unfortunately the cheapskates that live in Upper Hutt won’t buy the stuff, so it’s not available and I had to settle for the usual Caltex 95!
I had to get up a bit earlier than usual to give myself time to call into the office in order to create and print notes to record the participants and their results, grab a few pens, scoot out to fill at Caltex, including an extra 5 ltrs in case anyone fell short, and get to the Brown Owl start point early.
We distributed the notes, briefed, appointed Steve at the front, Ken at the rear and myself as rover (to mark corners or take 2nd lead if the group fractured) and got away sometime after 1000. I got out of the blocks early, with my ploy being to get a smooth descent down the hill, maximizing my economy with minimal braking and just freewheeling, but I probably blew any advantage by passing all the cars I needed to going up. Oh well, I was most gentlemanly and sedate on my passing manouvres and on 17.5Km/Ltr when I got to Featherston so I wasn’t that bad!
Heading out from the regroup, there was a big split so I slotted in to lead on the 2nd group for themeander over to the square in Martinborough (where the economy had upped to 18.7Km/Ltr), left late from there, paused to mark Hinekura Rd, scooted (sedatedly) to the front to mark Lees Pakaraka Rd (although Murray had stayed there from the 1st group) then I just sat near the rear of the group to the Te Ore Ore turnoff and out to Alfredton.
All was going well at this point with my economy up to 19.5Km/Ltr and still rising, there were now two distinct groups on the road with Jim leading the 2nd group so I was content to sit back and enjoy the ride, but as we rode from Alfredton to Pahiatua, I noticed the bike start to wallow a bit and feared I might have a problem with the rear. It didn’t seem too bad though so I opted to continue to Pahiatua before checking it, where I was surprised to see how flat and damaged it was…..Bugger!!
I waited for Ken to arrive to advise my predicament and that I would retire from the ride, then went across to the BP to carry out repairs. With the bike on the centre stand I was able to determine that there were no items in the tyre and no discernible air in the tyre, so pumped it up a bit then had another look and listen. That revealed three splits, with something in them that I presumed to be glass and proceeded to plug them with ‘Dog Turds’.
This was a problem because two of the holes were less than a centimeter apart, with one of them about half a centimeter long, so it didn’t seal properly and I had just used my last plug (not that any more would have been much use to me) so I packed up, put my kit on, topped up with air and headed for Eketahuna where I stopped at the GAS for another top up. I was losing air faster than I would have liked but endeavoured to continue to limp home and would make another ‘D’ at Masterton……but I didn’t get that far.
I went past Mt Bruce and was halfway along the big straight when the rear blew out with a bang and a big shimmy, which made me thank my lucky stars I hadn’t been negotiating a corner at the time. The verge dropped away from the road along here so I had to just pull-up as far left as possible, then checked to confirm that the tyre was totally trashed. The bike wasn’t going anywhere under its own steam so there was nothing for it but to call Roadside Assist (which comes with the NAC Insurance).
I sat around for about 45 minutes before the truck got to me, (which I thought was pretty good for a Sunday as it was near on 30 minutes from Masterton) we loaded the bike and stropped it down, then he transported us to Mum’s in Masterton and I had already arranged for Ken to pick me up from there. Ken turned up on the GS about 10 minutes later and we prepared for the trip home at which time, I apologized in advance in case I turned out to be a bad pillion.
That turned out to be the case because when I looked at the big fat bags and thought about my dodgy hip, I doubted I would get a leg over, so I nearly gave Ken a hernia as he tried to support the bike with my 90+Kgs being planted on the left footpeg…then I found I still couldn’t get the other leg over so I dropped a knee on the seat to centralise the weight for him. Then I couldn’t move because I was laughing so much at my predicament, but I eventually got into position…only to find my legs spread to the limit and had to comment to Ken that his arse was fatter than the ST’s tank!! I was a bit worried up at this point that I would seize up but fortunately the GS is tall enough that I was able to drop my left leg on occasions to relieve the discomfort and I was also surprised that once we got on the hill, applying a bit of pressure as I shifted weight for the corners seemed to provide some relief as well…..an then we got home!
What a laugh! Ken pulled up as close to the curb as possible and fortunately, right beside a power pole, so I attempted to slide off, but with everything at full stretch (which isn’t very much), I found myself with on foot on the ground, one stuck on the seat and if I didn’t have my back propped up on the pole, I would have ended up in a heap on the ground. Once again my mirth at the situation I found myself in, made it even more difficult to complete the manouvre.
I did manage to get off though, so Ken could get on his way and I hobbled up to collapse on a lazyboy and crash out for an hour or so.
That’s the 2nd tyre in a row that has failed to make the distance due to sever puncturing and thank God it didn’t happen in the middle of the night in the back of beyond on a GC or TT. The last one only made it 4,000Km but at least this one was on 8,800Km, although it did seem to be wearing well, with plenty of life left in it prior to this. It has buggered me up though in terms of tyre life by the time we get to the next GC in October….but time will tell.
I still have to retrieve the bike from Masterton but I have a tyre ready to go and will probably bring it back on Wednesday.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.