After getting a bit tingly 150km into last week's ride, I had a meeting and decided I needed to Harden The Butt Up and conditioning rides were needed for the upcoming Nth Is 1600 and C1KC.
With the weather forecast for today looking pretty good, I figured a 500-800km ride was on the cards, but nothing north of Hunterville due to all the snow induced road closures this week and a plan formed that included a squirt into the Pohangina Valley, followed by a scoot into the Hawkes Bay. A quick call to Steve confirmed I would have a buddy, who also need to Harden the Butt Up and we were on for an 0830 meet at BP Mana.
The day dawned dry, but overcast and I got away from home at 0810, had just started to fill at BP when Steve arrived and we got on the road at just after 0830 with the GPS telling me we had an ETA (at home) of 1701. That should be a nice wee ride ….or would be if it were a bit warmer than 5°!!....so I flicked the heated grips on.
As is usual when Steve and I get together for this sort of ride, we pretty much slot straight into GC mode, although since we were going up SH1, it was a sedate but steady pace and we were soon turning off before Levin, scooting through Shannon, around through Linton, on to Ashhurst and straight through to a point about 25km up the Pohangina Valley. We were in our element and after the slow start up the Kapiti Coast, we now had our moving average up to 89kph, and the ETA was down to 1650, but the low temps meant that with only 170km done, I was making a beeline for the bushes! Damn.....Go away bladder!!
After a quick look around and a chat, the ETA was back to 1705, we headed back to Ashhurst and over the Saddle, (which I must say is in rather poor condition at this time), then we bypassed Woodville and took Top Grass Rd to Dannevirke, up SH's 2 & 50 to top up fuel in Taradale, then headed back to the chocolate factory cafe on Links Rd. (Last time we stopped there was on the way to the start of the Southern Cross in 2009).
We were half way into the ride at about 360km and by this time the ETA was back down to 1644 and the moving average up to 95kph, but over an hour for lunch put paid to that and by the time we were ready to hit the road again, our ETA was out to 1610. Damn! That didn't leave a lot of scope for variations or explorations!
By now the temp was hovering around 12° as we nipped across to Clive and a new road for me...and that would be Kahuranaki Rd.
I've decided that Kahurunaki Rd is quite nice. There are few off camber corners, but generally it just flows along and does wonders for ones ETA because by the time we got to Patangata, that was back to 1750. All good though, and with that road checked out, we settled back into our groove and from Waipawa, Steve led the quite-brisk scoot for home. That in itself was quite the mixed bag as early on, it looked quite gloomy and the temp bottomed out at 7°, then as we got close to home, we were treated to some sun and more 11-12°. The ride over the hill was quite brisk going up, but relaxed and just sitting in the flow going down, then Steve pulled off at Brown Owl and I hunkered down for the last 30km.
As far as taking a cement pill and Hardening The Butt Up goes, the day was very good. The 1st 350km was a breeze and doing a solid 340km for home saw me starting to drop a leg about half-way along and I didn't start to get too uncomfortable until about 250km. Nothing a bit of jiggling about and standing on the pegs couldn't sort, but I was pretty glad to get off the back when I pulled into the garage at 1741.
Bloody great day though. A real pleasure to just get on the bike and get the job done with no pissing around or waiting for others, and to be riding with a long time buddy, or kindrid spirit that likes nothing better than a curly road and lots of it.
Stats for the day: bike says I did 739.3km but the GPS says I only did 729km?? Moving time was 7:52 for an average pace of 92kph. The temp varied between 5 & 14° and the economy was around 17.2 Km/Ltr.....and the bike now has 47,178Km on it. One or two more of these and I think I'll be good to go for the thousand miler!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.