Today was a cruisy social ride to lunch at the Station Hotel in Hunterville via Apiti. The weather was supposed to be good on the west coast and we thought we might have a good turnout but in the end, only 8 riders departed for Shannon and 5 completed the ride.
We weren’t expected to arrive until 1300 so we planned half a dozen route options varying between, 155Kms for the direct route up SH1 to 260Kms for the Apiti Loop and exit via Ohingaiti. This meant that we could vary the ride time depending on how many turned up, traffic conditions on SH1 and our progress so in the end, we did the 255Km Apiti Loop and Vinegar Hill.
Apart from cleaning the bike last weekend and gassing up the other day, I’d done nothing to it since the GC and last night, all I had to do was put a bit of air in the tyres and throw the wets onboard. Then this morning, it was just a matter of kit up and ride to the meeting point at Plimmerton Weigh Station, getting there at 0930. After the usual chat etc, we were on our way just after 1000 with me at TEC and the usual non-eventful ride up SH1.
We paused in Shannon for 30 minutes, losing two riders here and at this point, decided that Apiti would be OK, so I led out from here to Ashhurst, losing another rider at the Track turnoff. A couple of riders needed gas in Ashhurst so we took that opportunity to put our wets on before heading into the gloomy Pohangina Valley. I led on again, dropping the pace a notch for the wet and gritty roads, but the group had no problems sticking together and as the roads dried around Umutoi, we were able to lift it again and made good time through to Cheltenham and over Vinegar Hill, arriving in Hunterville about 1330.
The feed at the Station Hotel was pretty good and I ended up returning on the direct route with Ken. We maintained a reasonably brisk pace, filtering through the traffic and split up around Ohakea with Ken staying on SH1, while I scooted along Tangimoana Rd, which is obviously a bit longer because I wouldn’t dare maintain that pace on SH1, but we were only a few hundred metres apart when I exited off Rosina Rd.
We made to Paraparaumu OK and I thought Ken was taking us along Valley Rd, …but he bought us back at the Mobil station so we had to pass some cars for the second time. Then he diverted over the Paekak’ Hill ….and that was fine until near Pauatahanui when he ran out of gas!!?? Not a problem…I went to the Challenge, got a few litres, we returned and both filled to return the favour and I was home around 1700, 477Kms done for the day at 18.5K/Ltr and 99550Kms now on the bike.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.