After no ride for a couple of weeks, I made up for it with 2 short rides this week.
On Wednesday I joined the Kiwibikers for the Cruisy ride to the Tin Hutt, departing from Avalon at 1830. On the way there I was happy to ride as TEC so it was very cruisy but on the way back, I left with Dennis and thought I'd have a bit of 'pace' practice. However, shortly after hitting the hill, the light following me, (who I thought was Dennis), passed and turned out to be a GSXR with no Dennis in sight, so I latched on behind and had a slightly quicker than expected ride home. That got rid of the cobwebs but the front of the bike certainly needed a clean-up as it was plastered with bugs.
The weekend weather was supposed to be crap so Saturday was planned to get the last couple of things I needed for The Mini's Return ride, which is only two weeks away. I've had problems getting a good South Island map book with all the minor roads named, but I finally found one at Borders and the other thing I needed was a decent set of strops for the ferry. I looked at several but didn't buy any yet so went home and studied route options on the maps while the bad weather finally hit.
Sunday was booked for a Ulysses ride to Lake Ferry which I figured would be cancelled but on waking at around 0700, the weather was great so after a bit of a sleep-in, I got ready and departed at around 0920 with 19° and clear blue skies.....that is, until I got onto the Hutt Road and spotted the low cloud and probable rain on the Rimutakas. I continued on anyway, filling at Caltex Kaiwhara' and pulled into Brown Owl to find the weather wan't that bad and there were three other riders ready to go. I led out at 1000 in overcast conditions but the temp was up to 21° and it was a relatively calm on the road. We paused to regroup in Featherston before heading down the Western side of the Lake and by now the temp was up to 24° but the wind was getting up as well and we had to ride with quite a cross wind hitting the odd heavy gust, ariving at Lake Ferry to find it was sunny and really calm.
After coffee and wedges, we headed on to Martinborough at around 1300 and got hit by the cross wind for the last 5 or 6 Kms, stopping at Medici for another coffee.
We finally got ready to head back and by now the wind was really blowing so the trip back was a real mixed bag of conditions. We left a lovely 25° in Martinborough but were soon punching into a wicked head wind, which seemed to calm on the last straight into Featherston, but hit again at the bottom of the hill where it was overcast again and coming over the hill we were met with occasional rain, some heavy gusts, dry patches, short squalls, a wet road most of the way down with occasional showers and the temp bottoming at 15°. There was a cloudburst coming through Upper Hutt, the temp going back up to 21°, down to 18° again and was back to 20° when I fianally got home, 239Kms done for the day with an economy of 17.8k/Ltr and just over 33,000 on the bike.
I was surprised we only saw a few other bikes out today as even though the day produced a raft of different conditions, we had a pretty good ride with no mishaps.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.