……... Now Dead-Eye Dick & Mexican Pete were camped at Deadmans Creek,
And they’d had no luck by way of a fu(n) for nigh on half a week.
Save a Moose or two and a Caribou and a bison cow or so,
But as Dead-Eye Dick was king of the prick, they found this f(rightfully) slow!
They could well have been camped in Porangahau….that’s where my mate Murray grew up and a lovely lady we know, by name of Miriama….but apart from that, what is there to say? One wouldn’t want to visit Porangahau for the nightlife or an action filled holiday, …..but as far as rides go, well, that’s another story called Route 52.
As usual, I was up and away from home by 0900 with the temp feeling cool at 19°. I pootled through to Caltex Rimutaka for a fill, then up the road to the meeting point at Brown Owl. The Uly Ride this week was designated as a long one with options. One could opt to ride to Martinborough, Masterton, Alfredton, Pongaroa or Waipuk’ and being nearly two months since the last ride we got a good turnout with 24 bikes ready to depart at 1000.
I was scheduled to do TEC from Martinborough so I got away promptly to enjoy a good fang over the hill to regroup in Featherston, then lead out to Martinborough before having to ride more sedately. At that point we dropped two riders and continued around through Tablelands at a relaxed pace and the next stop at the North End Mobil in Masterton, as it’s 200 Km from there to Waipuk’ so the Cruisers and some Sprotties would need a top-up. It was 1150 by this time and although the temp had only crept to 21°, it was feeling much warmer.
From here we normally go out through Te Ore Ore but for a bit of variation we opted to ride up SH2 to Opaki, then out through Dreyers Rock via Mauriceville. As TEC I normally focus on my economy but on this occasion, I was surprised to find that I was slightly above that pace and only trailing a group at the odd tighter sections as the road was in great condition and we made good time to the next regroup/drop point at Alfredton School, where another six riders opted to return via Eketahuna.
After a brief rest, I led out over the next section and now tried to maintain a steady 110kph which offered a sedate pace for slower riders to keep-up or catch-up on the straighter parts, but a brisk ride for the quicker riders through the tighter sections. This road is in good condition at the moment but it’s one of those roads that one must always treat with respect and caution thanks to the potential for loose stuff and wandering stock. Fortunately it was warm and dry and we encountered little crap and no stock, having a good run through to Pongaroa for the next pause.
After enough time for some to enjoy an ice-cream, we dropped another five or six riders and I led on again. The road improves a bit from here and we were soon at the Weber junction where the last one or two drop-offs departed for Dannevirke and the last nine of us carried on through Wimbledon for our lunch stop in Porangahau. There are a couple of corners through here that drop away as you exit and I had a couple of moments where I carried a little excess pace into these but managed OK and we arrived at Porangahau at about 1400. By now the temp was between 25 & 27° at my burger and fries went down well with a ginger beer as we relaxed at the pub.
At around 1500 we made a move to continue to Waipuk’ with Steve leading. This part of the route is rolling country with a wide road and good surface and I was riding near the back of the group, enjoying the pootle, when a dumb mutt strolled into the middle of my lane and proceeded to trot away from me. I had a bit of room so flicked the hazards and slowed, expecting the dog to hear me coming and move off but he must have been bit old and deaf as his continued, blissfully unaware until I was within a couple of metres. I had progressively applied more and more brake until in the last few metres the ABS was kicking in and Warwick was up my date and taking his own drastic measures to avoid me and the dog. All was well though and as I moved off I discovered I had flicked my lights onto full beam and missed the hazards altogether.
Once we got to Waipuk’, most of the guys gassed-up before heading for home down SH2 where I followed Ken on his new GS Beemer as we made our way through the traffic. The temp dropped back to 20° and the Westerly wind strengthened between Dannevirke and Eketahuna causing us to cant over a bit, but from Mt Bruce we turned more downwind and the economy improved a bit, creeping up from18.3 to 18.5 K/Ltr. I was down to two bars on the fuel gauge and wondering if I’d get back to Rimutaka when Ken pulled into the Mobil on the Masterton bypass, so I filled there but only took on 21Ltrs, so I probably would have made it if I’d taken it easy over the hill, but I didn’t need to worry now.
The traffic was pretty steady and as we left Featherston I decided to move to the front so I could get an uninhibited run and enjoy my last fang for the day. The wind was up going over the hill but it didn’t pose any problems for me and I was home by 1830, having done 599.7 Kms for the day and now had 84,840Kms on the bike. That would be the longest club ride I’ve been on and I found I was a little weary, but it was a good day and I have now dined in Porangahau.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.