I had a bit of a concern this week when I noticed the ST had developed a slight oil seep on the front of the engine, but a few hours and dollars for the experts at Boyles revealed a minor leak from one of the rocker covers and had the problem cleared up so I could assist on today’s Poker Run.
The forecast hadn’t been great but turned out OK on the day, apart from potential gusty conditions on the hill…but then, what’s new?
Ken had organised the ride and was to ride sweep while five of us would go to the checkpoints to issued cards and advise the riders where to head for the next checkpoint. I was based at Gladstone, the last stop, so I had decided to go ahead of the field and take a few photos as they went. I arrived at Brown Owl around 0930 and by 0950 we still only had 1 punter, so it wasn’t looking good, but then a group arrived and I departed to set up on the hill.
I had to wait about 10 minutes and wasn’t too happy with the results, so as the riders headed for their first stop down the Western Side of Lake Wairarapa, I headed for Lake Ferry via Kahutara Rd, to get ahead of them. I set-up between the Ngawi turn off and the lake and as it had been 15º when I left home but the temp was now climbing toward 26 º, the first thing I did was remove my jacket and the liner from it, then snapped another set which were much better, before heading for the coast as the riders collected their second cards.
I wanted to get a shot of the bikes with the sea in the background, but there aren’t too many left handers that are suitable. I found one to setup on anyway and after another 10 minute wait, got my pix then headed back up to the gorge to catch them on the way out….more waiting.
I managed a couple more pix at this time, waited a couple more minutes, then decided I needed to get ahead of the riders again to get to my stop. I wasn’t too worried because I knew they had to stop in Martinborough, but I proceeded extremely briskly anyway, passed them, paused at the square to let Bill know they weren’t far off and proceeded via ‘Middle’ road to the Gladstone pub. I had no sooner stripped off, got a drink and shuffled my pack than they started to pull in.
That done, I let Ken know that I needed to visit mum in Masterton and wouldn’t be joining them at the Tin Hut and got on my way again and spent about an hour chatting, then headed back to Wellington just after 1400. The ride back was more into the stiff breeze and although there were a few good puffs on the hill, I enjoyed the fang back….but not without inciting a mild spot of road-rage.
I had gotten into a nice rhythm and pace on the brilliant new surface, passing a couple of vehicles on the first passing lane, then working about a third the way up an empty hill before encountering a line of ten or so vehicles. I settled behind them for the briefest of moments before taking the opportunities to pass as they arose, but about three vehicles into the line, the driver chappy seemed to take exception to my presence…in front of him. I perceived this by the way he closed up behind me as well as hearing the muted tones of a rattly horn that didn’t quite fit with the music I was listening to through my KiwiPlugs. He persisted driving one handed whilst trying to get my attention for about 40-50 seconds, when I made my next passing move, but I still can’t figure what he hoped to achieve. Surely he knew the café at the top is long gone and we couldn’t stop for a chat over a nice cup of tea…and besides….he was stuck in traffic! Unless of course, it might have been a mate and I just didn’t recognise the car….oh well!
I continued my fang, encountering a couple of good puffs and a few more vehicles….most of whom were very considerate and pulled off or out of my way. I paused for a chat at Hitcher’s to see how he was getting on and finally got home around 1700, doing 336Kms for the day at 17.4K/Ltr with 101111Kms now on the bike.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.