I've done little riding this month but I have been busy on bike related business and signed-up for this year's TT2000. ( http://www.tt2000.org )
The TT' is a great event and has evolved over the last 4 years, offering a broad spectrum of riding opportunities in that one could just do the basic 2,000Km in 48Hrs, or get really serious and up the ante to different levels to do up to 3,000'ish Km to achieve the various levels of awards, and along the way, those that were inclined could get a reasonable dose of gravel.....or not! That was until last year when the silly tart that heads the Tasman Police totally lost her ropes and got the stupid impression that riders were going to be embarking on a 5,000Km 'Race' to pick-up photos of 150 check-points!! Fortunately the organisers got together with the enforcers to discuss any issues, refine the event...and most importantly, continue to run it, albeit in a new format.
One of the changes was to drop all the flyers and additional awards, so that the event is now just a 2,000Km ride whereby one has to amass 10,000Pts, from a selection of 71 check-points (CP's). This can be achieved by obtaining as few as 6 CP's, or getting lots.
As far as endurance rides go, half of the fun of the TT' for the dyed-in-the-wool endurance riders has been to play with MapSource to design one's route by deciding what flyers to go for and plan the ride around one's required fuel plan, pace/time limits, Saturday night accommodation and just how hard one wants to go. With all the 'flyers' and awards being dropped, my first reaction to this year's ride was....'Boring!'....but of course, with half of the fun being in the planning, I had some fun anyway and soon decided, “Hey, this will be cool!”
The CP's are generally scattered along the Eastern side of the Island between Picton and Queenstown, so I started off looking at Northern & Southern options, then found that I had a surplus of points but was short on Km’s, so each option required excursions into the other sector / side of Chch…virtually wasting Km’s for the sake of doing 2000.
I then figured, if I have to stack Km’s, why not do it on favoured roads, so I opted for Northern and started trading off:
Stony Beach ….well last time I was in that vicinity was 1977 (or perhaps that was 1974??) on an XL250 with a mate on same and another on a KTM or TKD or something exotic at the time
Inland Route …cos I’ll be up & down SH1 getting there.
Picton & Queen Charlotte Dve…I normally avoid QC but there’s plenty of time and I haven’t done it for awhile and Picton is a 1,000Pt CP.
Whangamoas …cos I love that road. Have I mentioned that I love the Whangamoas.
Takaka Hill ….well, there’s no CP's over there and once I’m there I have to come back!!!
Buller Gorge ….it would seem such a waste to only do half of it!! ….especially to leave out the better half!
Lewis Pass vs Coast Rd…Lewis Pass / Coast Rd …shit …there's CP's along the Lewis, but...oh that’s right, Coast Rd has the lower Buller Gorge attached!
Lewis Pass vs Arthurs Pass ….Lewis Pass / Arthurs Pass …oh that’s right, Arthurs Pass has the Coast Rd and the lower Buller Gorge attached!!!!
Lyndon Rd vs Sheffield …. Lyndon Rd / Sheffield …..*shivers* hoooohhhh, the dark side …..but Sheffield has a CP and damn it, I need the Kms!
The rest is just burning Km’s on roads around Timaru that I doubt I’ve been on.
My plan ended up accruing 18,000Pts...and why pick up all the unnecessary points?……because they’re there ….and I’m just naturally greedy!!
Having come up with a plan, I liaised with a couple of mates to see what they were up to, to compare plans and perhaps hook-up with them, but in the end, my riding-buddy, Steve, confirmed he was in so I just refined my plan. My attitude when approaching these rides is to sort everything down to the last detail, so I worked in the fuel stops for Steve's (Hyabusa) range, work out where we would overnight, then book accommodation for the 3 nights, then book the ferry trips and when all was ready, register for the ride....and now all that is done.
I downloaded what we needed off the TT' website (disclosure, CP check sheet, CP PDF's), printed them up, spiral binding the CP pix & maps into a booklet (in case the GPS glitches and we need to go manual) and yet need to transfer the route to the GPS unit to ensure there's no issues there. Then I drafted up a checklist for the usual gear to pack/take, like tie-downs for the ferry, Sth Island map book, camera, snack bars, etc, etc.
I will have to check the bike over, but I don't plan to do much riding between now and 20 February, as the conditioning is generally OK, so I don't expect to have to do any servicings or tyre replacements before the event. The only thing I need to do now is try to familiarise myself a bit better with the route, so I don't have to rely on the GPS.
This will be my 3rd TT' and I'm looking forward to a cruisy ride (with only doing the 2,000Km) on some of the better motorcycling roads in the country.......yeah baby!!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.