We were scheduled to do a dawn ride two weeks ago, but that weekend clashed with the National AGM, so it was shuffled out to this weekend...so being Easter Sunday, we rode in hope of seeing the Son rise......we were 2,000 years late for that.....and the sun didn't make an appearance either!!
With such an early start I checked the tyres and packed my gear last night and hit the sack about 1030 after setting the alarm for 0345 as that gave me time to scrub up and get on the road by 0420, gassing at Caltex Rimutaka before going to the meeting point at Brown Owl. I was surprised to see the temp still at 16º at this time of the morning, but it dipped a couple of degrees heading up River Rd.
By 0500 we had 18 bikes....and one VW (substituting for two dud bikes)! A quick briefing and we were off over the hill. I was away early and enjoyed an unimpeded crisp run until low on the northern side, so at that point I just settled in behind until the regroup point in Featherston, then as soon as the stragglers pulled in we pulled out for Masterton.
A sedate pace had us in Masterton by 0600 and Faulkners Mobil were just opening for those (poor saps with miniscule tanks) that needed gas and fifteen minutes later I led out again. I haven't done any night riding for awhile now and it was really great to be out on empty roads, but many riders don't get out at night and if they do, it's on main highways so they tend to be very tentative in these conditions. Put that into a group ride of 18 bikes (make that 19 since Woody had finally got his arse out of bed and caught up) and it translates to a big spread on the road. I kept the pace down but when trying to see how many were behind me, Gat's lights at No2 were too bright and all I managed to do was wreck my night vision...so I just settled into a moderate pace and enjoyed the ride.
At one point, the temp plummeted to 6º, so I was thankful to have the scivvy on, but it edged back up again as we approached the coast and was comfy again by the time the first of us arrived as the sky just began to lighten at 0705.....only to find a bloody great bank of cloud across the horizon!
We usually arrive within a few minutes of sunrise but the 2 week delay put the timing from 0710 to 0735, so we relaxed, chatted, took pix, Dave handed out Easter eggs, then collected cards to draw a $50 Fuel Card, sunrise came and went with scarcely more notice than a small patch of red within the cloud, we waited a bit more and I finally pulled out for Wild Oats at the back of the field at 0752.....and enjoyed a crisp run back into town! (trying to keep within the allowable limits....except I found out later that the powers-that-be were only allowing 4kph this weekend)
Bacon & Eggs consumed along with bowl latte, chattings chatted and I embarked for home at 0958....into the gloom. It wasn't really raining, but the long awaited precipitation had started to come down leaving the roads wet, so care was taken and I didn't strike much traffic until descending the Rimutakas, but at that point, they were all taking heaps of care so the very slow pace made it easy to slip from car to car and I rolled into home at 1103...another one down and another one bites the dust...and that's 30,547Km on the bike now after adding 329Km today at an average of 17.6Km/Ltr and moving average of 83kph.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.