I've hardly been on the bike over the last three weeks, since the Mini's Return. I guess it was such a good ride, everything else seems to pale in insignificance, but I suppose I'm getting over it because this week I rode to Rotorua and back as I had an AGM/conference to attend and it was an opportunity to include a ride as well as visit the kids and Moko'.
I was scheduled to get away from work around lunchtime on Wednesday and it wasn't looking too pleasant when a front came through between 0900 & 1000 but once that had passed, the weather quickly cleared and by the time I left Mobil J'ville at 1105 it was fine and 18º, albeit a chilly 18 so I put an extra t-shirt and scivvy on, electing to leave my liners out. As I needed to get their reasonably quickly, I took the direct route up SH1 and as usual when taking the main routes, I focused on economy, sitting at around 100-110 and tried to get 20K/ltr.
There wasn't much traffic for drafting but with a bit of self control, I soon had the economy hovering around 19.9K/ltr and once on the Foxton straits I picked up a couple of cars which enabled me to get the pace up a bit so by the time I got to Hunterville the economy had just clicked over 20.4K/Ltr, which was lucky as it was pretty much up hill from there and the temp was on the way down (bottoming out at 11º on the Desert Road).
Going up the Desert Road, I latched onto a VW 4WD which was honking along at 120 – 130 until we got to a set of lights for roadworks, where I jumped to the front of the queue which left no traffic in front of me for a bit of fun though the curly section and I went over the summit with the economy back down to 19.6K/ltr but the long downhill into Turangi had me back up to 19.9 by the time I arrived in Taupo at 1500hrs. I had to stop here to photograph/survey a building for insurance which took about 20 minutes, after which I grabbed a snack at subway and got back on the road at 1540 for the short stint on to Rotorua.
I finally arrived in Rotorua at 1610, 460Kms done averaging 102kph, economy at 19.8 and temp back up to 18º. I was pretty wrapped with the economy because I still had 2 bars on the fuel gauge and at that pace, would have easily got 550 Kms out of the tank. (Before I filled for departure on Saturday, I was up to 498.1 Kms after the round-town short runs had dropped the economy to 19K/Ltr and the fuel gauge had just dropped to the last bar, indicating 63K to run on 4.6Ltrs and I know I can get 50+Km off the last bar on a trip)
After a couple of great days in Rotorua, Saturday was no different and I headed off for SH30 at 1000 under clear skies and temp at 19º. This time I decided to head back via the Western side of Lake Taupo, National Park, Wanganui and SH1 and once again manage the trip without any refills. I started quite sedately, but had difficulty getting the economy over 19K/Ltr and I didn't help the cause when I latched onto a cage at Whakamaru and was doing 120-130 through to SH41, then found it even more difficult to show restraint over the hill to Tokaanu and I didn't ease up until Ruapehu was in sight. By the time I got to National Park I had my average speed back to 100 Kph and picked-up another couple of minutes through to Raetihi, ready to take on the Para's. Through here I tended to ride at the 'Pace', keeping the speed as high as possible, minimising the braking and easing the throttle out of the slow corners, which provided a nice ride and I pulled into Wanganui at 1315, 321 Kms done at 18.8K/Ltr, having maintained an average speed of 98.97Kph.
After visiting whanau, I got away from Wanganui at 1351 for the last leg on SH1, where I struck a bit of a South East wind (not good for the cause but it was pretty mild). I puttered along finally flicking to the last bar on the fuel gauge at Pukerua Bay and getting home at 1600 on the dot, temp still at 20º, 516.6Kms done for the day at 18.9K/Ltr. 1,014Kms for the trip, 40,494 on the bike and the fuel gauge still read 80Kms to go (which would probably be 30-50) but indicating I may have got up to 560Kms on the tank. Pretty good stuff.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.