I know you’re thinking, “Yeah Right!”...but we did,...we did see the Gorgeous Babes!.....Well,... we saw pictures of them. I guess they weren’t in because it was Sunday!?
Today was a SH2 Claytons Ride to Mangatainoka. That’s the ride you have up SH2, when you’re not actually riding up SH2!
I recovered from last weekend’s trauma with my spewyy blog and thread about Mr Avon and I was looking forward to sampling the new Bridgestone 023’s on a decent ride. It was unfortunate that our ride clashed with the WIMA Pink Ribbon ride, which I usually attend, but them’s the breaks and I got away from home at 0900, topping up a little air in the rear at the Ngaio G.A.S. and topped up the fuel at Caltex Rimutaka, getting to Brown Owl at a little after 0930 with Steve. By 1000, we had 7 and in preparation for this ride, I had programmed and loaded four alternative routes, ranging between 165Km and 230Km, so we could select the best option depending on who and how many riders turned up. With the 7, we opted for the 2nd longest route at 191Km, had a short briefing and I led out over the hill, with Steve at TEC on the XT.
Richard passed me through the 2nd passing lane and that was the last we saw of him, so that left 6 of us to carry on after the regroup in Featherston. We continued up SH2, even though the aim of the ride was not to ride on SH2, but unfortunately, the options from Featherston are long, or limited to gravel and river crossings, so we pootled on through Greytown, finally getting off the highway at Swamp Rd, then taking Watersons Line etc, etc via Carrington and back out at SH2 on Norfolk Rd, by the Waingawa River bridge. As soon as we were across the bridge and into the Masterton town limits, we took the bypass, Loopline, another short stint on SH2, then the Mauriceville Rd up to Kaiparoro.
Nice riding at a sedate pace and we were crossing SH2 again and onto South Road No2, then it was a hop & a skip into Eketahuna for a brief stop. We’d only done 123Km in 1:48, (69kph average), so a quick consult with Steve and we altered the route to the shortest option as it was nearly midday. We got back on our way, straight across SH2, to take Halswell Rd, onto Alfredton Rd, then Mangaone Valley Rd past Rongomai, almost to Pahiatua, turning off on Mangaramarama Rd, which took us across the Pongaroa Rd and into Mangatainoka via the back. This was another 39Km in 36min (64kph avg). As far as an SH2 Clayton ride goes, we did pretty well with only 2.1Km on SH2 after the Swamp Rd turnoff out of a possible 87.2Km.
At last we were at the Tui Drinker’s Mecca, ordering a man’s portion of bacon and egg pie (except it came with girlie rocket) and keeping a weather eye out for the gorgeous babes....Hmmm....we’ll need to come during the week next time as all we saw, apart from the Fry Girl, was the Employee of Month notice and a collection of gnomes!!
Oh well, we enjoyed the feed, a chat, then took shelter from the rain which seemed to be settling in, so we kitted up to get back on the road.
With the weather to the south looking pretty dismal, we canned the idea of enjoying more of the back roads and lit out along SH2, pausing in Pahiatua for the others to top-up, (I still had 2/3 of a tank) then with the weather improving as we approached Eketahuna, I opted to deviate along North Rd. Steve and I did have a wee moment along here as we crested a rise only to see water oozing across the road as we entered a left hander, so I straightened through it, crossed the centreline, then threw the ST around the corner. (the water did feel a bit greasy) Looking in my mirrors, I saw Steve had bailed on the corner, popped off the bank and onto a farm track before swinging back around onto the road....lucky he was on the XT and not the ‘Busa!
Back on the main road, we took the bypass, lost the other two coming back onto SH2 at Waingawa, and although we edged off the pace, they didn’t seem to be gaining through the traffic all the way to Featherston, so at that point, we got on with the job and enjoyed a briskish pace over the hill.
I stopped at Steve’s for a coffee before finishing the 30Km back to Ngaio, getting home at 1650, having done 378Km for the day at an economy of 18.9K/Ltr. The bike now has 122,769Km on it and I pick up the new ‘Black’ tomorrow.
It was a good day and the easy pace was good to get the feel of the 023’s which, at this stage, I’m pretty happy with. It’s just a pity the Gorgeous Babes weren’t in!!+
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.