Every now and then, even Long John enjoys a short social ride (that's apart from Slow Handling Rides) and on this occasion I had to endure a very sedate pootle around the Wellington Bays.
Since the last ride was just last weekend and this week has seen some rather cool and inclement weather, the usual pre-ride protocols weren't all followed in that yesterday, I glanced at the bike since it was in the way and I had to get around it on the way to the freezer in the garage, but it didn't manage to get cleaned. This morning I stowed the camera, hi-viz jackets (I suppose I should wear them more often) spare scivvy and glasses, then checked the tyre pressures (which were still spot on) and hit the road.
The stormy conditions from last night had abated and it was a picture perfect, sunny day, with the harbour a veritable mill pond as I cruised up SH2 to make my way to Caltex Rimutaka for fuel before meeting at Brown Owl. By the time we left at 1000, we had over 20 bikes and for a change, I was neither lead nor TEC. We scooted back to to Riverstone Terraces and I found myself at No2 after the Totara Park Lights so, pulled up to mark the corner at Moonshine Rd, then continued as part of a group of 6 through the narrow, curly road to Judgeford then around the first of our Bays between Pauatahanui and Plimmerton. With no corner marker at Bulls Run Rd and our sub-group leader unsure of the direction, I slipped through to the lead from here as we made our way back to SH1 and Johnsonville, picking up corner markers along the way until we must have grown to 10 or 12 by the time we got to Ironside Rd, where once again, with no marker, I paused until all had gone through, as from here it was a pretty straight forward run through to our second bay at Makara.
Once we were on the Ohariu Valley Rd, I did pass most of the group again and enjoyed an easy pace, although I still only lifted my average from J'ville to Makara from 39kph over the 1st couple of Km's to 48kph!!
From here I assumed the TEC position and followed the group to Karori and up to the lookout on Wrights Hill (where we could see almost all the Wellington Bays), then slipped down Messines Rd to Bowen St, negotiated all the traffic and lights as we slipped around the quays, through Oriental and Evans Bays (where to break the monotony I had to go right around both the big round-abouts), then had another pause at Shelly Bay (because the sign said 'No Stopping' but unfortunately the No Stopping sign has gone).
The wind had come up by the time we were heading around Whitby and by now the harbour was full of white caps and we had to push into a stiff gale to the Massey Memorial, but once around the point, it was unnoticable as we were either heading downwind or sheltered altogether. More very sedate pootling through Karaka Bay, Worser Bay, over to Breaker Bay, around Lyall Bay and Houghton Bay and we were finally at The Bach in Island Bay at 1327hrs where I settled down to enjoy a very large date scone, which was more like a date loaf, and a bowl latte.
...and an hour later I was heading for home.
It was a rather pleasant day with plenty of riders turning up and in the end I managed 166Km with a moving average of 50kph and overall Avg of 27kph at an economy of 17.5Km/Ltr. The bike now has 11,240Km so it's not too far off the next service.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.