Today was a combined road and gravel Ulysses Ride and as seems to be the norm lately, the weather forecast was crappy right up until the day before, then it looked like it would hold off until this evening.
I checked the tyres and left home at 0905, going via J’ville to fill-up the fuel and tyres. It was after 0930 by the time I got away from there and headed down the gorge for Brown Owl with the weather a cool 9° and overcast. The roads were dry but it was looking a bit grim on the hill so I decided to put the ‘wets’ on at Brown Owl.s.
We ended up with 9 road riders and only 1 on his dirt bike so he decided to head off and do his own thing while the rest of us embarked on a free ride over the hill and into the gloom. I was TEC and was quite happy to putter along at the rear in these conditions, which combined with lots of diesel spots on the road, meant the Rimutakas were potentially quite treacherous, but we were soon regrouping in Featherston with no incidents, then off around the Western side of Lake Ferry.
That road is in better condition than I expected with very little green on the hump although much of the Western Lake, East West Access and Martinborough Pirinoa Roads have all had stock on them and one had to be wary of the crap and dirt that had been deposited. We still made good time though, enjoying a spirited pace and when we got to Martinborough Awhea Rd, I swapped with Steve as he hadn’t been out to the wind farm before. It’s only about 10-15Km out to the windfarm but a nice piece of macadam on which to experience the delights of motorcycling and it’s just a pity that the condition and width of the road doesn’t continue all the way to Tuturumuri, where it becomes gravel, or better still, all the way to the coast, but I guess then the adventure riders would miss out.
From there I resumed my TEC position as we had a ‘free ride’ back to Martinborough, where we regrouped, some refueled, then we continued onto the Wild Oats in Carterton via Ponatahi Rd. A coffee, pie and chat and we headed back, but by now the weather had closed in so I donned the ‘wets’ once more.
Having been TEC for most of the outward trip, I decided to get near the front of the group for the return and maintained a reasonable pace for the conditions back over the hill, still passing cars reasonably freely and once we were back in the Hutt, the weather was clear again.
Even though the temp didn’t drop below 8°, it felt like quite a cold day but it was great to get out and clear the cobwebs and with little wind and dry roads, we enjoyed the day, doing 286Km at an economy of 17.9Kms/Ltr. I now have 71,962 Kms on the bike and the way the weeks are flying by, I’m starting to think about the endurance ride options that will soon be upon u
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.