When I went to fill today, I noted that it's been a month since my last visit to the pumps....and it still had a quarter of a tank....sheesh...no wonder I've been feeling a bit twitchy due to withdrawal symptoms!! Apart from a photo shoot a few weeks ago, I've only managed a bit of round-town riding, so with my next scheduled ride being for tomorrow, I had a quick look at the weather forecast, spotted that it appears to include 'Red Rain' (potentially 50+mm in a 12 hour period), then decided to flick a text to Ken and Woody to see if they wanted to ride today.
A positive response from the others, an email was sent inviting more and we were jacked up to meet at Caltex Rimutaka at 1000, so I went down to check the tyres and pack-up the bike.
The morning dawned calm but cold with a high cloud cover, dry roads and it was 3° as I made my way down the Hutt Road! One doesn't need heated grips on an ST....but my, my, they're comfy and it's so nice to have toasty warm hands! I was a bit early so I called into a supermarket to get some water and vapodrops, then followed up my fuelling with a pie and coffee. Ken & Woody turned up and we hit the road at 1010.
Ken led out for the pootle over the hill, which was quite pleasant, we paused for Woody in Featherston as he got separated and stuck in the traffic, then Ken waved me through to lead to Martinborough, on to middle (Ponatahi) road, over to Gladstone, round the Water Towers and I stopped at Wainuioru. The stop was required because I'd lost my sounds and found that the lead had become unplugged, then I took a photo of the bikes in front of the hall (just in case it might be needed as a checkpoint in some future 1,000Km ride!)
I was surprised to see it was nearly 1130 by the time we moved on and once again, I led out as we headed back through Masterton, onto SH2 taking the Mauriceville turnoff and flitting through to Kaiparoro. It was nice going and even though the roads were often wet, there were few tar slicks and although we did encounter a couple of patches of very bright emerald green humps, we were able to maintain a good pace. The relaxed pace meant I had plenty of opportunity to take in the old haunts like Double Bridges and it was going through here that I was surprised to notice that there was no snow in the Tararuas.
By the time we got to Kaiparoro it was 1206 and knowing that Ken and Woody needed to be back in Wellington by 1500, I paused to see if they wanted to carry on to Woodville or just head down to Mt Bruce for lunch. We ended up at Mt Bruce, spent nearly an hour there then headed for home with Ken leading. More easy riding in light traffic (until the hill) and I got home at 1441.
It was a great day and quite pleasant riding for mid-winter, except for the fact that the temp did climb to 11° but spent most of the time under 9°....and a cold 9 at that. I managed to do 315Km at a moving average of 80kph, ending up with an economy of 17.8K/Ltr and the bike now has 32,503Km on it.
The bike is all cleaned and polished again in readiness for an outing next week to carry a photog’ for the Wellington Marathon.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.