Monday, October 23, 2017

Burma Hill

Yesterday was the day I picked for some two wheeled fun.  I started off by taking the dog for a run beside my mountain bike - just 3km for her rather than exercise for me.  She thought that was fun but perhaps didn't like it when she saw me wheel the Tenere out of the shed.

I can't remember what it was but on Saturday I got it into my head that it'd be a good idea to go and investigate the Mangamahu Valley and climb Burma Hill.  And so, that was the beginnings of a plan...

I got away from Palmy just before nine and made my way over to Bulls where I fueled up for the ride.  Gassed up, I settled into a slow cruise (4km/h tolerance this weekend) as I made my across to Turakina before turning off to Fordell and then making for the valley.

There is quite a bit of tarmac on Mangamahu Road before you hit the gravel but it gets pretty narrow and windy.  There were also a few sections of roadworks and places where slips had come down across the road.  Not too many animals on the road though - I just missed a rabbit and spotted a few pheasants and one colourful peacock.

Hitting the gravel I took my time getting into the groove.  The going was definitely better than last time I was up here - much less (none in fact) mud and even my poor worn out E-07's were better than the Tourance I was running back then.


Just below the "summit" of the hill I stopped for a breather and to look about a bit.




Carrying on, it wasn't long until I ran out of gravel at Kakatahi but before I got there I noticed a little something that I don't believe I'd seen before.


When I got home I did a little Internet searching and couldn't find out anything about this we tunnel and the slip and slide below it.  I'm guessing that it's a natural occurrence as I've no idea why it would need to be there otherwise...

Moria?
Weird, but it had given me an excuse to stop again...





Back on the tarmac again I made my way towards Ohakune, avoided being squished by a car towing a caravan, plowed through a mob of sheep and eventually caught up with some light rain...great.

Leaving home I'd had no real firm plans but had thought that Ohakune might make a nice lunch stop but looking off in that direction things were looking bleak...So, I decided to cross over to Turakina Valley Road a little earlier by taking in Owhakura Road.

I really love that first climb up the hill - even in light rain...


Turning South on Turakina Valley Road the gravel was a little loose in places but it was a lot of fun.  I particularly enjoy the more open sections where the pace can be a little hotter.


By the time I hit tarmac again it wasn't only the riding that was hot, the rider was also feeling fairly warm.  So, it was time to switch to motard road on the twisty windy tarseal on the last bits of Turakina Valley Road and Ongo Road, eventually getting me through to Hunterville where it was about quarter past lunchtime and definitely time for a cold drink.


After a quick lunch there was time for a quick trip over Vinegar Hill, a visit in Feilding and then the final boring leg back to Palmy and home.  It was a real shame about the weather up North as I got home pretty early and could have quite easily done some more gravel up there somewhere...



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tag

It was a very nice evening on Thursday so I decided to go for a bit of tag hunting on the S10.  "Burnie"had put up the below tag and it looked easy to me...I didn't even check with Mr Google...


Well, it wasn't in the first place I looked...And I then spent some time riding up and down SH1 looking for it as it got darker and darker.  I even rode straight past it once...

So in the end I gave up and went home in disgust...

On Friday it was the Connie's turn to go looking and luckily there was even a bit of drizzle about to stop me from getting too hot...

This time I had conferred with Mr Google and rode straight to it.

And I forgot to replace the headlight bulb before leaving...
Then it was time to find a new tag.  I initially had thought of the Taikorea Moto-X track (near the previous tag) but think that maybe it had been used before.  I settled on the below, very hard to find one...

Tricky!
Not much of a ride but gotta keep my hand in...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 NI1600

Okey dokey, here's the link to my write-up on this years NI1600: http://banditrider.weebly.com/2017-ni1600.html

Spoiler Alert, didn't quite go as planned...


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mid-week gravel

Shock, horror - the sun was out today and it wasn't raining!

I also have the week off!  Yes, there was stuff to do at home but come on - it wasn't raining!

So, as the Connie had got some exercise over the weekend (more on that later), it was the Tenere's time to come out and play.  I also decided that it would be worth exploring Ridge Road through to Apiti to see what the road was like after all the rain.

A quite pootle out to Pohangina saw the bike's economy hit 5.1L/100km and I was simply enjoying the sunshine and dry roads.

At Pohangina I pulled over to turn on the GoPro and try an experiment - turning the Traction Control off for the gravel ride up Finnis Road and then along Ridge Road to Apiti.

As it turned out the roads were in mint condition with very few muddy spots to worry about - maybe they're used to all the rain?  The run up the hill on Finnis Road gave me a bit of a chance to work out how the bike behaved with the TC off - basically it turned it into a gravel spitting demon...


It was a real hoot blasting all the way through to Apiti.  Wheelspin kicked in every time I got on the gas and I got the back end out a few times.  The bike's behaviour really brought out the inner hoon but even when I got a little out of shape the bike always seemed to sort things out and bring itself back more or less in line.  It was quite a workout for the rider though...and the economy nose dived to 5.7L/100km...

Nearing Apiti and what would you know?  I managed to find some rain again - fantastic...

See, I'm smiling...
Luckily, as I headed back towards Kimbolton the rain eased off and the roads dried out a bit for some more fun climbing up the hill.

Leaving the rain in Apiti

Greeness

Camera fell over...

Now the other way...
From Kimbolton I settled down a bit and cruised on to Feilding to drop something off at the olds' and then pootled off home again. 

Leaving Cheltenham behind

Big white fluffies and a mint road...
I could get used to mid-week rides...