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Home Forums Riding Events, get togethers and ride reports Adventure Riding NZ Central Plateau weekend – March 20th-22nd 2015 Reply To: Adventure Riding NZ Central Plateau weekend – March 20th-22nd 2015


Michael J Breen
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  • Rank: 400cc Rider

Firstly: Thanks Eddie, that was a really good route and we just lucked out on the weather!

There were so many highlights along the way that I lose track of them all (and as I noted to you: I’m a Grandad and breathe 2 stroke fumes so memory is just a fading memory…….what was I talking about again?)

The cattle on the very first road, the horse galloping up ahead of us. Rod on his 570 Berg peppering me with big chunks of gravel at the top of that road where the horse was and then me doing the same to Baz who was just behind at the time. Baz got it from both of us (but he gave as good later on when we rode to the campground area off the plateau).

The 42nd Traverse was brilliant. I was lost in the moment many times and it was a timely reminder to come across the attractive tramper and stop for a wee chat with her. That reminded me there were other users on the track and it was bi-directional. You had to be on your toes there as the ruts were extra deep and comng over the brow of a hill you could often not see the terrain ahead until you were in it!

I did start at the head of the pack on the 42nd but there were a few play areas I stopped at. For a while I was mesmerised by the sweet smell of 2 stroke and the ring a ding ding coming from my motor but pretty soon Kel, Paul and Rod had caught up.

I followed Paul who was riding my KTM 690 smc motard. That was his first ever adventure ride and his first reall cross country trail ride for a very long tiome. I had my camera around my neck and shot some video of Paul ahead of me. Following too close though; I lost sight of the surface terrain and very suddenly found myself sideways on the track on the point of a big flying W. I managed to save it but Rod on his Husaberg sneaked past both of us when presented with that opportunity…………only to crash himself 2 corners later!

For a while I rode alone pretty much after that but waited at the last stream crossing to capture some video of a few bikes crossing. There was a very long gap and, as a befuddled granpa sniffing 2 stroke, I forgot what I was waiting for anyway and headed off again. Coming across a landcruiser taking up the whole width of the track was something of a surprise! No worries though; the little KTM stops real quick when you want it to!

The day ended and we bought some nice cuts of Eye Fillet for the BBQ at New World on the way back to the campground. Being encouraged to pick fresh lettuce, capsicum, chives etc to make a salad was great! Nicew to have the landlord come over and sit chatting with us around the fire until damn near midnight! I was bloody knackered though and skived off a little early. Paul had already sneaked away.

I remember thinking to myself before I went to sleep (remembering is something we old folk cherish BTW): “That was a hell of a good ride and great company”

I’ve riodden lots around Taranaki and Whangamomona and I thought to myself that the 42nd would be the highlight of the trip. In a way it was but I was bloody surprised at just how good day 2 was as well! I knew there was a track behind the pub at Whangamomona but I thought it was ‘just a gravel road’. Man was I wrong! That was a great challenge and got harder with a bit more speed. Again the little KTM 2 stroke took it all in its stride and I pretty much foated across most of those ruts and puddles………………until I came to the BIG ONE!

I was flying along quite fast at that time and Kel Rood on his DRZ400 was just behind me. Kel reckoned that he’s never gone so fast on rough ground and was pretty happy to be able to follow me and trust that I was taking the right lines etc. Then of course it all turned to custard……..a funny brown custard that caught out a bunch of bikes in fact. I’d attached my Sony action cameras on my helmet facing rear and one on my chest facing forward. This was fortuitous as the unfolding drama was all caught on video!

In the front camera footage you can see me push a big shock of water forward as I hit that deep puddle. I was leaning back when I hit it and had a fair bit of speed going so piled on through with no real drame. Looking in my rear view though, I saw Kel had been sucked in and spat out like a trout on the bank of a river. Laughing out loud (he was up and walking about) I walked back to survey the damage and help get his bike out of the lake. We both cracked up laughing and we knew this was worth a stop to see who would make it and who would not. My rear facing camera had caught Kel goiong over the bars; a very graceful manouvre I must say! It was almost slow motion!

Anyway, Jef was next behind us on his BMW X Challenge. Jef saw us watching and knew something was ‘wrong’ about that wee puddle so he took it carefully………….and still dropped it in the drink!

Gordon saw it and went up on the grass to avoid the mess. Rod pied on through on his Husaberg followed by Paul on my 690 with small wheels who trued to drown the bike AND himself. Running over to help, Paul was laughing out loud so we knew he was fine. The front wheel was all but under water though and the open air filter would have sucked water so ‘we’ pulled it onto the bank instead. I say ‘we’ there because although Kel and Jef hel[ped pull it out; I figure filming the whole thing was part of the help!

I think we ‘lost’ another 3 or 4 bikes after that and most were on film. She Wolf showed the boys how it should be done and rode right through the deepest bit without even blinking: well done!

Gathering ourselves up after that we finished the section only a short distance later and had lunch while we chatted amongst ourselves and waited for the last riders to come through.

Once again I thought it just couldn’t get any better but then you made a liar of me again! The farm trail, although not quite as chellenging, was stunning! Awesome scenery and some nice tricky downhills and off camber clay road followed by a nice stretch of gravel.

All up, this was a bloody awesome weekend! Looking forward to the next!

I have some 50 photos and lots of video. The photos are processed and ready to go up. The video is worth careful editing as I have some great footage. That might take a week so watch this space.