June 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm #18538
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
Team building at Sutherlands Hut:
Helpful when the few days running up to a ride are dry. Especially when there are a few stream crossings involved. This ride was scheduled to visit Sutherlands Hutt, in the heart of the Aorangi Forest Park.
Sunday morning was cold & fine. I currently have non-operational heated grips, so out with the winter gloves. I dressed in Merino layers – but wondered if I should take the bigger bags – because you always need to strip off in there.
Always a lottery in terms of who turns up, the level of their riding skills, & the equipment they bring with them. Loads of big GSs at Caltex Rimutaka, mostly with roady adv tyres. Which was concerning because this ride had also been advertised in the Motomart emailing lists. Fortunately we were mixed in with the BMWOR, & they were off to Woodville for coffees, not Sutherland for mud.
This trip we had team of nine: Bassman (Triumph XC800); C650 (DR650); Simon H (DR650); Mario (R1200GS); Viferman (F800GS); MD (BMW Bitsa); Bill (Husky TE630); Manakau KTM (KTM640E); & me – Box’a’bits (R100GS). We also had a chap who rode with us to the Aorangi Forest carpark (on a R1200GSW), who’s name escapes me (sorry).
It was mostly clear across the hill, but misty on the road to Martinborough. I thought I was history when a white or grey Ute at a cross intersection that I couldn’t really see decided the 1st two bikes were clear & he could proceed now.
Martinborough was fine, & by the time we’d coffees & food inside us, the mist was lifting.
Photo courtesy of Mario
Haurangi Road was as grippy as I’ve ever seen it. There were a few erosion ruts just before the carpark however.
Carpark. Courtesy of Viferpilot
The first challenge was the big mud pool at the track entrance. The left side was definitely the better line. The right went deep.
The track down to the first stream crossing had more erosion ruts & mud than I recall seeing before. The gate part way down was MIA.
Stream crossings were low, but the 4th crossing caused the most issues (as usual), with a few mid creek boulders causing unexpected lines, & generally slowing people. That meant the steep exit caught out the unprepared. Adventure riding has always been a confidence trick. Unfortunately MD had a fall there, which probably left a mark. And Mario & Bassman struggled for grip part way up, which meant that all hands were needed to help them finish the climb. Good job Bill had a rope.
After the last stream crossing there was some more mud & slippery grass to deal with.
The destination (Sutherlands Hut) always feels slight anti-climatic. Cnut Hill was discussed but I didn’t see any willing victims.
Sutherlands Hutt Courtesy of Viferpilot
The GPS tells me it’s 5.5kms from the carpark to the hut. I don’t want to tell you how long that took us…but we lunched there.
Mario had an electrical issue on the R1200 on the way out. Fortunately this was something that Bill had seen before, & he was able to suggest a quick fix.
The ride out was faster, the stream crossings went smoothly (no difficult stream exits), & the long run back up to the carpark seemed easier than coming in. Mostly
Just as I was about to leave a Sherco 450 pulled up. Had seen the ride advertised, but doesn’t do early Sunday mornings. The Sherco would have been a gun to a knife fight here.
Off to Martinborough for a drink. Cramps going over the Rimutakas meant that I rode much of that standing on the pegs. Drizzle at Upper Hutt. Home by 5.30pm.June 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm #18543
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