Adventure Riding NZ

New Zealand's Adventure Riding community, free GPS track downloads, forums, and more!


Home Forums Riding Events, get togethers and ride reports TAIHAPE & BACKCOUNTRY – 25th Feb 17

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #17057
    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Forgot my camera this ride, so all photos are from my or Manakau.KTM’s cellphones.

    First time on the new McKays Crossing to Peka Peka expressway. Very nice. 18kms of four lane smooth flowing loveliness. Only a partial run going up, but coming home I did the whole thing. Created a totally different impression of the Kapiti dunes & wetlands. Can’t wait for Transmission Gully to be completed.

    Took the Waikanae off ramp to pick up MarkS. Because he needed gas, we went into the township, & then used what was SH1 to head north. Eerie. No traffic. I wonder how the Waikanae retailers will fare with the loss of passing trade. I guess they’ll still get the train commuters.

    Met Manakau.KTM at Manakau (strange that), & rode on to Asshurst (still prefer Bart’s spelling). Stopped at the Fusion Cafe, where we were to meet DazzaDM. Needs a veranda for street appeal. Lovely potato top pie, but the coffee wasn’t great. Why is it unusual to get top food & coffee in the one place?

    Photo courtesy of Manakau.KTM

    DazzaDM arrived just as we were finishing up

    The beginning of Zig Zag Rd. DazzaDM & ManakauKTM

    Out via Zig Zag / Finnis / Ridge Rds. Ridge Rd had just had some work done. High crown, soft sand / silt & gravel piled into the middle of the road, & no clear wheel tracks to follow. It was also getting hot. Not really condusive to enjoyable riding (or reliable steering for that matter). But would have been great on the sidecar, where traction isn’t a requirement. Met a huge truck & trailer unit with a bulldozer on the back that took up the whole road, fortunately in a good place. But by just after half way thru, we flagged it, & bailed through London Ford Rd. Seal thru to Pembertons Corner, then out to SH1 & Mangaweka.

    DazzaDM. Photo Courtesy of Manakau.KTM

    MarkS. Photo Courtesy of Manakau.KTM

    Box.a.bits. Photo Courtesy of Manakau.KTM

    MarkS, looking much happier now that nasty Ridge Rd gravel is behind him

    We stopped at Papa Cliff Cafe in Mangaweka for more coffee & lunch. For me, that was a vension burger, MarkS a bacon & egg burger. Good coffee. Recommended.

    Manakau.KTM (I’m sure it didn’t taste that bad…) & DazzaDM in the Papa Cliff Cafe, Mangaweka. Recommended stop.

    MarkS stowing his foldaway heavy trailer

    DazzaDM took us out Te Kapua Rd, then up a non-maintained clay road Wairepu East Rd thru to Tiraukawa Rd. I should imagine that track be near impassable in winter. In summer it’s dried rock solid, which meant some ruts grabbed the front wheel, & where stock had been, it’d pugged up

    Wairepu Rd East. Photo Courtesy of Manakau.KTM

    Then up to Ngahuinga Rd, & through private farm tracks across to Ridge Rd, exiting nr the Microwave Tower.

    DazzaDM & Manakau.KTM. MarkS is playing Wilson again & is (ir)responsible for the extra appendages.

    There were 2 more technical portions in there – coming out of a gully, climbing up over seeping clay papa rock. Fortunately (after the lead rider had a couple of attempts at that, giving a great display of sideways riding skills), we found the safer right side line, which had more traction.


    Then another jump over a front wheel swallowing rut. I saw Manakau.KTM lose (rear) traction climbing out that. Totally did my head in, so I tried to walk the bike across, which was absolutely the wrong move. Adventure riding is a confidence trick. I totally felt like a gumby rider right about then.

    Must say that the view from the intersection of Ridge Rd / Pukenaua Rd is hugely panoramic (no photo unfortunately).

    DazzaDM very kindly took us back to his home at the abbatoir for a Lemon Lime & Bitters. He’s put a shit load of work into that building. It’ll be spectacular when it’s finished.

    It was after 5.30pm by the time we left Taihape. Rode Mangaweka / Rangiwhia / Kimbolton on the way home, riding into the setting sun, & trying to avoid SH1, & the expected traffic volumes (& diversions) from the Air Tattoo at Ohakea.

    On the long straights after Kimbolton a small bug splatted on my visor right between my eyes. I momentarily felt sorry for it, & turned my head so it would be blown off. Instead, it was dragged in a horizontal line right across my sight lines, very slowly being disembowelled. I imagined the tiny insect screams. I eventually lost sight of it but have no reason not to believe it finally was discarded from the helmet somewhere around my left ear, about 10 kms after the initial incident.

    Some time later a bigger bug, maybe a blowfly, made a proper job of it right in the middle of the visor. Splat. No movement from that one.

    Just outside Shannon, heading for the twin passing lanes, & MarkS was passing a Ute. There was an explosion of plastic around Mark. I thought someone had thrown something at him, maybe annoyed at his passing. However a wee way up the road he did the Aussie haka, & discovered his credit cards & cash had exited the scene. So we backtracked. Very luckily Wayne found the first card, which lead to further discoveries on the other side of the road, including $50 he’d forgotten he had. There was no finders fee, which was very disappointing…

    Home at around 8.30, just after dark. Given the 7.30am start, a long day. 549 kms. A dusty bike smelling vaguely of cowshit.

    • Bike: DR650
    • Rank: 250cc Rider

    Looks great! Thanks for the post!

    Cam El Weirdenson
    • Rank: 50cc Rider

    Went for a bat down ridge rd south then continued round to the unformed/paper road part of kaweka rd today (not much reference to this one to be found except in Andy cockrofts 4wding books) and back to mangaweka to complete the loop. Many of you guys hit the kaweka road?
    Ridge road has a small slip which was easily passable. Kaweka rd was pretty cruisey. Still fairly dry

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.