February 12, 2017 at 10:35 pm #16872Box.a.BitsParticipant
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Town/City: Wellington
- Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
Matt posted on Facebook he was keen on a ride, & to hook up with some of the Wellington riders. We hadn’t caught up since 2012 for the WAR ride, (though we have chatted on Facebook) so I was quite keen to do that. The logistics of that took a bit of doing though. Unfortunately due to timing I didn’t get to invite everyone I should have. And organising those that were invited – well herding cats comes to mind. But it all worked on the day
Met Mark at Waikanae, & Wayne at Shannon. Compulsory Horseman Cafe for pre-ride coffees. That’s definitely changed hands. All the horse ribbons are gone. The really good food has vanished. My cheese scone was really pretty substandard. Time to find a new met point.
Met with Matt & Cameron at BP Blue Moon at Palmerston North. The plan for the day – Takapari Rd following by a side serving of North Range Rd (after coffee at the Bridge Cafe – Tasty…).
Pretty decent day for it – little wind, not too hot, minimal cloud.
The ride up to the Ruahine Forest Park from the farm gates seemed more cut up than usual. Takapari Rd itself was more compacted than I’ve seen for a while – less big loose stuff around. The last downhill didn’t seem as onerous as normal. That might be because Gus is working well with the upped compression. Takes a load off the brakes when you can just idle downhill.
Photo courtesy of Manakau.KTM
The bigger challenges come after the A-Frame hut. The 1st downhill is certainly a test of your commitment – even better coming back up. Then the track shoots off to the right.
There is a culvert / washout there that takes a bit of finesse. Cameron & I both needed a bit of assistance getting a start & traction there.
After that the track smoothes out for a bit until the last decline to the end of the track. Matt was exploring elsewhere (stuck up a muddy dead end), so Cameron was leading by default, & bravely led on downhill that everyone else decided to pass on. He took that section all in his stride. The rest of us looked at the descent & decided discretion was the better part of valour.
Panning out to give a sense of scale. Steep. Looking down over Dannevegas territory.
There was an older couple MTB’g the track. We made a bet we’d beat them back to the A-Frame hut. It was closer than would feel comfortable for our egos.
The (now) uphill to the A-Frame hut had a snotty initial section, which required a bit of team building to traverse.
The ride down from there seemed almost anti-climatic. Certainly any issues with loose ascents / descents had been firmly put to bed.
On the ride back from Takapari Rd towards Ashhurst the guys must have wondered what I was doing – I had a play with the mid range & top end of Gus – I hadn’t done that to date, pending getting carbs dialled in. Very cool.
Cameron left us to it from Ashhurst – other commitments. The rest of us cruised thru the gorge to ‘Beyond the bridge’ for their choice of refreshments.
Matt bailed then, so that left me, Wayne, & Mark to take on North Range Rd. That seemed to be both drier, & to have deeper 4WD ‘puddles’ than I recall it. Maybe the 4WDs have finally carved thru the old gravel road base. The joke about needing a snorkel seemed a whole lot less funny at one point.
Home by 6.30pm.
Matt has also dropped a heap of other photos & video that he took over on Facebook.
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