Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Taking my Daughter for her first long ride

My youngest daughter is 12 and has decided that motorbikes are pretty cool. This came about when I dropped her off at a friends on the bike, and her friends all thought she was just too cool for school.

I thought I would take her on one of my favourite rides. No 2 line from Wanganui to Hunterville. The ride to Wanganui along SH3 would be a test to see how she handled herself.

Well, what a great pillion. I ran through some hand signals, some shoulder taps for things like "Slow Down" (like I would really follow that one), "I need to stop" and "I need to pee". I ran through the cornering technique; always look over my shoulder on the same side as the corner.The usual don't get off and on until I tell you its okay and don't wriggle when we are stopped. Well enough blah blah blah, and then we were off.

What a fantastic pillion she is. I didn't even know she was there. Stopped at Sanson for gas and asked her how she was getting on ... although the ear to ear smile should have told me. From there it was all systems go.

A video of the ride can be found here on my youtube channel.

We have an all day expedition planned for Thursday which should be fun.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Its been a long gap between posts

Well it has been a long time between posts.

I have now got my full motorcycle licence. Straight after getting it I went out and bought the bike I have always wanted, a Triumph. After much consideration I went for the Tiger 1050. It was my birthday, so I consider it my birthday present to myself.


What a fantastic bike to ride. That 1050cc triple is just soooooo smooth. Plenty of power but not scary, skittery power, nice smooth torquey power all the way through the rev range. Very sure footed in both wet and dry and the seating position is just perfect for me ... no sore backs!  Is there a nicer sounding engine than the triumph triple? I don't think so.

I bought it at the end of August and have managed to put 7,000km on it during the NZ winter. The first long summer ride is happening this coming weekend. Six of us on a four day jaunt around the North Island of New Zealand. 

I have two other big rides planned. The TT2000, 2000km in two days in February covering both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and a South Island Trip with E-Riders for 8 days in March.

Summer is here and I am going riding!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Upcoming South Island Ride

Only 3 weeks to go until I embark on an 8 day ride around the South Island with 9 others from the E-Riders. Route is planned, accommodation booked, ferry tickets booked and I can't wait.

This is our route.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Aftermath of my Oops Last Week

In my previous post, Saturday Ride, you may recall I mentioned in passing my new parking technique. The horizontal park. I thought at the time I had torn my hamstring and it looks like I was right. The evidence below.


You can even see the little spot at the top of the Hematoma where the tear occurred, the resulting pooling of the blood, and then the trickle down under the skin towards the back of my knee. I am just grateful it was me hurt and not the bike. I heal for free, fixing the bike costs money at exorbitant BMW Engineer rates!

Note to self, check the ground where you plan to put your foot down when parking a motorbike to make sure there is not a hole under the grass and stones to make your foot slip.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Saturday Ride

Today I joined a couple of the E-Riders for an excursion around the North Island. Mostly sealed roads but a number of gravel roads to connect between sealed roads.

Our route:

Richard and Brian came from Wellington and I joined them at Bulls. It was a fantastic day and I learned a lot from Brian about some of the history of the area. I am in awe of Brian. He is 70+ and still riding. It was great for my riding education following Brian and Richard. They have both been riding for a long time (Brian since 1958 .... before I was born).

I learned probably the best thing to help my riding in the twisties. Counter Steering. You want to go right, put pressure on the right grip pushing it away from you, you want to turn left, put pressure on the left grip pushing it away from you.

At first I thought they were taking the piss and just wanted to see me go flying of the side of a hill. (Sorry guys .. :-) ) I tried it on a straight piece of road first, and blow me down if it didn't work.

Try it next time, if you don't already do this.  It immediately smoothed out my cornering and had me going through corners at least 10kph quicker than before. As the corner tightens, apply a bit more pressure. It was like I was on rails.

I will not mention me dropping ..... ahhhh parking my bike laterally when we stopped to look at an old dam. I will not talk about me tearing my hamstring trying to stop it from falling. However, there was no way I was not going to finish the ride. Sitting on the bike was almost pain free, but getting on and off was a bit .... ouchy.

A fantastic ride and I can't wait for next week. BMWOR ride. Just hope the hamstring heals okay. Voltaren, voltaren where fore art though Voltaren .... (sorry  Shakespeare)



Saturday, 12 January 2013

New Years Adventure - Day 3

Well my 3 day ride is now almost over.

I woke up in Tauranga to find a really overcast day with ominous black clouds in all directions. Pull on my wet weather gear, pack up the bike and head off for my first real wet weather ride. I decided to go over the Kaimai's, through Putaruru and have lunch in Taupo.

It absolutely pis..... rained heavily almost all the way. Going over the Kaimai's there was fog and rain with very limited visibility. I have to say, the standard Metzeler Tourance tires on the bike gave me great confidence in the wet. I was very tentative to start but soon realised that my limited skill level would never see the limits of the tire. Once this realisation hit, I enjoyed the new experience of riding in the wet. Did the standard things of avoiding the black shiny bits and avoiding the road markings, but otherwise really enjoyed riding in the rain. Is there something wrong with me ....

Stopped at Taupo to get a fantastic brunch. Bacon, eggs, hash browns, tomato's, toast and coffee for $15. Perfectly cooked and really tasty. Replete, I put my clothes back on .... just thought I would give you that vision of me eating naked just to ruin your day ..... actually put my wet weather gear back on and headed off for home.

Headed down through the desert road through to Waiouru. The rained had eased and I was really grateful to be on a bike as there seemed to be a competition amongst the trucks and caravans to see who could drive the slowest. Through Waiouru and on to Taihape where I thought I would top up my food intake at the soul food cafe. I had seen this cafe on my trips through Taihape so decided to try it out. The coffee was good but the ham, cheese, onion and tomato toasted sandwich was the best I have ever had ..... yum yum.

The rest of the ride back was uneventful. A fine day the rest of the ride made for a great end to a great 3 days.

The G650GS is certainly frugal on fuel. I was getting 260km before the fuel warning light came on. Not bad for 10 litres.

Overall 1200km ridden and can not wait until I do it again. I have my next trip planned. At the end of March the E-Riders are doing an 8 day South Island ride which I have signed up for.

Bring on March!



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Years Adventure - Day 2

2 arrived bright and early. Well actually Day 1 and Day 2 merged into one as I did not get much sleep. I have decided I am too old to sleep in a tent with just a foam roll and a sleeping bag. The ground was hard and I just couldn't get comfortable. I want my bed!

Day 2 plan was to head to Tauranga. One of the horses my brother and I have shares in was due to race at the Tauranga races and I was to meet him there.

As I was ready to go by about 7:30, I decided to take the scenic "Motu Track". If I had any brains at all I would have realised what I was letting myself in for when I saw signs saying "Mountain bike Trail". It was 60km of goat track, or at least that's what it seemed. I actually got to ford a couple of creeks, my first. The highlight of the trail was coming up to a hare sitting in the middle of the track. He took of with me in hot pursuit, okay, it was slow pursuit, but he ran down the track for a good 3km, just keeping 10 yards ahead of me all the way. Talk about dumb and dumber. There is me on my G650GS with road tyres chasing a hare who just needed to jump of the track to get away. Actually I didn't want to look off to the side as I fear it was a long way down. Maybe the hare wasn't so dumb.



I eventually reached the main Opotiki road. Needless to say I did not see another motorised vehicle on the track. Saw about 1/2 a dozen Mountain Bikers, but no other motorbikes or 4WD's. Glad to reach the end though and felt a real feeling of accomplishment. Last time I had an offroad adventure I managed to ....ahhhh... park, thats the word I am looking for, park my bike in a ditch and break the clutch handle and gear lever.

Road into Opotiki and thought I would phone "She who must be obeyed" to regale her with my intrepid exploits.

Pulled out the iPhone and ...Uh oh .... last nights text was showing as "undelivered". There were also about 5 voice messages and a number of texts getting more and more worried about where I was. I had visions of SAR, the Army, the Air force and probably also the Navy out searching for me. When my wife decides a search is needed, she will stop at nothing! Managed to get a few hundred sorries into a 5 minute phone call, but crisis averted and I was good to complete the days ride. Also had a text from my brother saying that our horse was scratched, had a strained muscle, so decided to take the scenic route through Ohope, Whakatane and the cost road through to Tauranga.

It was a fantastic day and what a great ride. Arrived at the camping ground and got a cabin. Couldn't face another night in the tent. The owners of the camping ground knew my name. I wondered how they knew who I was. It seems that my wife had phoned them and asked them to remind me to check in..... They thought it was funny!

I am not that impressed with the camp. Seems to be about 65% permanent residents and the rest are teenagers looking for a good time. I am sure the cabin is shaking with the bass from the various stereos, but I have a fantastic view.



I will add photos later (now done), but time for bed, as I head home tomorrow and it is meant to rain all the way.



New Years Adventure - Day 1

Left Palmerston North heading to Matawai. Matawai is mid way between Gisborne and Opotiki on SH2.

It was raining and a bit cool but nothing was going to stop the intrepid explorer. Just out of Woodville the wind picked up and by the time I reached Dannevirke it was really blowing off the Rimutaka's. Arrived at Napier safe and sound if not a little wind blown.

From Napier, I hit the Napier - Gisborne highway. It was a beautiful sunny day with only a little wind. There was a never ending stream of traffic coming from Gisborne as the Rhythm and Vines music festival had finished the previous night. There was very little traffic heading in my direction. What a great road to ride on. Lots of twists and turns made it a really enjoyable ride.

I took a little detour to Mahia Beach to relive my youth. It has changed so much! Just like every other beach community, it has not missed out on being "Yuppified".

Turned off onto SH2 heading to Opotiki. Just when I was congratulating myself on a traffic free run, I came up to a huge queue of cars going in my direction at about 20kph. The beauty of having a bike, I was able to cruise up on the outside of the queue. Most of the cars were good about this and a few even moved to the left to let me through. There are always a couple though who didn't like me avoiding the queue and actually moved to try and block me but they were soon dealt with.

There must have been 100 cars in the queue, all caused by a couple of old trucks fully laden with hay that were really struggling. How they were allowed on the road is beyond me and not a police car in sight. I was not held up much and finally reached the campsite at Matawai, 20km's past the traffic jam.

I had time to check in, pitch my tent and then go looking for a phone before the big queue of cars went past.

Matawai has no cellphone coverage and I had promised "She who must be obeyed" that I would check in every night to let her know I had arrived safely. There was a pay phone, but it only took prepaid cards and there was no where to buy one. The camp ground owners had left, the shop was shut and so was the pub! When in doubt, head for higher ground, so I walked up a hill until I got some cellphone coverage, even if it was just one bar. Not enough coverage to make a call successfully but enough for a text. Got a reply text from my daughter so all was good.

Check in complete ....... or was it?