Sunday, June 15, 2008

An excellent ride

This was the Ulysses long ride for the month. The plan was to leave from the Plimmerton Weigh Station at 9.30am and ride to Hunterville via Fordell. The ride home being left to individuals. The weather forecast was for little wind, clear skies, no rain and temperatures 17 - 19 during the day.

At 9.30am 21 motorcycles,two with pillions, left Plimmerton. It was an orderly ride with the first stop being the Mobil station at Bulls. This section of the ride was somewhat boring, just a ride to get to where the real ride would begin. The day was great though and as we got near to Bulls there was this great view in clear skies of Mt Ruapehu and then when we headed off from the stop in Bulls Mt Taranaki came into view as well.

The pace quickened when we left Bulls and I joined the end of the first bunch of bikes. A few riders went elsewhere at Bulls, maybe they went home? From the turnoff to Fordell the ride became interesting with a few more corners. Once past Fordell we were in real motorcycle riding country, except for the pea metal but more about that. I was following Steve riding his Busa and he pointed out the fence he claimed in his off from sliding on pea metal. There was still some pea metal there and at a tight left hander at the top of the next hill I slide. It happened so quickly, I was not going fast, the rear stepped to the right causing my left foot to go down on the road and then swing back with the calf muscle hitting the rear foot peg. It hurt a bit but the fright was worse. I didn't see that metal before hitting it. The bike just recovered and I continued on my way.

I stopped at the top of a hill 6kms from Hunterville and a few others joined me. Ruapehe looked great from this point. Hunterville was the lunch stop and I needed a rest. After we had refreshed ourselves the discussion turned to the options for the ride home. Steve had a plan which sounded good. It was to go to Mangaweka and ride down to Ashhurst via Ruahine Road,Kimbolton etc and then over the Pahiatua Track joining SH2 at Mangamaire.

We were 10 strong leaving Hunterville and I tucked in behind Steve in number two position. At Mangaweka we fuelled up and then went down this steep road into the gorge. What a marvellous road, the pace was brisk and while I try to ride my own ride I am comfortable following Steve who maintains a smooth pace and doesn't over-cook the pace on corners. A refuel for some in Ashhurst and it was off to the Track. Just before the turnoff to the track another rider moved to number one, he wanted more speed and soon I was chasing the tail of the Busa up the hill and feeling the rear moving around a bit as the power loaded up on exiting corners. I lost the two front riders near the top when a car held me up. There was a bit of metal on the Pahiatua side and that moderated speed a little until I was off the hilly bit. As I neared the bottom a couple of bikes caught me. The ride along SH2 was also at a good pace for a group. We stopped to refuel on the Masterton bypass.

We kept in a group until the Rimutakas where I dropped back from the front runners in slow traffic. The light was fading as I came down the Rimutakas and once in the residential area stopped to take the sunnies off. I got home at 5.40pm. The first part of the ride was organised by Ulysses. From Hunterville the ride involved ten riders, all who could keep a good pace and none did anything silly. The first part was the warm up to the main event.

This was a stunning day. The rear tyre looks like it could do another ride.

Stats from MC computer: 531.7kms, 6.34hrs, 5.8L/100km, 80kph ave, 1xxkph max. Odo 8100.

Friday, June 13, 2008

So long between rides

Tuesday night I took the S3 as preferred transport to the monthly Ulysses meeting in Petone. The last ride was posted here and was over three weeks ago. Since that ride I went away for the long weekend - without the bike, the next weekend it rained and last weekend I had to drive to Palmerston North and it was a nice day for the bike.

So on Tuesday I rode the S3. The exhaust back beat as I throttled back going down the hill to the first intersection reminded me why I love riding this machine. It was a sedate ride other than a good twist of the right as I entered SH2 just to hear that unique sound from the pipes and throat of the triple as the load and revs built. The meeting was okay with a new committee now running the show.

The ride home was enjoyable, not much traffic and a good pace along the water's edge as little traffic and nothing behind to worry about. She is a sweet machine and so willing to please.

A good ride is planned for this Sunday and I have already viewed the roads from Google Earth. By next week I think the S3 will need a new rear.