Wind was an issue for the entire ride, though it was mostly fine. I anticipated that the Rimutakas would be interesting. I latched on behind a group of cruisers, on the basis that it was better they were guinea pigs than I. They had ‘interesting riding styles. Strange to say the worst moment on the trip over the Rimutakas & back was at the new portions at Muldoon’s corner, where the wind was hitting the new cuttings. On the way back I got blown across to the road. Nothing oncoming, & I knew I had the gravel to ride onto if I needed any avoiding action, but still…
The ride was to be a shakedown ride to assist Andy Mac & GT ensure that there were no niggly issues on the bikes for the trip down to the Dusty Butt. We were in Martinborough at 10.00am, at ‘the Bach’ (formerly Toppy’s). GT was carrying extra fuel ‘just in case’ – not actually needed as I had over fuelled the tanker to cover that contingency. But first, coffee…
After that slight delay, we rode down to Glendhu station, to Pahaoa River mouth – the road there was full of pee gravel & dust with the consistency of talcum powder - no real traction. Photos by Andy Mac
No beach access, except via the River Mouth. We came, we saw, we didn’t investigate too much further.
Given that was a dead end we rode back to ride back out to Moeraki Rd, to ride Summerhill Rd & Admirals Rd. Before the first gate the road was blocked with a treefall. Fortunately the boys were already there with their chainsaws, dealing to it. Andy & GT chipped in to give a hand, & the way was soon clear. No foldaway pruning saws required.
Across to grab the road out to Flat Point. Awesome sealed road, with a tail wind assist. The usual suspects on the road though. Photo by Andy Mac
Once it turned to gravel, things went downhill. It had only recently been graded, & the wheel tracks had not yet been re-established, so it was quite skatey. Andy claimed to be enjoying the drifts. On the BMW – not so much.
We crested the last hill with views down to the coast, and Andy stopped for a photo opportunity. GT & I continued on, GT leading the way. Regrettably only a couple of corners later he cut a blind right hander too far out into the right side, & met a 4WD full of commercial fishermen coming the other way. He reacted to the 4WD too late, hit the brakes & swerved to the left. He’d likely have dropped the bike, but hit the right front of the 4WD. It was like a bomb going off – the bike, GT, & the gear he had strapped on the bike going in all directions. He was lucky I didn’t run him or the bike over – I wasn’t far behind..
He apparently went over the handlebars, but caught his thighs on the bark busters & took a couple of divots out of the muscle. Surprisingly, that injury seemed to self cauterize. It also turns out he also cracked his tibia (though that didn’t become apparent until the hospital), & he is now sporting some pins in his kneecap. He was calm, conscious & coherent, but not in a hurry to get up.
The guys in the 4WD took charge of the site – I zipped off to find a landline to call an ambulance at a station, 5 or so kms down the road. There was no cellphone coverage where we were.. Unfortunately there was no one home – the place as locked up & there was a very worrisome dog making it clear I wasn’t welcome.
So I had to backtrack 4 or so kms, & rode to Flat Point, were I was finally able to locate someone with a landline. I later found out that Steve is an Alaskan salmon fisherman, who has semi retired here. He was able to call for an Ambulance. I am sure we clearly described the circumstance, but obviously they only heard 4WD vs. bike, so sent the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. So GT got a chopper ride.
The pick up was interesting, given the windy conditions, and a certain lack of suitable landing sites. They kept the helicopter spooling, given the wind gusts. So, guys, better donate, you never know if you’ll need their services. Photo by Andy Mac.
Andy rode GT’s bike back to Steve’s place – an interesting exercise with a split triple clamp, buckled wheel, and modified controls.
That sort of took a chunk of time out of the day. We had a cup of coffee with Steve, then talked to the nice policeman who came along to chat to us. Then we toddled off to the Gladstone pub for a cold one, & I braved the Rimutakas on the way back home.
Guess GT will miss the Dusty Butt then.