Andy called me last night to ask if I wanted to go for a ride today. I had been doing some maintenance to Gus, but wasn’t quite ready to boogie. We agreed to meet at Upper Hutt Rimutex at a gentlemanly 11.00am this morning to allow for that. At the time I thought 11.00am might mean that we’d be riding in the hottest time of the day.
This morning proved that this wouldn’t be an issue – unforecast drizzle & low cloud.
Got a text from Andy just as I was heading out the door to say he was running 20 mins late – cool, just enough time for Mandy to make me a real coffee. No cafes at Odlins Rd.
Arrived at Rimutex at 11.20am, & got another text from GuzziTony to ask if I was riding this weekend. Funny you should ask. Tony asked for 10 mins grace to change wheels & he’d be there.
We utilized the time to allow Andy to give me a fork seal fix lesson (business card to clean the seal, or in this case my drivers license), which seems to have remedied the leak on Gus, at least today. .
Neither Tony nor I had ridden Odlins Rd previously, so we weren’t sure exactly what we were getting into. It’s at the summit of the Akatarawera Rd, with the entrance opposite the carpark. Just across the road from this photo.
Andy had mentioned the challenging entry, but when I saw it - soaking wet, (because the drizzle had returned), & a very steep & technical rock wall climb, I nearly turned around & went home. Surprisingly, it turned out it was quite grippy, & after Tony scooted up (shaking his thang), I felt obligated to follow. Better traction on the left.
Andy mentioned that that was the worst of it. He was economical with the truth. I should've taken photos of the initial climb & some of the more challenging sections - but I was too busy. Most of the photos were taken when we stopped for a breather.
The road follows a ridgeline, with some bush sections, but mainly consisting of broken or fractured rock. Rain persisted for the entire ride. There was a heap of branches, toitoi, & other foliage draped across the track, which guaranteed a wet slap in the face. Wet branches also made standing on the pegs problematic in some area. I struggled with vision (glasses were fogging in the slow going, rain made faster progress difficult.).
Sorry Tony - while you can get cell coverage in here, you can't get choppered out. You're just going to have to ride it...
The ride was a challenge that I’d like to do again in the dry. It certainly reinforced that I need to get fitter. We got within 4 miles of the hut, but decided to turnaround at that point (Andy mentioned some more challenging sections).
The ride back was interesting - I'm not sure if I have a short, or my tendonitis is / was flaring up, but after nearly drowning Gus in a deep puddle I was getting what felt like shocks off the bars.
Thanks Andy for a good day out. Just next time, no rain okay?
Home after 5.00, soaked, & faarked.