Great start to the day. Riding along the motorway, & got hit by something. Just caught it from the corner of my eye, as something black went off the side of the bike. I thought it was a bird until I realised my fuel cap was missing. Damn. Pulled over (only took me ˝ a km to realise what it was…), walked back, found two pieces, but not the seals. And those two pieces were never going back together again. I hadn’t taken the cap off since the prior ride with EddieB, it wasn’t that I hadn’t put it on properly this morning. Shit…
Ride to Rimutex to catch up with Mark_S, and then we backtracked to Upper Hutt Supercheap to see if we could find a replacement. Gus is now sporting a ‘nice’ chrome locking cap. Oh well, guess the gas is safe from thieves now (yeah right, they just need to pull the gas lines).
A word of warning to unwary punters. Upper Hutt is expensive for coffee & cake. Or maybe it was just special pricing for Mark.
Mark’s bent pinky had been giving him grief coming over the hill, but he decided he could man up & ride one handed (sorry for that mental picture)... No gravel, out of consideration for Mark – and the fact that we were already late.
Given the delays (it was now 11.00 – start was supposed to be 9.00) we slabbed it to Masterton, and then followed SH52 to Pongoroa for lunch. I always like it there. Peaceful.
Left Mark at the Weber turnoff – He headed for Dannevirke, I headed for Porangahau
I wanted to hit Blackhead beach before high tide, due at 5.00pm. Bart had taken us thru here for the RRRR, & I really liked it. Its very scenic, & good riding. At it happens I made it at 4.10, & just squeaked past the tide line through one portion (rode through some moderate waves).
Back from Pourerere Beach to River Rd, then Middle Rd to Havelock North (amazing sweeping road – I’ve always enjoyed that).
Across to Taradale for the night with friends Paul & Judith. Rolled into his garage right on time at 5.30. Couldn’t convince Paul that night to drag the R100GSPD out for a run, but good to catch up. He may also a prove a source of helicoils for me.
East Cape Airhead Ride. Day Two
Left Taradale early, Puketapu Rd, Puketitiri Rd, & Seafield Rd to Eskvale, but had to backtrack to Bayview to get fuel. Then Napier Taupo Rd.
Stopped for a coffee, & caught up with a couple on a café’d Guzzi Spada. I’d seen them going the other way at Bayview. They’d also toured Europe on a ’79 R100RS at about the same time as Mandy & me. They still have it – it did 60k kms before they realized it has points, & they didn’t need any resetting. The Guzzi was low, black, & loud.
Pohokura Rd, & duck off into the Forestry with some misgivings. Whilst I had a map & a good sense of direction I was concerned at getting lost. Some of the road is suffering from lack of maintenance, with some erosion ruts forming.
As Clint indicated in one of his posts, the access via the washed out stream has been improved.
The actual crossing was a little anti-climatic...
I did get somewhat turned around once, but made my way back to the main tracks with no major issues. Once you border Whirinaki Forest Park, things become easier. I saw that the Army was in there for a play too. Finally made my way to Minganui in time for lunch at 1.00pm.
Saw the normal complement of loose stock on the road to Lake Waikaremoana. No issues, scenic, but a long way through there.
I was about over gravel by the time I came past the hydro station, & the sporadic gravel / seal interchanges were just annoying.
Into Wairoa to pick up some cash, then responded to Alex's text - they had made Mahia.
The 3 other guys that attemded were all on Paralevers (Kokopelli - R80GS basic, Steve in NZ - Purple gravel rash R100GSPDRT, & Richard K - Tourquoise R100GSPD). The G/S guys appeared to want to stay closer to home. Steve had organised to room with the other two at the Mahia Holiday Park & Motel, in a ‘renovated’ Motel room. I bludged space. Thanks guys. We all went to the pub for dinner. Have to say the pub & motel didn’t impress, given their pricing policies. If they were cheaper, maybe, but just because you have a monopoly in a town?