Has a call from AndyMac earlier in the week asking if I wanted a ride. Given I’d finally sorted the majority of carb issue with Gus, I was real keen. I was most interested in doing Odlins Rd again, as the last ride there was somewhat spoiled by misty drizzle & a cracked spark plug cap that gave me shocks on the way out.
The weather was forecast to be fine & 18+ degrees. Given the Rain God (EddieB) was in Hamilton, I figured the forecast was likely to be accurate this time.
We agreed to meet at Staglands at 11.00am, so that the group could gather in a civilized fashion. Staglands is a wildlife / farm park, part way through the Akatarewa’s, & very popular in the summer months with young families. It also has the advantage of an attached café.
Eventually we had 7 bikes & riders: me (R100GS), AndyMac (WR250R), MarkS (KLR650), ManukauKTM (640E), Pampa (F650X), Ash (WR250R) & his son (TTR250).
Odlins Rd (or more correctly Waiotauru Rd) is an old non maintained logging road, which heads north from the Akatarewa Hill Rd summit car park. The original entrance has been blocked off to stop people dumping old cars off the track. The track is popular with 4WD drivers & some mountain bikers, but because it follows ridgelines, is somewhere where you need to be sure of the weather.
The first part of the trail is a rocky (clean) rock wall. It looked intimidating on the wet ride. This time, no issues.
Not too far in we passed a 4WD, with a family out for an excursion. One older gentleman had decided it might be preferable to walk. Andy dropped his bike in here somewhere.
Shortly after, Pampa’s bike decided that uphill running was not what it wanted to do, so we took a break to play with electrics.
It became apparent that part of the issue was the connections to the ignition switch – but after resolving this, the bike still didn’t want to play nicely, so Pampa decided to limp out, shepherded by Ash & his son, who live not too far from Staglands. And so there were four left.
By this stage the 4WD had passed us, & parked up just at the beginning of a snotty section that MarkS had had previous trouble on (this video is from a prior ride, but gives a feel for that section). They were set up to take photos of Gus attempting this. I may have disappointed them, by riding the rut, & paddling…
The day was fairly warm & I needed a few breaks on the way up. Andy picked one with views out to the coast.
Not far from the summit, there is a section of steep tank traps / woops, rocky & loose, with a couple of small plateaus through it. Basically you just have to gun it to get up. Unfortunately at the crest of the final whoop I lost my balance on Gus, which resulted in me hitting the gas WFO. I did a wall of death climb 1 & ˝ - 2 metres up a rock wall, & barrel rolled it down onto MarkS’s KLR – which was unfortunately parked right where we needed to be. Thanks to AndyMac for the post crash photos.
I took Mark’s handlebar in the back nr the bottom ribs, & tore some ligaments in my shoulder. The impact seems to have broken ribs, & either bruised or punctured my left lung. Certainly there was a time there where I didn’t want to move, & when I did get upright, I sat up very straight on a stump. Concerningly, I couldn’t catch my breath for a bit, & then could only shallow breathe & when I stood I couldn’t be sure I wasn’t going to fall down again.
The guys attended to Gus – got him upright, turned around, & did some running repair to get the handlebars & risers pointed in the right direction. There were cloud of smoke from the engine being upside down for a bit – that didn’t clear until ˝ way back to Akatarewa Rd. The front headlight ring is bent & garked, as is the choke lever. The clutch pivot has snapped internally, so the clutch rotates on the bar. The right hardhead guard is bent, & the left valve cover has some scraps. Other than that, I haven’t looked closely to find damage.
For my part, I thought I could just about ride – carefully – and slowly. There wasn’t anywhere for the rescue helicopter to come in anyway, & then there would have been an issue with recovering Gus.
Mark kindly shepherded me out Akatarewa Rd. The ride was interesting. I could feel clicking in my back, & some tearing when I did stupid things like trying to paddle through difficult section. On the whole though, riding faster was more comfortable that riding slower.
Once at the Akatarewa Rd, I opted to go the Waikanae / SH1 route home, reasoning that this would be more straightforward. Unfortunately I forgot about late Sunday afternoon traffic.
Got home, had a shower & changed, then drove to Wgtn Hospital Emergency dept. Arrived there at 5.40pm, got seen fairly quickly, but was classed as non priority, & finally got seen again at about 1.30am. They did some X-rays & ultrasounds, gave me more pain relief, & got me to stay overnight in the short stay unit.
This morning I had more X-rays. The Fluid / Bleed didn’t seem to be worse, so they allowed me home. I have another appointment for more X-rays on Friday. I am not a sprint champion at present, & no one make me laugh….They’ve given me a week off work, and I’ve got a month of painkillers
It seems that Andy & Wayne made it to the Hut, but maybe had some issues on the way