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Old 12-23-2013, 12:47 AM   #1486
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Rimutaka Pylon Track & Ocean Beach Road

On the run in to Rimutex I had to pull over not long after the Manor Park turn off, as I thought I’d punctured. Bryce tells me that the road has been breaking up just before where I stopped. Dunno. Maybe something stuck on the tyre. Maybe. Anyway, there was no damage & the tyre was good – but thanks anyway to the riders that pulled across to check that everything was good with Gus. It was appreciated.

A relaxed 10.30am start & a fine, relatively still (for Wellington) day meant a good turn out for this run, advertised (afaik) exclusively via Facebook. But guys, next time we might need to congregate over by the fence - the operators get annoyed if you block their forecourt.

I’m not sure what the Harley rider thought when he got surrounded by adv types at Rimutex.

I took it easy over the Rimutakas because I still wasn’t sure of what had happened back on the motorway, & I didn’t want any surprises on the hill. Also we seemed to ride off quite spread out, & I was content to wait for the others to catch up. But in the event, Darren was the only one that passed me. Scott, who followed me, was running Mitas CO2 tyres, & was conscious of limited grip. But I think maybe he got the better side of the equation once he hit the pylon track.



Regroup at the car park after the bridge, in the Featherston side, then into it. There was a variety of bikes on the run – please forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone, or gotten their names wrong: Daniel – Tenere 650; Colin – Tenere 650; Sam – Tenere 650; Chris – DR650; Ricky- DR650; Sam - DR350; Scott - KLR650; Bryce - KLR650, sporting a new old corbin seat; Ian – R1200GS; ? – G650 Dakar; Darren – F650GS (single); Me - R100GS

The guy on the Harley didn’t make it.



Chris had reported that the track had recently been bulldozed. I can report it’s still the same steep, snotty, rocky climb that it always has been. The biggish rocks on a hard base can make for an interesting ride up on a big bike, & a buttock clencher on the way down, especially when your brakes & tyres are a bit marginal.

Fabulous views on a nice day though. Last time I was up here we were lost in the clouds. This time you could see across to Lake Wairarapa, & the entire Rimutaka Hill road (on the Featherston side).













I took it easy, & caught Chris, Scott, & Daniel at one of the Pylons. Daniel had s stationary rollover moment (both sides) at the gate at the end of the track, initially because the side stand is too upright, & then when it fell over the other side when he got over enthusiastic picking it up. It bent the brake & gear shift levers, which needed a bit of modification before we could carry on (you need boxer cylinders – they protect everything & make it easier to pick up. DAMHIK.





Back at the car park, Chris, Scott, & Colin had already departed for the Akatarewa (they scrawled a note on the back of Sam’s van). The rest of the group was going to do Admirals Rd. Daniel, Stefan & I decided on a quickish trip to Ocean Beach & back (I hadn’t been June (Onoke Spit doesn’t count).











Interesting to note the sign on the gate – looks like our days of free access are about to be limited. Also noted the damage from the big storms on the scree slope.



Home by 4.15.
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Box'a'bits screwed with this post 01-04-2014 at 12:46 AM Reason: Correct names
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:53 AM   #1487
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where is that sign/gate steve?
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:26 AM   #1488
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What Page?

"a good turn out for this run, advertised (afaik) exclusively via Facebook. "

Which page? Nothing on the Wellington Adventure Riders, which looks a bit inactive.

Michael
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:58 AM   #1489
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Quote:
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where is that sign/gate steve?
Just after the scree slope, where you go thru' the sandy bit, then there is a gate...
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"a good turn out for this run, advertised (afaik) exclusively via Facebook". Which page? Nothing on the Wellington Adventure Riders, which looks a bit inactive. Michael
Here you go. Adventure Riding NZ, EddieB's group. I think us Wgtn based riders are the biggest group actively using that page.
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:16 PM   #1490
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Looks like a good time was had Steve

Have a great Christmas and New Year - Cheers Oaters
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:25 AM   #1491
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Nice pics and report nutso. Im down the bach however with technological marvels I can catch up via my pill greentoothed to my mobile phone, amazing.
May I take the opportunity to wish your readers a safe and happy christmas.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:46 AM   #1492
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Looks like a good time was had Steve. Have a great Christmas and New Year - Cheers Oaters
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Nice pics and report nutso. Im down the bach however with technological marvels I can catch up via my pill greentoothed to my mobile phone, amazing. May I take the opportunity to wish your readers a safe and happy christmas.
Cheers guys. Merry Christmas to one and all.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:14 PM   #1493
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[Here you go. Adventure Riding NZ, EddieB's group. I think us Wgtn based riders are the biggest group actively using that page.[/QUOTE]

I had forgotten about Eddie's page, had not visited him for a while. I will join the Wellingtonians squatting there!
Thanks,
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:32 PM   #1494
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Top of the South Ride ( TOTS - Part 1)

After too much time painting the house, (I’ve had the last 5 weeks off work to do that) I decided I needed to head down south for some R&R. MarkS was to meet me down there.


Wed 29th - Rainbow & Sedgemere / Severn Track:
Arrived in Picton at 12.00 (8.00am Bluebridge sailing). Already hot.

Wasn’t wholly decided on where to head but had a lot of tracks I’d like to have a crack at. I decided I needed to get the access to Clarence River Reserve sorted (you are supposed to prepay $20), & to get the combinations for the Edwards & Mailing Pass gates. The closest DoC (Dept of Conservation) office was at Renwick. But with cost savings, I discovered the South Marlborough office is shut between 12.00 – 2.00. Fortunately the nice lady there opened up for me. I needed to pay in cash, didn’t have any, so there was some shagging around sorting that.

Given I was already heading in the Wairau Valley direction, decided to ride the Rainbow as far as the Lake Sedgemere, & try the new track Doc has given access to.

The Rainbow Station follows the Power Pylons (it’s also an access road), & there is a $15.00 toll gate (for Motorcycles) at one end. There are a number of (concrete bottomed) creek fords on the way, as well as one larger ford that can be rougher when flooding shifts rocks & gravel down. This day there was nothing too worrisome however.







The Rainbow is very scenic, & a bit rougher than the Molesworth, but relatively easy riding.
















Lake Sedgemere to Severn Bridge Track
The Lake Sedgemere to Severn Track really isn’t that exciting, but gives capacity to do a no of loop combinations with Molesworth Rainbow. The track will only be open until 28th Feb – it’s a trial at present, to check demand & behaviour.

The track starts as a formed gravel road, but deteriorates into two track, & then a farm track, & finally a grass track.









They had to cut the fence to let the Airhead thru - it was just too big



There is only one stream crossing to worry about, & a couple of muddy puddles.



I don’t think that it would be an all weather track though. The farm sections look like they’d get muddy fast.





The photo shows where the track exits, nr a bridge over the Severn River Bridge


The Molesworth
Given that time was wearing on, & the Acheron Gate shuts at 7.00pm, I decided to leg it down the Molesworth, with a view towards overnighting at the Acheson Homestead.







Acheson Homestead is an old cob built Homestead, which isn’t available for accommodation, but does have a camp site & tap, & a Ranger Station. $6 a night to camp. Vension sausages, coleslaw, & buns for dinner. Then a fellow camper came over with chilli, so we scoffed that too.

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Old 02-02-2014, 11:02 PM   #1495
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TOTS Part 2 - Thurs Jan 30th - Acheron to Murchison, (including Edwards Pass)

Earlyish start, Bacon & Eggs for breakfast, & boiled the 3 residual eggs for lunch. Unfortunately I didn’t boil them long enough & come lunchtime they were only ½ cooked.



Down to Hamner Springs via Jollies Pass to assure Mandy I hadn’t crashed yesterday (no cell coverage on the Molesworth or Rainbow), topped up on coffee, had a text conversation with MarkS in an attempt to hook up with him, then up Jacks Pass, back out on the Molesworth heading for the Edwards Pass track.






Edwards Pass
This is part of the St James conservation area cycle track, rated intermediate initially, then advanced.

There are two entrances – a cycle entrance & gate further up Tophouse Rd for 4WD. The 4WD entry is always locked, but the combination is available from any Doc office.



From 2014-02-02 Top of the South Trip

The area appears pretty barren initially, & it was like a furnace in there, but drops down into a valley where there is more pasture. I saw 2 mtbrs on the track, & that was all.







Made it to Scott’s hut & took a break.



The hut is above a river bed. The cyclists get to use the swing bridge. We get to cross a ford.





There a steep switchback climb after the river (I remember EddieB swearing about this in one of his videos). This photo is from the crest of the hill, looking back at Scott's Hut.





The end point is at the Wairau River. There is a very steep descent, which has a load of loose large gravel on it.







I started down & realized this was a mistake, but struggled to find a point to turn the bike on. Eventually managed that, but then couldn’t get sustained traction to get the bike back up the climb. After digging the bike a hole & burning some rubber, I took the luggage off, plotted a route up the 1st 20 meters of so. I managed a fair rooster tail, & a very untidy climb (flailing legs), but managed to get myself back up that hill.



Then had to walk back down to luggage, & transport that up (took a few trips). I was fairly knackered from that, but got on the bike, & discovered it was much cooler when I was moving.



Back out to the main Rainbow Road.



Made the toll gate at 6.30, 30 mins after they officially closed. Didn’t have to pay again, because the toll is good for a couple of days.

Rode out to Murchison, to set up for the next days ride over the Braeburn Track, Porika Track, & Maruia Saddle. My intent was originally to do these, then get into the Clarence by 5.00.

Dinner at the River Cafe (steak with mushroom sauce, & chips), & a very well earned beer. Cabin for the night.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:03 PM   #1496
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TOTS - Part 3 Friday Jan 31st - Braeburn, Porika Track, Maruia Saddle, Hamner Springs

Spoke to MarkS at breakfast at the River Café (Big Breakfast, Latte). I’d talked with a couple on a GSPD the night before (from Golden Bay) who suggested that the Mackley was a great ride, but only if accompanied). I talked about that with Mark, & managed to get talked out of lone wolfing that. Instead we agreed I’d do the Braeburn & Porika (uphill), & we’d meet about 12.00 noon.

The Braeburn
The Braeburn was pleasant, but it took a while for me to rediscover my riding Mojo. The day before I was a riding God…










The Porika Track
The Porika was…‘challenging’. Talking to someone at the top, a maintenance crew had come in about a year or so ago, had worked on the bottom ½, & were supposed to come back to finish off the top ½. They never did. There are some areas of biggish erosion ruts, & loose rock up there. Fine on a lightweight bike, but on Gus with luggage? The photo below was taken from one of the side pylon service tracks, where I was taking a break.









Got out of Porika to find out Mark wasn’t now going to meet me. He was directionally challenged & ended up in Motueka.

Lunched at River Café (more coffee & a very nice Veggie Filo with a sweet chillie sauce drizzled over it).


The Maruia Saddle
Took the Maruia Saddle Road (very laid back, scenic, & easy riding).


Horse Terrace Bridge











Then thru to via the Lewis Pass via Hamner (more coffee), & finally thru’ the Inland Kaikoura Rd to Kaikoura after 6.00pm (missed the Clarence entry, as that closed at 5.00). I did stop at the entrance for a photo though. The mosquitoes were literally climbing over each other to get to me.


Waiua River One lane Bridge with two passing lanes

From 2014-02-02 Top of the South Trip

Wayne & Brian were still on the Ferry at that stage, so I got a cabin. But the boys brought a change of underwear & a credit card, so that wasn’t going to work. Eventually they got a Motel

Subway & beer with the boys when they arrived.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:13 PM   #1497
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TOTS Part 4 - Feb 1st - Clarence River Reserve

Custard tart from a bakery for breakfast, & stashed a beef roll for lunch.

I was fairly unsure that we would get into the Clarence Saturday, given the heavy cloud layer & drizzle on the hills & from the night before. However when we rocked up to the Clarence Reserve Gate, Brett the DoC worker assured us it was fine inside (the valley runs between the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, & the Inland Kaikoura Ranges. We filled in the disclaimers, & Brian & Wayne paid their $20 ea. We left most of the luggage with Brett, & then got into it.

Visibility was low, & I was misting on my visor & glasses. There was no view off the track, so Wayne & Brian weren’t really aware of the drop offs.



Wayne was quite funny towards the top as visibility improved. He was getting quite excited to see Marlborough Rock Daisies in their natural habitat.



As visibility improved the cameras came out.













The road switchbacks down to the Herring / Seymour River, & then regularly cross that in a number of fords. Brian tried to gun the 990 thru’ one & came unstuck. Wayne also struck issues as his bike started to miss fire.





We originally diagnosed this as a wet connecter, then found he hadn’t bypassed the sidestand switch, so took care of that. Then we went thru & applied CRC to any suspect connectors. We got it running properly, but before the next water crossing it started misbehaving again. We decided Wayne would retire to the comforts of the Warden Hut, & Brian & I would tackle the road to Palmers Hut. If Wayne got the KTM running properly, he’d join us. If not we’d look at our options when we got back.



Here's Peeteey's You Tube video of the access track. This was a Christchurch crew - from the weekend before.



We later agreed the most interesting part of the Clarence is the ride in & out. The ride to Palmer Hut was hot, & the track was badly pugged up from Cattle, & had then dried to cement like quality, so it was rough. Then there was a couple of muddy drains that Brian wasn’t too confident on. Eventually we turned around at a deepish culvert. The DoC Workers that came in after us ground the front & back of the Ute trying to get thru that.



Left hand track to Palmers Hut. We got to the culvert the guys had trouble at. I now wish we had pushed past this, but brien wasn't confident taking the 990 thru that, & it was quite chopped up because of a prior 4WD crossing.



Right Hand Track to Goose Flat. I did that a few years ago, but didn't get to the hut. It was hammering hot.



Back at Warden’s Hut, Wayne hadn’t got the bike running, & the battery was now dead. Given that the day trippers had already left, we agreed Brian & I would ride out to the gate, see if Brett had jumpers, & if not, we’d get some from Kaikoura. I’d take these back in. I knew I had enough camping stuff in my bags to make an overnight camping trip comfortable.



Brett did have jumpers, but as it happens, a guy & his dad arrived back at the Hut, also with jumpers, & were able to see that while the starter would spin, there was no spark. We assume a dead CDI. I arrived back just as they were deciding to load the bike onto the Ute, to run Wayne out to Kaikoura. So I got to ride Clarence in & out twice (which was no hardship).

I’d sent Brian off to Hamner thinking we'd get Wayne going again (sending him to Hamner was in hindsight dumb), so we called him back. The Guys got another Motel & I put the tent up in the Alpine Holiday Park. The pub kitchen was closed by the time I got there, so dinner consisted of Coffee, Grain Waves & a Moro bar.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:14 PM   #1498
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TOTS Part 5 - Sun Feb 2nd. Kaikuora / Molesworth / Home

Due to a miscommunication, Wayne & Brian & I missed each other Sunday morning. Brian apparently pillioned Wayne to the ferry. The 640 is at an Auto Electricians, & Wayne should know by now if the repair is going to be expensive, or is simple.

I went back to Hamner, then thru' the Molesworth. I saw a Buell, late Transalp & Triumph Scrambler in Hamner, & kept coming across them all thru the ride.

At the northern end, I stopped to have a look at a few BMWs - it transpired that was part of a BMWOR run. Just as those guys were leaving, MarkS toddled along.

No photos from this leg, because my camera SD card was full.

Coffee in Seddon, didn't do Port Underwood because I was pretty stuffed, & my hand was cramping up.

On the ferry by 6.00, sailing at 6.45, home at 11.00. Fairly slow day today (Monday).

Postscript
Talked to Wayne today (Tuesday). The electrical gremlin was a broken wire into a relay. We wouldn't have been able to diagnose this without a multi meter. The bike is now all fixed, but Wayne will need to go down & get it

Stats for the ride:
1449kms, used 104 litres of fuel (implying 14k/l, but still have some gas in the tank, so the total is out, but still not great), $847 total spend, of which $168 was gas, $209 was the ferry, food $138, accommodation $161, entry costs $35, & other $66. The Bike used 500 mls of oil.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:22 PM   #1499
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Looks like great fun
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:42 AM   #1500
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High Steve, gota love that South Island riding
Looking at your earlier pics on this page of Ocean Beach, is the Doc closed sign on the way to Cape Palliser ? Did you guys go past the sign ?
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