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Old 01-18-2010, 05:27 AM   #31
MizzouRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warewolf
Came for a 3 year sabbatical, still here 13 years later with no plans to move back home. I meet lots and lots of ex-pats, mainly from Pomgolia. The only ones who go back are in to nightclubs and shopping. Anyone with an outdoors interest loves the place.
My youngest (son) is heading for the South Island in 2011 for a study abroad semester. He loves the outdoors.. How many college sophmores take their bow to school. (He hopes to get in a deer hunt before the season ends.)
When he heads to NZ, hopefullly we will get him back!!

The wife and I will make a trip over to visit. I will get one day to rent a bike and see the sights. This is great timing! I'm in for the whole trip! Be safe..
Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:02 PM   #32
cockneykestrel
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Wink Envy is a sin !

Now that scenery makes me want to put NZ on my bucket list. Yes envy is a sin - I'm thinking of what fantastic plants are up in those mountains and in the edge of the moraines. Enjoy your rides and new friends and get home safely.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:40 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cockneykestrel
Now that scenery makes me want to put NZ on my bucket list. Yes envy is a sin - I'm thinking of what fantastic plants are up in those mountains and in the edge of the moraines. Enjoy your rides and new friends and get home safely.
Here's a couple of photos for you then:


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Old 01-19-2010, 12:17 PM   #34
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The first day's travel

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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:25 PM   #35
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Oh what a beautiful morning...

The forecast had been for hard rain overnight. Other than a light sprinkling while I was walking back from the Hooker Glacier, it had not materialized last night. So there was some speculation that it might be raining in the morning.

Peeking outside, I was greeted by a cerulean sky with fluffy white clouds. Snow-capped mountains all around, fresh air, and the warm sun on my back. "It really doesn't get any better than this!"


After chatting with some of the other travellers over coffee, I loaded the Weestrom and hit the road. Just a few Km down the vally, I came across the local fire department, testing their pumps and equipment. What an outstanding place to work. This is for Pimpdaddy!


The rest of the day consisted of 450Km of fast-changing landscapes and fabulous curving roads. I'm in no hurry and stop along the way more than a few times to grab a pie for lunch, or photograph the sights.




I am discovering that speed limits for the corners tend to be very conservative for the road surface and bend radius. However, many of the corners are blind and will also be the only places along the highway where loose gravel accumulates. Only once did my route skirt the edge of a heavy shower, but it was barely enough to put a few spots on the road and soon passed behind.







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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:35 PM   #36
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An impressive view in the USA is usually preceeded by several signs informing you of an impending scenic overlook. When you get there, you will find a well-worn trail to a spot which might be marked with an arrow showing you which way to face, and a sign: 'Take the best photo here.' OK, maybe that's a bit extreme and the Kiwis have a few marked viewpoints too but there are also just as often no indications of an impending magnificent vista. It gives you the sense that you might be the first person to find this particular view so awesome. This spot required a couple of quick U-turns and keeping the bike in gear, ready to move if anyone came flying over the hill behind me.


I grabbed this one while parked tight against the crash barrier in a no-passing zone.
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:37 PM   #37
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In the afternoon, I passed mile upon mile of fruit farms, all with a roadside store selling cherries, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, etc. I started to fancy a fruit snack so stopped in for a snack of most delicious apricots I have ever tasted.






The weather was near-perfect all day - Cool enough to need jacket and gloves while riding but warm enough to want to remove them when stopped. Only in the last 25Km as I approached the Catlins coast, a cold, damp wind started up and I fumbled to close the vents on my jacket as I was riding.
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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:40 PM   #38
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I stayed in the Thomas's Catlins YHA - an interesting old building with huge, heavy wooden doors and high ceilings. I was formerly and old-folks home apparently.

The route for Day two:
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:54 PM   #39
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Wednesday 20th January, 2010

The weather forecast for the day sucks (or blows, depending upon your preferred vernacularism!). Locals told me it could clear up, could be damp and misty all day or it could piss down. Glad to see there's a clear consensus on what the forecast actually means Still, that's typical of a maritime climate and no different to SW England for example.


After a fortifying breakfast, I'm packed up and ready to head along the Catlins coast to Invercargill and beyond.
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:51 PM   #40
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Eek Speed Advisories....

Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
I am discovering that speed limits for the corners tend to be very conservative for the road surface and bend radius. However, many of the corners are blind and will also be the only places along the highway where loose gravel accumulates. Only once did my route skirt the edge of a heavy shower, but it was barely enough to put a few spots on the road and soon passed behind.

Hi Slarti... enjoying your romp through some familliar places. It is always nice to see the place through others eyes.

Regarding the Speed Advisory signs... yes, they do tend to be conservative, particularly for bikes but don't get too carried away

There are some (such as the one shown in your photo) that are blind but have a good entry point but others, marked with the same speed suggestion that do not set up well, can be quite tricky to get through at much above the posted number! Take care.

Much more fun is to be had on corners where the tar seal (chip seal) has melted due to high temperatures at some point and then the cars and trucks have driven the stone chips down below the level of tar. When this cools off, you are left with a slick, smooth surface that offers almost no grip in wet conditions and minimal in the dry. These patches can (and will) give you a nasty fright if you are not expecting it. They are mostly found in or near the apex of the corners so beware of a blind turn and set your speed closer to the advisory if you are uncertain or cannot see the road surface all the way through the turn.

I don't want to be a "Nanna" but we lose too many of our friends in single bike accidents.

Ok.. back to "Lurk" ( ) mode again.

Cheers
Allan
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:19 PM   #41
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Gidday Slarti :)

I concur with Mileater. On the whole our roads are in good nick BUT super highway-slab they are NOT and sadly too many tourists both 2 and 4 wheel get caught out, especially by the gravel that often lurks on the outside of corners... take that corner just a little too wide and BAM!

Enjoying the report, I'm back at work in Auckland... so please... carry on ;)

cheers
Tracy
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:17 PM   #42
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Thanks for the advice. I noticed quite quickly that the road condition on the corners tends to be worse than anywhere else and is randomly variable. Rest assured I am watching the road surface carefully and proceeding with appropriate care.

Weather improved quite quickly this morning and I am now in Invercargill, enjoying the sun and the Burt Monroe exhibit at the museum. Off to see if I can find Burt's original bike, then will continue around the coast.



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slartidbartfast screwed with this post 01-20-2010 at 01:47 AM
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:15 PM   #43
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Well I managed to find the original Burt Monroe Indian, and his speedy Velocette, before I left Invercargill. Traversed some more beautiful scenery and am now at Freestone Backpackers, Near Lake Manapouri. This place is a real treat, and a nice surprise, discovered courtesy of my GPS.

Looks like I probably won't be able to post any pictures tonight but I'll catch up as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Some nice pics of other historic bikes and awesome scenery are waiting in my cameras.

Off to cook some dinner.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:41 AM   #44
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Milford Sound tomorrow. Looks like rain - Ugh!
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:41 AM   #45
MizzouRider
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Does NZ have a "rainy season" ?
Or, like here in MidWest it can just be anytime.. (It's raining now.)
Glad you are having a great trip. Looks beautiful.

Thanks for posting.

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