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Yep, back in Christchurch after 2,300+km of tickee-touring a chunk of the Southern end of the South Island.  No rain, no tickets and only a few GPS issues...


Even time for a coffee break this morning - cost me 15mins though...
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I did manage to sleep more than 2 hours...

Happy with my moving average - there was gravel...
So, now it's time to kick back for a bit before some more tickee-touring....
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Another quick blog from the road...

Today I met up with Al in Blenheim to tackle the Molesworth again.  He must have been a little keen as he was early!


Blenheim
Our first leg took us up over Taylor's Pass (first time for me).  There had been quite a bit of rain overnight so this first ford had a reasonable amount of fast flowing water in it.

Taylor's Pass Ford - YouTube


It only took us about 20mins to cross over and onto Acheron Road and 200km of fantastic riding.  I have a lot of pics hiding on my camera and plenty of video for a more detailed post so here we are 200km later.

Nearly in Hamner

Looking back the way we had come
14km later we had dropped down into Hammer for a late lunch.

Did you enjoy that Al?
After my nice sandwich I said goodbye to Al and made my way down to Christchurch.
The TT kicks off tomorrow...
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And my USB card reader has died so I can't get pictures off my good camera - only the phone...
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It had been a while since the Connie had a decent run and with her going to be ignored for a few more days I decided to take her for a quick run on Saturday.

It was quite nice when I got underway, still a little overcast and quite a bit cooler than it has been lately.  I even zipped up a few vents in my jacket - for a while.

I was a little unsure exactly where I was going to go and for how long but I had all day to mess around if I wanted and wandered my way over to Colyton and then onto Vinegar Hill.

On the Hill there were some traffic lights controlling traffic at some roadworks but otherwise the road was its usual fun self.  A commodore driver even waited for me at the one lane bridge.

Vinegar Hill - YouTube

With a bit of a plan forming (took a while) I puttered on into Hunterville and turned off onto Ongo Road to make my way over to Fordell.  The road was a little messy in places where slips were getting cleaned up and I also caught up with some cattle being moved along the road and into their yards.

Hunterville Fordell 1 - YouTube

Not far past the Turakina Valley Road turn-off I ran into a nice set of roadworks.  Time to stop for a few pics of the big Adv bike...




As you can see from the video below, the mud didn't last long, turning into some quite rocky stuff instead...

Hunterville Fordell 2 - YouTube

By the time I hit Fordell things had really hotted up so I decided to return home via Marton rather than dropping into Wanganui as I had planned.

There were more roadworks on SH3 but I turned off at Turakina to take some back roads into Marton where I parked up for some lunch.  Lunch eaten I took the very boring way home by riding into Bulls (for fuel) and then more of SH3 into Palmy.


So just a short one but good to give the Connie a bit of love before she is ignored for a spell...
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I was mucking around looking at some of my pictures online and when I right-clicking in Google Photos I decided to check out the highlighted option below:


Google didn't find another copy of the picture (that's good I 'spose) but worked out that there was a dirt road in the pic.


But then when I clicked further down the page on "Visually similar images" it did indeed find a lot of similar images.

And the first one was even one of George's, with his Tenere front and centre...


Pretty cool!
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True story...


Picture pinched from an Advrider post that had pinched it from http://www.wilkinsonphotography.com.au/  Some cool pics there too...
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Yes, today was a public holiday so no excuse not to go for a ride eh?  Well, I left it a bit late...

I mucked around all day doing other things and kinda ran out of time to go for a decent blast.  But then I got a notification that there had been a post in the Manawatu Tagorama thread - worth investigating...

Sure enough Phil had been out and about and the tag was only about ten minutes from my place...

Little Yammy

Rather than dragging the Connie out, the Tenere got the job and I also sort of got to try out the new suspension settings I'd been playing with.  Only sort-of as I've hardened things up a bit for a wee trip down South and I couldn't really be bothered loading her up with the kitchen sink and everything else I'll be packing just to test things out...

Bigger Yammy
Tag nabbed I then just had to go in search of a new one, somewhere...What must have been hours (perhaps) later I found a likely candidate and made my way home to see if Owl had beaten me to the punch.

Somewhere near someplace...
He hadn't so now it's time to see who goes out after my tag...
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A little bored tonight.  Then I realised I didn't ride either bike in the weekend (sob), so didn't blog either.  I did however, play around with the Tenere in the shed and I may have been browsing farkle-oriented websites...

Anyway, just so I've got something to blather about - I was looking through a folder o'pics on my laptop and spotted this photo.


I'm not even the photographer but someone else (manning a Grand Challenge checkpoint) nabbed it and I really like it.  You'll notice that the sun wasn't quite up yet so I'd done a reasonable time considering we'd had to ride around East Cape...

It was on my last Grand Challenge (no more Rusty Nuts MC, and yes, I'm still missing a year bar and 10 year mug) and was about 1,500km into the ride.  I picked up the lost ZX-14 pilot just out of Feilding and he followed me up through Taihape and let me chase the rabbits off Fields Track for him on the way to the final checkpoint.  Leaving the checkpoint he knew where he had to go and did a disappearing act - like ZX-14's are capable of...and I hadn't been mucking around either...
Anyway, enough of the reminiscing, tomorrow is a public holiday...
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...eventually.  And I'm not complaining...

On Friday night I finally replaced the rear E-07 Dakar on the Tenere.  To say that the Dakar version has impressed me is a bit of an understatement.


This tyre has done just under 10,700km.  The previous E-07 (not the Dakar version) did just under 9,000km and the one I replaced on the Vee made it to nearly 8,500km.  6,500km of this tyre's life was on last year's TT2000 trip where the bike was loaded up to the gunnels and hammered around the South Island on coarse chip and hard packed gravel roads.


You can see how the centre has gone but there is still a bit of meat left on the sides.  I don't think that this is because I'm afraid to crank the old girl over - it is possible to scrape the pegs on these tyres...

That remaining meat has meant that it's only just lately (in deep gravel) that the tyre has struggled.  I had no problems on the Waikaremoana Road where things were a bit damp and sloppy in places.  It was even still behaving on wet tar - perhaps traction control helps a little there.


Anyway, fresh is best so after the usual wrestle, the new one is on and the bike is road legal with a WOF and everything!



But hang on, what about the front you say?


Well, it's still hanging in pretty damn well.



I have a new one sitting waiting in the shed but I reckon this tyre is going to easily do its second TT in about a months time.  Maybe it'll be worn out by the time I get back, maybe...
Gotta be happy with these puppies, now I wonder if I can get them in Connie sizes...
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Today I'd decided to support a local charity ride benefiting kids with Down Syndrome - a nice idea and I was happy to give them my $20.  But things could have gone better...

I arrived fairly early and signed on and spoke to a few riders while I waited in the hot sun.  With a lot of agricultural equipment surrounding me I felt a little like the odd one out but hey, it was great that the ride was getting a good turn out.  The photos below are pretty much before "everyone" arrived, I'd say that before we left there would easily have been 4-5 times as many bikes.

Early days yet...


Beauty amongst the beasts...
After a desperate SOS text to James (Ok, so he was just running a little late) there was finally another quality machine in the line-up.  There was actually a fairly decent smattering of bikes: a gold-wing or 2 (one with a hound as co-pilot), some proper V-twins, learner bikes, a Vespa, a brace of 'busas and yeah, plenty of compressors.

Eventually, we had a short ride briefing where the we were told that the main thing for us to do was to ride safe and be careful...nice idea...

The lest said about the ride itself the better really - James and I pulled out when we hit Tiritea. The videos can speak for themselves - although I did not have the camera going when some of the worst of the riding was going on.

Check out this hairy-chested, bad-ass...probably someones accountant...

Kairanga Bunnythorpe - YouTube

And then we came to Valley Road.  This ones a little tricky as there are a couple of moderate bends in places...

Valley Road - YouTube

As I said before, I didn't manage to capture all the antics so you'll just have to believe me - there were some total morons on this ride and James and I gave up and went to find a coffee...

A real shame as the ride was supporting a great charity but they will have done well out of it so that's good.  It's also great that so many riders turned out for it - regardless of what they were riding.  I just hope that everyone got home safe and sound...
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