by, 18th March 2012 at 15:03 (246 Views)
Today was a Dawn ride to watch the sun come up at Castlepoint. That event was scheduled for 0715, which meant an 0500 start from Brown Owl, which in turn meant an 0330 alarm!! Yuk!
Oh well, alarm went, I slid out of bed and into the shower, dried off, kitted up and hit the road by 0407 having already checked the tyres etc last night. It was A Starry Starry Night and therefore we were pretty much guaranteed a sunrise viewing, the temp was a pleasant 15°, there was little traffic and I had a clean run through to Caltex Rimutaka where I filled, then waited to ensure all riders continued on to the Brown Owl meeting point.
Since I arrived near the end of the briefing, I had barely got off the bike and was back on it again to head for Featherston, then Masterton, pulling into Faulkners Mobil at 0613, then I took the lead out at 0619.
There were 27 bikes on the ride, though I only had 4 or 5 in my mirrors on the way out, as I tried to sit on and maintain 100kph. Even at that, it looked like we would be cutting it fine as I entered the destination at Mobil to get an eta and that was initially 0709. Not a worry though as the eta kept reducing, but by the time we got to Tinui, the sky was getting rather bright and I was starting to have a few doubts about getting there early enough.
A couple of times on the way out, the temp plummeted to 10° so I was thankful for the extra scivvy I had on and a couple of the guys mentioned how their visors had fogged, but as I ride with mine up, I didn't notice that (plus the Qwest comes with a pinlock).
We averaged 88kph and ended up pulling in at 0704 and by the time the sun did show itself at 0715, all but 2 or 3 riders had arrived. Photos were taken, fat was chewed and 30 minutes later we were back on the road to Wild Oats for breakfast.
I waited for the last rider to be ready, leading them out at a sedate pace until a bit past Tinui where we caught a group of 4 bikes. At that point my economy was sitting on 18Km/Ltr, but I dealt to that by deciding to clear the cobwebs and moved into a rather crisp pace. I bypassed Mastertn by taking the turnoff for Wainuioru, then onto Lees-Pakaraka Rd and through Gladstone. This proabably added about 10Km, but with no 50Km zones and hoping for minimal enforcement at that time of day, I still arrived a bit under the original eta at 0842, doing the 92Km at an average of 97kph and blowing the economy back to 16.7Km/Ltr.....that was fun!!
A big buffet breakfast was enjoyed and Wild Oats did very well to cater for such a large group, so an hour later and a little bloated I was on the road for home.
We all pretty much went our own ways from here and I road home alone, maintaining a crisp but easy pace over the hill. It was made a little more intereting as a stiff breeze made its presence fellt on the way up and I really got blasted as I came through the road works, being pushed of track enough to collect a traffic cone with the crash bar. Not to worry, I was home by 1046 doing the last 84Km at an average of 78kph and thew 348Km for the day at a moving average of 83kph and the bike now has 11,059Km on it.