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Thompsons Bike Museum

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I finally had an opportunity to clean the bike last weekend and was shocked to see that when I had the bags off, the left side of the rear tyre was smooth. The tyre only had 9,500 Kms on it and I had ordered a new one a couple of weeks earlier, but with a three week lead time and the expectation that I would get this weekend’s ride in, then change it on the 102,000Km service for the MDA ride next week…..Fat chance! But fortunately the shipment arrived and I was able to pre-empt the service, so come today, I had a brand spanking new Avon Storm ST 2 Ultra fitted.

Although the old tyre had some hard riding, with a GC and C1KC on it, I should still have got at least 12,000Kms out of it, so I got Boyles to check my pencil type pressure gauge and sure enough, I’ve been running on low pressures, as at 42psi, my gauge was reading 45??!! Oh well, thems the breaks!

Fortunately though, I was ready and able to ride today and enjoy the first real summer ride of the season as I departed from home at 0900 on a gleamingly clean bike, under crystal clear skies and the temp gauge climbing from 19º and through 20º….should have put the shorts on but!

We were finally off to visit Thompson’s Motorbike Museum in Rongotea for the last organised ride of the year and everything was perfect for a good turnout, which translated into 36 riders pulling out of the Plimmerton Weigh Station with me at TEC.

The ride up to Shannon was pretty uneventful and after a short break there, I led out over Shannon-Foxton Rd and Himitangi Block Rd, through Bainess, Glen Orua and onto Rongotea. The temp had gone to 25º by this time, so on arrival at Thompson’s, I stripped off the corduras and we were soon gazing at a great collection of bikes and bits. I was surprised to hear that 90% of the bikes are still functioning.

That done, it was too nice a day to head straight home, so five of us went through Palmy and over the Track. It’s not one of my favoured roads as it tends to be unpredictable with regard to loose stuff and uneven surface so one must always ride conservatively and with that in mind I was approaching the summit at a crisp but moderate pace, when I came upon two vehicles and thought, “I should get in front of them before the top”.

Soon enough, the road opened out and one could see that nothing was coming the other way so I let the Falcon take the other vehicle as I embarked on taking them both, but low and behold, after I passed the van and pulled alongside the Falcon, I realised he was still accelerating and the big thingy sticking through the bonnet wasn’t just a hood ornament….but I’d already decided I was ‘taking’ him….what a dumb-arse!!

Only God knows why I didn’t back-off and slot in behind him, but I didn’t and was soon rocketing towards a really sharp right hander (which often has a liberal smattering of loose crap) with a bloody great Falcon up me date and then had to descend at a much quicker pace than planned, easing off the pace to let him by on the passing lane. Then I had to drop back to pootle mode to wait for the rest….what a dumb-arse!

We were supposed to lunch in Pahiatua, but didn’t really know what/where we looking for and ended up stopping in Eketahuna, where were treated to a reasonable earthquake with our coffees and toasted sandwiches.

From there we enjoyed a delightful pootle through Mauriceville, paused for a top-up in Masterton, sweltering in the corduras in 27º, then embarked on the hill….and for the second time in a row, I seemed to really piss some redneck off. I was enjoying a spirited pace and filtering past the traffic on the descent when I ended up behind a 4WD for a bit. As per usual, I was parkedon his date, with my lights glaring in his side mirror when for no reason I could comprehend, his arm extended up from the cab and offered me a big finger. Now this wasn’t a Kit Kat, and therefore of little use to me, so as soon as the opportunity presented, I whisked past him and received an unintelligible tirade?? Go figure…I guess I’m just a bastard!

That over I was home before 1700 after enjoying the first of the summer rides, having done 370Kms for the day at an economy of 19.1Kms/Ltr and now have 101869Kms on the bike.

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