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KoroJ's Blog

2015 TT2000 (Pt2)

Rating: 3 votes, 4.33 average.
Sat 21 Day 3

At this point we already had 38,000 of our required 50,000 points and Saturday's plan called for collecting another 36,500 points and 1,114km. I arose before the alarm went off at 0500, geared-up, re-packed, put a bit of air in the tyres and we were on the move by 0605 heading south for the first three CP's at Menzies Ferry, Mataura Island and Bluff. I had Chriss behind me and his headlights were bloody bright so I turned my mirrors down and got on with the job, only to find that 4km down SH1, Chris was pulling alongside because his were the only lights there!! Turned out that Woody had pulled out of the motorcamp and followed the wrong bike in the wrong direction until the chap pulled into his residence.....then Woody decided to use his GPS! We had returned 2.7km when they came into view, so we turned and took off again.

By 0722 we had collected the first two CP's, then cut across to come back out on SH1 by Tiwai Point and cruised down to Bluff to take a pic of a big chain sculpure, pissed around a little and we were still a minute ahead of schedule when we headed for our first fuel stop at Riverton.

It amazes me how so many petrol stations have been shut in the Nth Island, but most little settlements in the deep south seem to have retained their pumps by going to card operated Allied, G.A.S. or McKeowns stations. The downside for four dumb Welly boys, was that the card pump wanted a $ limit entered, but we wanted to fill, so Woody dials up $25, but only draws off about $16, so we put the rest in Chris' machine and thought stuff it. I could get to the next planned stop and Kingston while Steve and Chris should have made Manapouri, so we hit the road with the plan for Steve and Chris to fill at the next available fuel. That turned out to be Tuatapere.

Before that we had to collect a pic of the surfer statue at Colac Bay, where I led us onto the grass to get close. When I put the stand down it was a bit soft, so I moved the bike forward onto the wooden curb around the statue, took my photo, plus the spare of the group, then saw Steve trying to hold his bike up while he took his photo so I stepped in to assist. I should have gone to Spec Savers though because right then, Woody's bike fell over!! Oh dear, it took both of us to pick the poor wee thing up but the upside was that the grass was so soft that nothing got broken....and then we went on to Tuatapere.

What a joke! We arrived at the servo (that didn't feature on the NZ Open Souce Maps) and it turned out to be open, manned by three people, but still on cards! Sheesh, dumbarse city boys still want fills so ask how to get around it and all we get is a tirade from the Arsehole Owner. What an absolute prat! Hardcase though because it turns out that you dial in your max amount, but it only charges you for what you take, so the boys filled and we moved on for Orawia, Clifden and Manapouri......but what a twat the prick that owns the Tuatapere servo is!!!

The faffing around over fuel had cost us time though and by the time we were moving on from Orawia, we were 12minutes behind, same at Clifden and down to 7 minutes down at Manapouri. Averaging 100kph across to Mossburn pulled in another 5 minutes and at that point I was down to 2 bars on the fuel but hadn't been taking note so I wasn't sure where I stood for the 60km up to Kingston...and I didn't want to put 91 in the ST, so I said to Steve, "You take the lead and I'll draught."

We made more good time averaging 104kph, while my economy picked up 0.2km/Ltr and didn't go on reserve until about 5km out of Kingston. It was interesting to see the new cycleway through here, complete with large swing-bridges. In fact, it wasn't until I saw the swing-bridges and wondered what they were for that I noticed the cycleway. It's hard enough to cycle on the highway, but why any one would want to do all that cycling on gravel behooves me?

We were a minute ahead of time out of the 'Flyer' CP, then a minute behind out of the fill....and it was time to....'Let the Games Begin!'

We were now at the bottom of Lake Wakatipu and were about to embark on the best riding of the weekend. It was only 12km up to the next CP, being the Devil's Staircase lookout and we did that in 7 minutes, departing on schedule, but Steve left while I waited for Woody and Chris to get back on the road, then when they were moving, I lit out like a scolded cat! ....and what a delightful wee fang that was!....didn't do much for my economy but!!

We were scheduled to have lunch in Frankton, but the road in was choked and we got split up as we filtered past the traffic. I had a moment here when a boy-racer pillock saw me coming and veered across to the I just took the gap behind him to nip around the inside but the prick swung back across on top of me as I passed....and he threw in a few expletives for good measure. I Had plenty of room though and after tossing the ST out of his way, I was soon well up the queue, through the round-about and waiting for the others by the BP, but everything was busy and Steve missed the stop, so we continued on to see what we could find along the way.

The next CP was Coronet Peak and we saw nothing before that so that was the next stop...after some more magnificent fanging. I've been up Coronet Peak a couple of times but it's always had plenty of grit lying around.....but not this time. It was pretty clean so I had a blast as the ST is such a delight to throw around on roads like that.

After losing a bit of time fluffing around in Frankton then taking a couple of extra minutes taking in the views from the Peak, we were now 20minutes ahead of schedule with lunch still to be had, and we decided to get that late, at the Cromwell fuel stop. But first we had to go to Cardrona and that meant up and down the Devil's Staircase and Crown Range!

We shuffled around past Arrowtown and then I hit my straps again. Another huge blast was had all the way to Cardrona. The way back was a little more sedate and we stopped for a photo-op at one of the lookouts. I did manage to scrape a boot on one of the hairpins near the bottom and then we struck a huge queue. There was several km of cars just not moving so we shuffled up the centre-line and it soon became apparent that there had been a big accident. When we got near the front of the queue, a chap was out of his car and it transpired that he had been there for an hour, but traffic was moving as they had let them through from the other side and we didn't have to wait long before we were moving again, had passed a few cars ahead of us and were making our way to food, fuel and the next CP in Cromwell.

We arrived at 1411 and enjoyed an extended stop, heading over the bridge out of town 48 minutes later (20 minutes behind schedule). It wasn't a worry though as we only had two more CP's to collect at Lindis Pass and Elephant Hill, before checking into the Top 10 at Timaru. It was easy riding over this leg, up to Omarama, out to Kurow and on to Timaru and I was starting to feel the effects of all the fanging through here as the straighter roads required less focus and I slipped out of the zone. We maintained a good average though and by the time we were pulling out of Elephant Hill, we were back to 6minutes off schedule and it was the same when we arrived at the Holiday Park.

It was hard case because Woody and Chris were stoked to be in and finished so early....until I reminded them that we had another 200km to do! Watching Woody's mouth drop was joy to behold for an arsehole like myself and when he said, "You don't have a very good poker face!" I just replied with, "Read the book!" as my smirk transformed to a fill blown grin! I did sort of soften the blow though by adding, "We have got the Akaroa buffer tomorrow and you could stop now, but you'd have to go to Akaroa tomorrow." So they relented and after a little discussion, we opted to go straight out to get it over with, then enjoy a relaxed dinner when we got back.

And so it was that we had fueled and were on the scoot again at 1832, 31km out to Totara Valley by 1852, on to Burkes Pass by 1921, across to Sherwood Downs by 1953, then back into town and fueled up by 2048. Rain had threatened most of the way around but we were only subjected to a bit of drizzle and settling down for a feed at the Lone Star by 2100. By the time we cam out at 2220 though, it was absolutly pissing down.

Once back at the cabin, I let the boys off the hook and said they could sleep in until 0600 and we'd have a more relaxed ride on Sunday...after all, we already had 74,500 points and 1802km

919km + 204km = 1123km

Sun 22 Day 4

I arose before 0600 and after a liesurly prep, we were on the road just before 0700. It wasn't raining but it was glopomy and we were kitted up in wets. We only had 5 CP's to collect and took a relatively sedate pace getting to Woodbury (War Memorial), but the pace did creep up a bit along the straight Arundel-Rakaia Gorge Road, but we eased off a bit as we made our way in on the wet, narrow road to the Stone cottage at Hakatere Corner and then around to the Doc Sign at Sharplin Falls. That rotten Mike Hyde....he said the Doc Sign was in a carpark and the road was sealed!! It was stuck in the middle of extremely thick bush down a horrid gravel road! OK, the gravel was only 504 metres...but that's over 1km return and we were treated to more Southern Hospitality. Shortly after we had turned onto the darkside we met a massive 4WD coming out and he was followed by Biggo and his mate Ed. I shuffled across the greasy slick rut and into the thick slippery mud that was the verge and still the prick came at me without flinching. He held his line like he owned the road....which he did because he was the biggest son-of-a-bitch in the valley, and as he passed me, with his window down and I was in a frantic state, I exclaimed, "Ignorant Cunt!!!" I guess I was at a loss for words but it did seem to sum the situation up rather succinctly. Phil explained later the the poor wee pet had flagged them down and he was rather cross that all these rotten nasty bikers were invading his turf.

From here we had to get across SH1 and over to Pendarves and that meant negotiating Thompsons Track, which has a 21.6km straight between kinks. The trees and power poles disappeared into a point, so consequently the pace crept up a little along the way. We made it to the hall at Pendarves then into the mobil at Rakaia for fuel and extended 25minute coffee stop and now had our required km's with just the one CP to go at Brookside, but for good measure and to avoid all the awful traffic on SH1, we got our pic and continued out through Coes Ford to SH75 by Motukarara before turning for home via Taitap' and Halswell, arriving at Hampton Honda at 1141.

What a great ride! We checked in, had a sausage sizzle, mingled and chatted and there weren't too many left wen we headed for 219 On Johns at about 1300. We checked in, scrubbed up, had a coffee, fluffed around and went out for chinese at about 1730, resupplied with a couple of wines and retired to the cabins.

91 Moving average; 328km; Arrival at Finish 1141hrs

= 2130km & 81,500 points (2156km on the odometer)

Mon 23 Day 5

Time to head for home and I was up around 0700, repacked the bike and we were filling at Z Belfast by 0830. I'd done my share of lead so slotted in at the rear as Steve led us up SH1 at a sedate pace....that was until we were up the road from Parnassus and I felt an urge come on. Suddenly I found myself in the overtaking lane and there were some odd comments filtering through the those other guys knew what I was up to!!?? Well I guess they did because I was rocking and grooving to squeeze a final fang out of the trip, although a sign mentioning new seal did put a slight restrainer on it, but I was soon on the coast road and had a big grin on my face....and slotted back into the rear again.

We stopped for a snack and fuel in Kaikoura (but the Pepper Steak pie at Rakaia was way better), went for another coffee stop in Picton before lining up for the ferry and finally got off the boat in Welly at 1740.

89 moving average; 326km
= 3210km
64617km on the bike....and it needs a jolly good clean.

It was a great trip and we had a good team. The Senas took the ride to a new level....when they worked....but that was more to do with ignorant finger trouble on our part rather than the equipment and we seemed to be getting better at it by the end of the trip. We'll have to work on that.

The route was a great offering by Mike and it was much easier to get the required km's this year, although it would seem not so much for the northern starters. I was expecting to ride at a more sedate pace and one of these days, I will have to visit the deep south to actually take in some of the scenes and towns.

As for real rides, that's pretty much it until the NI1600 October but there's plenty of planning and work to do to get that organised! Life can be really rough sometimes.
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  1. Bikemad's Avatar
    good read cheers for that...........we were on the same sailing as you fellas having been to the sound of thunder then back through the coast
  2. whatastoner's Avatar
    Excellent ride report Koro, as usual. Our planning wasn't quite as accurate as yours. We were working to the nearest hour. Highlights were the procession to Macraes, the two gravel shortcuts early on that pissed you off, and Conroys Road too. Coronet Peak on the way down, special... The plan had us hitting Wanaka around midnight, turns out we were six hours early. Just as well because the rain you had in Timaru was our buddy all through the night from Kurow to Klondyke, and all cp's in between. A couple of rain stops in Point Pleasant and Fairlie soaked up 3 of those hours, no pun intended. Got back to Hamptons at 1030.
    Our thoughts and well-wishes go out to Mike and his family. We hope for his speedy recovery.
    Bring on the NI 1600.

  3. KoroJ's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by whatastoner
    ..... Highlights were the procession to Macraes........
    Yeah, I was slutted that I didn't have the GoPro wifi on so I couln't activate it with the remote....pretty dumb as that would just be a 10sec stop!!
  4. wpoll's Avatar
    Good stuff - thanks for sharing your ride.

    I think I caught up with the four of you at the Rakaia Mobil; I had just clocked the 2,000kms and stopped for fuel before heading out for a few more kms.

    'Twas a great weekend. I rode a pretty standard route, camped near Weedonside on Friday night and at Mt Somers on Saturday night. Mark, I saw you, Jeff and Gavin head through Mt. Somers just as I was mounting up and heading for Hakatere Corner. You all paused right outside the camp ground - not sure why. I then played leap frog with you guys for the next few hours.

    Can't wait to do it all again - thinking I might need to go back and do some of the earlier ones I missed, just to fill in the time until Feb. next year.
  5. biggo's Avatar
    Great writeup John. I spoke to Chris on Sat night at the top10 he told me he was knackered as we were .
    I thought this years was nicer with better weather after hitting a huge storm on west coast and tornado when returning to Christchurch. As this was my second time doing the TT2000 I had a better idea of what to expect. Ed and I had a ball be back next year
  6. insomnia01's Avatar
    I managed to finish this one John was a AWESOME ride all round, only wet patch was the ride to Hamptons from Picton but then again it was on & off. The following 7-9 days touring the rest of the south was great, pillion had a ball
  7. KoroJ's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by insomnia01
    I managed to finish this one John .........
    I saw you there when I was chatting to Topher as we waited to dump our pix but couldn't find you when I was time!
  8. insomnia01's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by KoroJ
    I saw you there when I was chatting to Topher as we waited to dump our pix but couldn't find you when I was time!

    apologies for that John had to make a dash to Rolleston to collect pillion before heading to Oamaru but she changed her mind with all the rain happening at the time could have stayed back for a chat if she had replied to my txt, damn pillions