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The Claytons Ride - Up SH1 but not up SH1.

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We had two rides this weekend. The Wellington Free Ambulance Charity Ride on Saturday and social ride to Foxton Beach on Sunday.

Saturday dawned a pleasant enough day, although a little chilly so I put my liners in and went down to top-up the air in the tyres, filled-up then returned home to pick-up Ann, departing for Maidstone at 0945.

We chatted and took a few photos to kill the time and before we knew it, it was time for the briefing, so I counted the bikes and noted a few extras arriving so by the time we were ready to leave we had 100 bikes, many with pillions. It was now 1110 and the temp was up to 18°, so I had to whip the liner back out of my jacket, gave the camera to Ann and we were amoung the last to leave. We took a few photos of riders and when we got to Haywards, continued straight to Thorndon via the motorway to get there early.

Once everyone had arrived and all the sausages had been sold, a cheque for $1000 was presented then a few of us popped down to the Back Bencher for a drink. Ann and I finally got home had a spa and settled in for a night in front of the telly.

Sunday’s weather forecast was very inconsistent and I wasn’t expecting too many to turn up for the ride and the day dawned with rain in Ngaio. I got up and checked the tyres before having a cuppa and leaving home about 0915. It was drizzling so I put my pvc pants on and only got a couple of Kms down the road before having to stop to put the top on as well, but as soon as I got to Porirua, it cleared so on arrival at the weigh station I took my top back off and waited to see who would turn up.

By 1000, there was 10 of us there (only 2 were dirt trackers bound for Otaki Forks) so we had a quick briefing and hit the road. The idea on todays ride was to avoid SH1 as much as possible, so I led out up to Whenua Tapu, then cut back to Plimmerton via Airley Rd, crossed to Greys Rd and headed for the Paekak’ Hill Rd. We were just getting into a rhythm as we approached the 70kph section when we were stopped by a group of police and had to park-up off the road. It turned out, they were doing another checkpoint in conjunction with ACC, giving out packs with DVDs, a magazine etc and a survey, so we chatted for a bit before continuing on and were soon regrouping in Paekak’.

From there it was up to Poplar Ave and around Raumati and Paraparaumu to Southwards, then back on SH1 to Waikanae, where we took Te Moana Rd out to the beach and carried on across to Peka Peka, back to SH1. A couple of Km on we were off again at Te Hapua Rd, back to SH1 on Te Horo Rd before doing our last wee left hand loop on te Waka Rd and Addington Rd.

Once we got to the round-a-bout in Otaki, we found we short our TEC so Mike went back to check on him and would meet us in Foxton while the rest of us carried on via Rahui Rd, Ringawhati Rd, Waitohu Valley Rd and re-emerged on SH1 at South Manakau Rd. This was quite good because we were now able to go at 100kph.

After crossing SH1, I kept it down to 90kph as we went through Kuku, to allow Neil to catch-up because he missed getting across in front of some traffic, then we paused at Ohau to wait for him, but he missed the turn, followed closely by Steve, so we continued along Muhunoa East and Arapaepae Roads to SH57, where they both rejoined us. We then finished the ride, nipping through to Shannon, then across to Foxton and out to Simply Balmy at the beach, where Mike was waiting. By this time the temp was up to 24°, so it was most pleasant….but it did take 2˝ hours to only go 150Kms…..lucky there wasn’t 20-30 riders!

After a great feed of Lambs Fry & Bacon, a coffee, a ginger beer and much discussion, we went our own ways to return. Most went over the Track to head back via the Wairarapa but I just wanted to get home so came straight back on SH1 getting home at 1530. 289Kms for the day at 19k/Ltr and the bike now has 69158Kms on it.

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