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SH2 Claytons Ride

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The ride you have up SH2, when you're not really riding on SH2!

After spending a week on the Gold Coast, we had to come back to the cold and one of the many predictions for today’s weather was snow, however, in the end it dawned overcast but dry and by the time I left home at 0900, it was 9°. I had checked and pumped the tyres yesterday, along with cleaning the bike so I just had to gas up on the way to do the route that Steve and I had checked out a bit over a month ago.

I got to Brown Owl at 0930 and by the time we briefed at 1000 there were 10 riders for departure over the hill. I followed out as TEC, taking over the lead from Featherston and we took it slow to keep the group together as we went up through Greytown, then out through Dalefield and Carrington before coming back to SH2 at Waingawa and stopping for a regroup and fuel at the Mobil on the Bypass. The road was OK but there were a couple of greasy spots that caused several of the guys to have the odd twitch.

10 or 15 minutes later, we moved on with Steve at the front and me back at TEC, heading up to the Loop Line and around through Mauriceville to Kaiparoro. The sun was starting to shine through by now and this road was generally pretty good and becoming more enjoyable as the temp crept up to 13°. We continued across SH2 on South Road No2, stopping briefly at Mangaroa Rd so a couple of riders could divert via Eketahuna to avoid the gravel section on Mangaraupiu Rd. The gravel seemed easier than last time and we passed a few rally cars as we approached Hamua for a regroup with the other couple of riders and we arrived at the same time.

From here it was on to Rongomai then Alfredton Rd, only to find the road closed for some rally event, so it was back to Pa Valley Rd and around to Alfredton that way. I think this was actually a better option as it was a lot drier and less slippery than Alfredton Rd and the rest of the ride via Route 52 to Masterton, then SH2 to Wild Oats in Carterton was easy riding, reflected in an economy of 19.6K/Ltr.

We got to our lunch stop at 1340, so we made good time for this type of group ride. The feed and coffee at Wild Oats was nice and the ride back over the ‘Hill’ was fun. The sky was cloudless, although that did lead to shadow patches, which along with a bit of wind and a lot of traffic, made it interesting.

I finally got home at 1600 having done 366Km for the day, economy back down to 18.9K/Ltr after the wee fang over the ‘Hill’ and the bike now has 72,466Kms on it.

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