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Thread: Waikato rides

  1. #1
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    10th September 2008 - 21:23
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    Waikato rides

    Guess I have to find a new home for any riding stories now that the scooter is gone. Infact, I might not bother with any future ride reports. Will see how things turn out.

    Anyhow, I took possession of a very tidy Yamaha Virago 250 last week. After two years of riding a 100cc 2t scooter, (previous bike went to allow helping a family member financially) it was time to get back onto a 'real' bike again. These bikes come with quite a low gearing which results in ultra short 1st/2nd gears and a sense of buzziness at 100kph. so my 1st mod was to change the front sprocket from the stock 16t to a 17t. I had thought that later on I would gear up again by dropping the rear sprocket down 2 or 3 teeth. After todays run, I will leave the gearing as it is. The bike has a nice cubby hole at just under 100kph where it feels good, and still has plenty of torque in 5th to pull away from 60k corners. For a 15 year old 250, the little V twin pulls harder than a 15yr schoolboy. (if memory serves me correctly). . I didn't find one long climb on todays ride that needed changing down unless a tightish corner forced a slowing down.

    The ride, met up with Bill at the Parawera store this morning and we headed off along the Owairaka valley rd. I had been a bit concerned with possibly holding up Bill but he was quite happy to sit at 90-100. I had thought that gearing up slightly would see a noticeble drop off on the longer climbs so was pleased to have the bike hold its road speed up to Wharepapa sth. The country could use a decent drop of rain. Brown paddocks right through till we got onto the Old Taupo rd towards the home stretch. A couple of patches of re sealing on the Waipapa road, the virago handled the loose stuff (at 30kph posted ) without a problem. The winding climb up from the Waipapa dam was a blast. The little cruiser flew around the corners. Far easier to ride the tight stuff than the bigger heavier cruiser that i used to ride. We stopped off at the Maraeitai dam but there was very little to see.



    Cruising on to Whakamaru, we stopped for a coffee and bite to eat. Sitting in the late morning sun and swapping stories gave us a break for 20 minutes, then it was back on the bikes. Before crossing the dam, we swung right into Kaahu rd. I had travelled this ride when I did my coast to coast scooter ride. The surface was in good shape, no potholes, no broken seal. Some lovely country out this way, well it would be if it got some decent rainfall. Left into Poihipi rd for 5 k's then into Tirohanga road. This is a scratchers delight. Wide, smooth, sweeping corners. We barrelled along untill turning into Galaxy road. This used to be part of the Forest Products private road system (I think?) but now appears to be public roading. We stopped on the bridge while I dragged the camera out.



    Bill is a very patient rider. Several times I would come to a screaming halt, and pull the camera out to take a picture. Bill would sit there slowly cooking in his black riding gear. Also taken from this bridge, this is looking up river towards the Atiamuri dam.



    From here, we turned left on the Ongaroto road heading back towards Whakamaru. This lake has to be one of the most scenic hydro lakes in the North island. I rode past a couple of fantastic photo opportunities thinking there would be better chances a bit further on. The bluffs across the lake dotted with the pine trees looked superb. I collared this shot looking from the road through the near trees, but far nicer views had been bypassed.



    Looking back along the road with the bluffs on the inside of the road. Bill being very patient again.



    Between the road and the lake edge is the cycle rideway that is supposed to be part of Nationals' "think small" projects. Nice to see a family of mum and dad and a swag of kids using it. This would be a lovely section of the national cycleway to ride.

    These steps are part of the route, although we noticed the cyclists were bypassing this, and using the road edge.



    Got to admit, the thought of lugging a MTB up those steps doesn't appeal too much. From here, we motored on towards Tokoroa. Much of the forestry land along here has been clearfelled and is in the prcess of re planting. We sat around the 90-100kph mark. I'm quite pleased with the little 250. Hit the bottam of the old No7 hill at 90k and the bike was still pulling 80kph over the top. This hill doesnt seem anything special to todays vehicles, but once upon a time it was a deadly piece of road. Many trucks ran out of brakes going downhill and cooked the motors going uphill.

    The Old Taupo rd is a very popular ride amongst locals. Lots of corners, little traffic. Between the Whilstdown and Hodderville crossroads is a large dairy farming consotium. This farmland was purchased in 1917 by the Salvation Army and opened as a boys orphanage/ farm training school a few years later. For an organisation based on a Christain caring ethics, the Hodderville boys home was a horrific home for many disadvantaged boys. The beatings, bullying abuse etc suffered by many overshadowed the positives of this home. The Hodderville bus was the last bus away from the Putaruru High School and the school tuck shop was almost stripped of biscuts and lollies before the bus left on a daily basis. This is the last of the original buildings. The Sallies sold the farms to a Chinese company back in the 70's. Their farms were alway a bone of contention with many locals, Being a charity, they never had to pay taxes on the farm earnings. (I could be wrong there).



    At the Arapuni dam was our last pitstop before rounding Maungatautari. Funny how old motorcyclists stop at lots of places while riding, trees, overgrown rest areas, public dunnies, etc.




    I had to switch to reserve about 15k out from Lemmington. Filling up and checking fuel usage, the 250 averaged 31kpl. Considering it is still reasonably low geared, and I was possibly keeping up a faster pace than I would, if on my own, I'm happy enough. For a basic 250 engine virtually unchanged since the eighties, ( 2valves, 1 carby), it peforms well.

    Thanks to Bill for tolerating the photo stops.
    " Rule books are for the Guidance of the Wise, and the Obedience of Fools"

  2. #2
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    20th October 2005 - 17:09
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    Stunning roads and scenery down that way for sure, we're moving to live in Mangakino in three weeks, just bought ourselves a Triumph Tiger now that we'll have time to ride. Great pic's thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
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    17th April 2011 - 14:39
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    I for one hope you keep posting up your adventures. You are off to a great start again, keep up the good work.
    For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. Keep an open mind, just dont let your brains fall out.

  4. #4
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    Have to wholeheartedly agree with Unstuck - I would sorely miss your ride reports and photos.

    They are first class

    We enjoyed our run up the Owairaka Valley Road and the run from Waipapa Dam to Mangakino, and then the next morning the Kaahu Rd.

    Maha and Mom will enjoy living in that part of the country - certainly some great riding...

  5. #5
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    19th November 2007 - 13:39
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    Nice Arthur - post any future ride on the LOR thread if you want - would have quite enjoyed that today.

    Cheers and great pictures


    Quote Originally Posted by Katman
    If you only view one side, your view can hardly be called balanced.

  6. #6
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    10th September 2008 - 21:23
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    Piopio Aria Ride.

    Part 1.
    I thought about getting the stack of firewood cut up and put away this morning, also thought about a dozen other jobs that have been stuck on the procrastination list. So decided to go for a ride instead. Nothing like being decisive, I think?.
    On Sunday Bill and I had ridden around the Whakamaru area so I picked another direction today. The little 250 Virago arrived a week ago, and as of tonight, I’ve clocked up about 700ks’. It is running like a dream and certainly beats the scooter for ease of hill climbing and all round riding comfort.
    I fuelled up and took the back road to Otorohanga. Into the Waitomo Valley road then into Fullerton road. There was a lot of dark clouds on the hills and I wondered if rain could eventuate. It didn’t, infact it became quite hot later on. There was a lot of blue haze over the countryside which doesn’t make for good photos. I stopped on Fullerton road and tried to capture the valley below, looking towards TeKuiti.


    A bit further on and I turned right into Oparure road. This is a great riding road. Corners, scenery, old farm houses like this one. I thought being in the middle of a maize crop enhanced the sense of being abandoned.



    Mairoa road is a continuation of Oparure road. It follows the ridges and comes around behind the village of Piopio. This next pic is looking out over the country just north of Piopio.



    A wee bit further on the village comes into view.



    I stopped here for a light snack and cup of tea. If you have read my scooter ride reports, you may remember me bitching about the crappy thermos I have never got around to drop kicking into a nearby ravine, well I’ve still got the stupid thing as seen on the picnic table. One cup of warm tea then the rest of the water may as well be tipped out.



    After this break I saddled up and headed out along the Aria road. Another lovely riding stretch. About 12k out, I stopped to snap a picture of the Mokau river.



    On the other side of this bridge is a small hydro station that I had completely missed seeing on earlier rides through here. I will write my 2nd part of this ride tomorrow, have to go to work tonight and am full of asthma. I will finish this report tomorrow.
    " Rule books are for the Guidance of the Wise, and the Obedience of Fools"

  7. #7
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    bastard - love your rides and pictures. pm me next time your heading out!!!!!!!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Katman
    If you only view one side, your view can hardly be called balanced.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murray View Post
    bastard - love your rides and pictures. pm me next time your heading out!!!!!!!!!
    Hell and me, I'm a Putaruru boy born and breed and I've only traveled most of these roads by car when i was a nipper, your ride reports are brilliant, keep em up.
    Every day above ground is a good day!:

  9. #9
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    Keep 'em coming, eh?

    Only problem I have is finding time to try and compare your reports to a map! Lived in Te Kauwhata for a year or so but not been near most places you describe; it's great to read about them.

    As others have said, please let me know when you;re heading out again, especially if you'll be anywhere near here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by awa355 View Post
    Infact, I might not bother with any future ride reports.
    Think again sonny, looks like the public have spoken. And it is a democracy after all.
    For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. Keep an open mind, just dont let your brains fall out.

  11. #11
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    Part two.

    Just down stream from my photo of the Mokau is a small hydro power station. Called the Wairere pwr stn, it was first assessed as a potential project in 1917. By 1925 it was commissioned and supplied power to any body who could afford power within a 20 mile radius. Last year saw a new generation unit installed.



    From here Aria is up around the corner. All I could find about this village was that in February 1909 50 sections were put up for sale. 45 sold for prices ranging from $10- 40. Looking around, I’d say those sections aren’t probably worth much more today. I got this photo of Huey’s fan club house. Going by the grass in the gutters, the local ladder has a few broken rungs. A couple of houses had river stones and broken concrete blocks scattered over the iron rooves/roofs??? . Must be cheaper than nails.



    While parked here I took out the lining from my jacket. The day was becoming fairly warm. Space on the bike was sparse and I seriously thought about tossing my useless thermos away to accomodate the liner in the tank bag. Got it all tied down in the end and as no one was home, anywhere, I rolled on outa town. The Mokauiti road follows a narrow valley floor through some lovely country. I stopped at a small reserve with some nice Kahikatea trees.



    Across the road is a site of an old sawmill that used to process the ‘white pines’ to produce butter boxes for the export trade. The wood is light, doesn’t smell so was ideal for the 56lb blocks of butter. 56lb is half a …..?. Ask someone over 60 if you don’t know.
    The road soon becomes Ramaroa road. It narrows and climbs up from the flat farmland over a saddle and drops down to SH4. Native reserve on the left and a fantastic vista out to your right.



    It is a shame that the country is so brown. At the end of this road I turned left towards TeKuiti and a few k’s along SH4 hung a right into Kopaki road. This winds through hill country in the direction of Bennydale. A view of the farmland along Kopaki road.



    I had wanted to ride Pukerimu road which veers off Kopaki and comes out back on SH4 just before the Eight Mile junction. This was a great piece of road. It drops down from the Kopaki end then levels out. If you are ever coming from Bennydale towards TeKuiti and have an extra 15-20 minutes, this makes a nice change from the usual route. At Kopaki, instead of turning right up over the railway bridge, go straight ahead on Kopaki rd and look for Pukerimu road on your right. I fueled up at TeKuiti. Had done 167k at that stage and the bike took a massive 4.72 litres. That works out at 35kpl. I’m happy with that. The final stop was at the Big Apple between TeKuiti and Otorohanga



    The ice cream was as big azz. After this it was a straight forward run home. All up, 215k. I think I have run out of brownie points for a while and with eight nights of work ahead, it will be a week or so before I get out again.
    " Rule books are for the Guidance of the Wise, and the Obedience of Fools"

  12. #12
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    Right.

    That's it.

    I need to go for a ride with the OP. (Careful...! )

    Seriously, you obviously know the area well, and know where to go. It's about time I explored a bit more.

    Please keep up the reports!

  13. #13
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    Another great write-up... need to get the map out and have a look for the roads.

    Think you need a pair of saddle-bags, with tassels of course

    Cheers.

  14. #14
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    No BLOODY tassels, Got it ??? A shot from the GoPro of the Makauiti road, followed by two taken on the Ramaroa road.







    If you have no life, then you'ill endure this 2 minute clip of the Oparure rd without any qualms. and I forgot to mute the engine/gearbox sounds.

    " Rule books are for the Guidance of the Wise, and the Obedience of Fools"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by awa355 View Post
    No BLOODY tassels, Got it ???
    Fishing's good today...

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