Chateau to Plateau?

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No I didn’t do the Chateau to Plateau today. I would have but did not realise that it was on. For me it was just going to be a final long ride out before the TT2000 in a couple of weeks time. I had decided to go to the Top of the Bruce via Wanganui and the Paraparas. It was overcast when I left but the sun would soon burn it away. The Paraparas is still a good road but needs some TLC in many places which does not seem to be happening at all. Topped off with cheap petrol in Wanganui and was soon cruising my way. There was a police car in Wanganui round a blind corner in the 50kph zone most likely trying to pick up those running late for the ride above. Not me and my detector picked him up long before I saw him. Saw a few bikes along the way to National park as I was only cruising at about 90kph. Was soon at Whakapapa and that’s when I realised the ride was on but my plans had already been made so I carried on to the Top of the Bruce. Was in the clouds here as still bit overcast here.

Did a bit of sight seeing and carried on down. More bikes turning up and I think they had about 45 minutes before they left. On my way back down I turned left onto the main drag from National park to Turangi and here was another gentlemen in blue. Had a car pulled over. Saw three more before Taumaranui so they were obviously out to catch some bikers.

Pulled into McDonalds in Taumaranui as it was starting to get very warm and had a nice lime shake. Gave me a bit of brain freeze though. There was about six bikes at the petrol station filling up.

After the shake I carried on and it was even warmer. Opened up everything on pants and jacket but sitting behind a big fairing not much airflow anyways. The six bikes left quite a while before me but soon caught them up even though I was only doing 80kph. Felt some pressure low down so pulled over and let some of it out and let the bikes get away. Didn’t work. Caught them up again just as the gravel started and they were only doing about 20kph through them. Very dusty as well. Took a fair bit of time to pass them and the big BMW was not too chuffed about the gravel. Front felt very heavy at the slow speeds. Was better after I passed them and got up to 50-60kph.

About 1/2 way through I was starting to get a bit sore. Two days before I got my knees sunburned while mowing the lawns and with shorts under the textiles they were starting to rub quite a bit. Also just to liven things up I saw someone dressed up as a Scotsman playing the bagpipes while standing on a stump. He must have been very uncomfortable as it was scorching.

Was soon clear of the gravel and speed up to have a bit of fun with the twistys. It was getting even hotter and the road was beginning to complain. In two corners one after the other (both left handers) I felt the front start to slide away even though there did not seem to be much tar slick showing. Slowed back to 80kph after these as it took a we while to get the confidence back that the front would stay there.

Anyway finally to Stratford and filled up the tank with 15litres and was on the home leg. 20 minutes later was home and washed all the dust off the bike from the gravel road. Was a good ride but a little too warm in the end. Need to find some better summer gloves. Bike is back in the shed ready for the TT2000.

You will hear from me after that.



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