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Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Padmei, Aug 13, 2010.
And finally the mystic tail section makes sense! That's beautiful.
I'm wondering how to start off describing my weekend. I'm slouched in the window seat propped up by big soft cushions. The evening lite is golden & is shining thru the pine trees that shelter the town from our gaze. Some kind of flying bugs are swarming between the branches & are only noticed due to the shimmering way they are silhouetted by the setting sun.I turn away momentarily to the keyboard & when I look back they have disappeared. I notice now the sun is filtering thru a small spiders web just on the deck rail. I once read a great book called The curious incidence of the dog at midnight about an autistic boy who reasoned that you don't have to go away for a holiday, you just had to shift your perception. There's so much going on close to you that you aren't aware of till you look a bit closer.
This wasn't the reason behind me riding anywhere in particular this weekend however in retrospect the thinking can be quite appropriate.
With a full sun blazing early Saturday morning I rolled up the toolkit, dosed my face with sunscreen & began a ride to Golden bay. I hadn't seen a couple of very good friends for a while so a catch-up was planned. I thought a few pics would break up the ride & provide a bit of purpose to my trip.
The highway was calling
The coastal highway ducks inland bypassing Mapua & the surrounding 70kmh stretches of road. It returns at the estuary where travelling across a causeway has a few surprises.
I'd heard about the kiwi but never seen it due to being the one that has been doing the driving.
This lil spaceship & ET's phone booth has always been a favourite for the kids. It used to have a lil green alien inside at one stage.
Apple growing is one the major industries around this area & has been for many decades. Some technological advances haven't involved genetic modification but a bit of lateral thinking such as white fabric laid under the trees as the apples ripen to reflect lite to the bottom of the apple giving a consistent red colour round the apple. These apple trees are protected from hail by the red netting hung above. There was some discussion that the colour was also able to benefit the fruit however no research has supported that.
A group of whinging poms that moved into the area tried to take the orchardists to the environment court claiming the red was spoiling their views - myself i'd be more worried about the sprays.
The local version of the generic mailbox photo
Riding past Riwaka I was interested in seeing if the brewing hops would be growing at this time of year. It struck me then that it was 20 years ago almost exactly to the day when I first saw these vines strung up in their unique way. Twenty years ago I was travelling in a bright red VW combi with "Attack of the Killer tomatoes" painted across its stern. It was my first trip to the south island.
I recalled the feelings of anticipation & freedom I had had at that time. I was just back from my short OE & the South Island was still a mystery to me & from those I'd talked to overseas, a worthy place to explore.
Between Golden Bay sits the Takaka hill.
It is a motorcyclists mecca. The road surface has had some work done recently & most of the tighter corners on the Nelson side now have smooth cambered tarseal. One doesn't have to ride fast to feel like an IOM TT competitor. I managed to grind the pegs numerous times on Schmidt at a modest speed. Luckily for me the traffic was lite so no holdups by campervans ruined the ride over.
I stopped to take a quick pic of Riwaka & Motueka. Note the red apple shelters
Towards the top of the hill around the 60th or so swirly corner is the limeworks. I admired the way even when it was dirty it looked so clean.
I imagine whoever sits in this office would have the best view in the company
Atop the hill the area is known as Canaan & is characterised by the amazing amount of marble & rock outcrops. It is Karst country where the rainwater running off the limestone becomes acidic disolving rocks leaving great networks of caves & sinkholes.
There are several caves to visit here - Ngarua cave has guided tours whereas you can freestyle it down harwoods hole.
Of course there was a motorbike involved in this journey.
The road carries on along the top for a short while until it begins its' descent into the Upper Takaka valley. This loping hairpin bend is prob one of the popular stops for pics in the area.
Did you answer or did it go straight to voicemail?
Sometimes its best just to screen your calls...
Sorry a surf movie featuring dumb chicks with attitudes, bad script, terrible acting, bikinis, disjointed editing, hedonistic lifestyles and very nice waves & locations was on. How could I resist?
Debbie does Maui??
That brings back memories
Heading thru Upper Takaka I turned off at East Takaka road towards Pohara beach. It was my first bit of gravel for the trip & I felt very vulnerable having the road move around underneath me after the consistent traction of the tarseal.
It is a nice place to cruise thru as there are a few lil kooky things to spot. This travellers rest is a nice touch.
A few more gravelly corners & the road opens up to semi rural suburbia.
My mind wanders often when out for a cruisy ride & as I rode past the old asphalt tennis courts, modest but well kept community/ church halls, weathered wide verandahs hanging off old bungalows I was catching a whiff of yesteryear. I'm sure that at the moment inside the old farmhouses I rode past are TVs spewing out the current dramas of the Kardashians etc however a part of me was hoping that there was a bit more of country calendar in these homes
I arrived at Pohara & rode around to Port Terakohe.
This is a spectacularly interesting location with the Holcim cement works & popular climbing walls dominating the landscape.
I'm a great fan of the open helmet these days. A more involved way of riding I find. Of course you do have to embrace the odd occurences of bees landing & crawling inside the helmet.
great photo essay Padders - some great riding in the top of the South - onya!
Dad was a draftsman at Tarakohe. We left the Bay before it shut down.
What shut down?
I wound around the coast & dropped down into Lydia bay. Both sides of the road were packed nose to tail with vehicles. I have never seen so many 4wds in one place in my life. I figured it was either a fishing contest or community gala. As i rode past the beach I saw a rope cordoning off a patsh of land where hundreds were standing & slowly rode ast & parked beside the row of bikes. Must be a wedding I thought
I quietly dismounted & walked to the back of the crowd where I saw a sign reserving the beach for a funeral that day. I suddenly remembered about a local guy Mark Fowler that lost his life on the bottom of the Takaka hill earlier that week
I respectfully returned to my bike, & quietly moved off. As I was leaving I heard the crowd laugh at a comment from one of the speakers & I felt although it was far too early in his life, he was getting a great sendoff with many friends & family.
The road wasn't too much further to Tata beach where I caught up with my good friends Lisa & Tony. They have been running Golden bay kayaks for a few years now & live the good life at the beach drinking coffee, renting out kayaks & SUPs when not caning the local MTB trails.
It can't be all bad working here & playing with lil 2yr old Kye.
After my 3rd coffee I noticed something weird happening to the sun. We put it down to the dust cloud from Tongariro erupting.
We had a humorous conversation with some friends of theirs that are moving from Golden Bay back to Nelson. The general understanding from outsiders is that golden Bay is fulled with hippies, nutters or twinkies however they are adamant it is only the ones that have actually moved into the area.
Well there were boats to pick up, gear to wash & I had nearly finishedoff all the marshmellow cake so I bid them farewell & saddled up again.
Rambling back over the Hill my thoughts returned to the motorcyclist Mark Fowler & the family & friends he had left behind. He certainly had touched many people with his short life & although I had never met him his passing had touched me slightly. I thought as I cruised into that saturday evening about my wife & young girls waiting at home for me. I rode the corners a bit more carefully, patiently waited for clear passing strips, enjoyed the smell of the hot tar & the feeling of the warm air across my face & embraced life.
Golden Bay, we were the last to leave and turned out the lights.
Or was it the Cement Works that shut down?
Sunday was another day. This time it was with my Nadmates. Nordieboy.
We started up Cowgully gulch which was overgrown & had trees half cut but still laid across the track.
Nordie warned me it was totally overgrown but sometimes one has to find out the hard way.
Eventually we got out into the open.
Snotso my green DRZ was the appropriate mount for the day. I couldn't believe having such brilliant weather 2 days running & being able to make the most of them riding
This is the summit above Hori bay which has the infinity pool effect on the skidder site.
Hmm whats nordie doing???
Ahhh I see now
Along rocks Woodman. That KLR is a substantial bike but he rides it with the grace of Nureyev - even while sleeping
Hey Nordie which way is the Hill of Impossibility?
Follow you where?
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So here I sit. It is nearly the following weekend & I have a sore rib & looking forward to perhaps just a light road ride this weekend.
Thank you for visiting & please pick up a chocolate fish on the way out.
Still owe me two. Shall we just add to the tab & call it three now?
No wonder Woodman was loosing the back end. Nordie's conned him into a Shinko...
A bald Shinko no less. Padmei conned him into a stuffed rear shock that was shorter than his old stuffed rear shock too...
The combination was not optimal...
Although it was photogenic.......
I got so inspired by the Impossible Hill, that I decided to check out a section in the neighbourhood. Stunning views, 20000m2 and pretty cheap. I didn't get to see the views, as I binned Basil halfway up. Bloody hell, now I now why it's so cheap.
My knee got a pretty good whack on one of the loose rocks and I had to spin Basil on the new valve cover to get him pointed down hill again.
I guess I should have walked up first, then I would have notice the bend and how loose this shit really was. Instead I gun it up in second but really needed to be in first. So when I did that, the rear came around. Oh well, chalk this up to experience.
Of course, I will have to have another go when the pain stops and I've walked up first.
Looks so innocent, then again, I didn't get to see this bit.
Ouch! Don't ya hate the old knee bash:eek1
You have got the newer type covers on aye? i wonder if the old ones would have fractured like they are reputed to do.
Were those numbers right for the section - 20 000m2? We've got a tenth of that & is too much for me to handle -hang on take ten off then divide by ten..no wait... aw anyway lets just say it is too much for one man & not enough for two.
You know how people talk about putting in a lower 1st gear (& higher 5th) when rebuilding the box, I reckon you'd need to have a lower 2nd too as the gap between them when off road is quite considerable I reckon especially when you've buit up a bit of speed in 1st.
I'm still thinking how to mate up a sprocket system to rear of the gearbox. A sprocket straight to the rear flange is easy enough however it's the transfer of power to the final 2 sprockets which is tricky. Something like right angle gears (is bevel the appropriate term?)at the pivot point with sprockets transfering power from the gearbox flange sprocket via short chain thru the (bevel) setup & out via normal type chain to the rear sprocket.
Best we don't leave Basil & Schmidt alone together overnite at the Dusty - we'll come out & they would have scarpered from their abusive owners