WAIRARAPA WANDERING: 29/11/15 Spent some time Saturday realigning the sidecar, given I’d replaced the bent 15mm axle with a straight one. I’d noticed the chair tyre was scuffing badly, & sure enough the toe in was well out (inward). Currently set with 3.5cm toe in, which still might be too much. Sunday was supposed to be a great day, so booked in some ride time (for testing purposes only of course). Andy Mac expressed some interest, but wasn’t keen on one of those an all day ‘get home after 8.00 rides’. Arranged to meet at 9.00am at Rimutex. He was kept entertained going over the Rimtutakas by the sight of a certain sidecar, waving it’s wheel in the air on the exit of a lot of left handers. It was being pushed. Probably needs a bit more ballast in the chair. I’d manage to mostly hold it down going into & thru the left hand corners, but once I got the power on, it came up all by itself…honest Passed a sidecar going in the other direction. What are the chances? Slabbed it to Carterton to Wild Oats for a coffee & muffin. Nice sitting in the sun. Given there was a forest fire out towards Riversdale, & there was heavy rain cloud that way anyway, we decided to flick thru Bideford. Saw 120 on the GPS thru there, but not a lot more spare Hamsters left to power the treadmill. At SH52 I convinced Andy that given we were so close to Pori & Puketoi Rds, it’d be rude not to poke our noses up there. Have to say the chair doesn’t like the camber of Pori Rd going up (sloped in towards the hills, to the drainage ditches). Going down is much more satisfactory. Photo by Andy Mac Did Puketoi Rd as an in & out. That’s in good condition at present. Dry. No slips. Photo by Andy Mac Castlehill Rd had a no of Horsefloats & a bit of other traffic on it (oncoming). Otherwise fast & flowing on the sidecar, albeit a bit barren following the logging operations. Lunch at Tinui, then out Te Mai Rd, to access the Pack Spur to Mataikona Roads. First we had to find it. The road in has suffered heavy corrugations as a result of the logging operation at Te Mai Station. Pack Spur Rd is a paper road which runs up to & alongside an Airstrip & through some private land, including a forestry block. It has had recent work, with big chunky gravel laid down. I assume this is to give an alternative back entry route into Mataikona. It gave a fairly jarring ride on the sidecar though, so I rode part of the airstrip to avoid this. I need better, longer travel suspension to soak that up. The big gravel stopped at the Forestry section. This has also had work, so was easy compared to other times I’ve ridden it (pine needles over clay in the winter). We were also descending (rather than ascending) the track, which is easier. There are a couple of small (easy) stream fords towards the end of this section. Andy decided to see if one of his friends was home at their forestry holiday home. This was an interesting wee track with another couple of stream crossings. Unfortunately he wasn’t home. Nearly tipped the chair over on the exit to one of the stream crossings. Photo by Andy Mac Took a run down to Castlepoint Beach looking for gas (‘small’ tanks are a problem for me – I keep running out of fuel). The gas pumps at Castlepoint beach store are no longer operational, but there is 24 hr ‘pay at pumps’ gas at the nearby Whakataki Hotel a few kms down the road. Just 91 & diesel though. Castlepoint Beach is brought to you by the letter ‘O’. I need a more aggressive front tyre to give me more bite in the soft stuff. Steering was an issue. Flicked down Homewood Rd to ride the forestry (now that the fire was controlled). Still quite slippy (small pea gravel, hard base). Proportionately, the sidecar spent a lot of time sideways thru there. Andy showed off his off road riding prowess just in front of the Homewood Station homestead. Photo by Andy Mac Across Rimutakas & home sometime after 8.20pm. 517.2 kms. Just running onto reserve again.