Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"All Things Rogey"..now includes "The Gravel Rash Adventures"

Sorry to disappoint but I am not pregant, but....I would like to announce the arrival of my new bike...

For those regular followers of my blog, you may remember earlier this year I did a bit of a tour around the Taranaki.  During the Sunday on my return home I found myself on a dirt track, just west of Ohura.  I managed to get the sprint home OK, but it sent me thinking on a path to a second bike, and the opportunities this would present for discovering more out of the way and for gotten places.  I began to seriously look at getting a duel purpose bike. Since Andrew added the DL to his stable, I was more inclined than ever to become  adventurous in my riding.   So for the last few months I have been trolling adventure forums and doing my own bit of research on what I think would suit the types of roads I would like to get onto.

After a while I had narrowed it done to a couple of bikes, and eventually settled on the G650 GS.  Once I had done a test ride I was in no doubt that this bike would do everything I was looking for.  It is light, nimble, comfortable and out right bloody fun to ride. 

The Sprint will remain with me as it is a great bike, and is ideal for two up touring and the purposes it was brought for.  The GS will open up new adventures for me, giving me the chance to visit places that I can not get to on the sprint.  It will also only improve my skills on a bike, and I have all ready enrolled in a off road course.  New Zealand has some amazing places to ride a off road bike, and I am  buzzing at the opportunities that this new bike will present me. 

I Picked the bike up yesterday, and took it for a we 200km spin.  Man it is a hoot, I had to fight the urge to find a dirt road, in due cause I will do a full review.  Man I love being on two wheels.

So I hope you will join me as Rogey's Gravel Rash Adventure begins.........

Friday, September 23, 2011

Breaking News!

Changes are foot in the world of "ALL THINGS ROGEY"!

Pictures and details to follow 7.00pm NZ Time Wednesday 28th September.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bloody Orange Cones.....

Well, Phillip was good enough to organise another observed ride for me on Monday night.  Simon my appointed mentor has been pretty busy with the Rugby World Cup (God I hope the All blacks win!) and the Pacific Island Forum  (more political drum beating) .  So I was most grateful to have the opportunity to ride with Phillip again. The fact that this man gives up his time into  training me cannot be under estimated, and I am very very grateful.

The weather forecast was for rain and thunderstorms, thankfully we only got a bit of rain, although the route we took through the Waitakere ranges ensured the road was wet!

But First............

I arranged to meet Phillip where he does his other training courses.  This is a car park behind a gym and while we were there he decided it would be a good opportunity to try some slow speed manoeuvring exercises.  Now this could be interesting.  Although my slow speed skills have improved a great deal, throwing the 220kg sprint around a 15 foot wide turn with lots of little orange cones,   was perhaps a little optimistic on Phil's behalf.  Of course never one to turn down a challenge  I thought bugger it lets give this a go............and I did...again (fail)....and again(fail)....and again(fail)....and again(fail)....and again(fail).....and again(fail)....and again(fail)......shit this is hard!  So Mr McDaid...aka Phil steps in.   So I then get to watch this little man..and yes he is not a big fella, throw this Honda ST, all 300kgs of it through this obstacle course as if it is a  GN125!  Shit, feeling a bit like a plonker now.

OK Phil so you proved a point, now let me have a go on one of those little 125's you have on the back of the trailer there?  Whoop.......I am away.  At least I nailed it, perhaps not the first time, but I did eventually  get this bloody little bike around two fingers of this orange cone obstacle course.   In case you haven't noticed I am beginning to get an aversion to "road cones"!!!!!!!  Of course I did try my best to destroy as many as possiable but the little bastards pop back into shape.....no matter how many times you run over them.

With my helmet sufficiently soaked with sweat and my hands sticking to the inside of my winter gloves, we ended the obstacle courses challenge and set out on a ride.  Enjoying Auckland's peak hour traffic and intermittent rain.

The route took us through Scenic drive in the Waitake rangers, a very picturesque part of suburban Auckland, and from a bikers point of view a great road.  Certainly a challenging road.  Full of speed zone changes, hidden driveways, 25km bends and anything else you may want to through into the mix.

Once stopped the feed back begun.  So the negatives were.  Missed a couple of shoulder checks when the lanes went from two to one.  I did check my mirrors  but as Phillip pointed out it is easy for a car to enter theses roads from a driveway and the mirror check is just not adequate.  Was a bit lapsed on my indicating on a couple of round abouts.  And was not chasing my vanishing point as well as I should when exiting corners.  This is an area that I am aware is a weakness in my riding. 

So now the positives.  It is clearly obvious in my riding that I am applying the skills that are associated with Advanced riding.  I am using the full road , altering my position when I need to, watching my following distances and making a degree of smooth progress in most cases.  It comes down to a lot of fine tuning and working on the little things that need work.  The big thing for me is that I have improved from my previous observed ride.  It is there, I just need to continually reinforce the small stuff.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fathers day ride and prizes!

So last Sunday was Fathers day, old news I know, but not for being frantic at work this week I may have been able to write about it earlier.

I was given the delicacy of toast, baked beans and coffee.........with a slash of ham on the side.   All made with love and appreciation, which is all i can ask for.

Nathan had a friend over, so that breakfast was where fathers day started an ended for him, still Taylor was keen to go for a ride, and she even mentioned a  "long ride", dangerous words indeed.

SO with Nathan off to his mates place, my partner working, Taylor and I headed north, stopping at the chocolate factory for a very yummy brunch.......(forgot photos sorry).  WE carried on north after that and took the scenic ride through Wellsford, SH 16 to Helensville, and eventually home.  we were away for about 6 hours, and Taylor didn't seem to mind in the slightest.  I think I may be turning her into a biker yet.  A few years ago anything longer than 20 Min's was considered a long trip.

It was great  to get out for a ride on what was a nice day with my daughter.  She seems to be growing up so fast that the time will come when she will be far to busy to come with me any more.

Soccer season has finally ended.  Taylor's team finished second from the bottom, but it was a great journey along the way.  Yesterday was the Girls 13th Grade prize giving.   Taylor won "Most Valuable player", I thought I should of won most "vocal sideline commentator" and supporter award, but it was not to be.
Proud Dad

Most improved, Most Valuable, and Sportsmanship award, The three winners from Taylor's team.

Still very proud of my girl, first season of football and she won a ward.

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