I got up early....did I say early, I mean the middle of the dam night s I could join the Northern Gravel Riders club for the weekend. We were heading towards Pouto beach, west of Dargaville We were to meet the other riders at Dargaville at nine a good full 2 1/2 half hours from Auckland. This is where our ride would begin from. As always though it was a bit of an adventure.......
The ride from Kumeu along Sh 16 was in some the foggiest conditions I had every ridden in. The view from the top however was spectacular. Looking down and seeing the land covered in fog was quite amazing. Never seen anything like it before.
|The view from Sh16..fog covered South Head and beyond, right where we are going.|
Once in Dargiville we met up with the rest of the team, about 10 of us in total. We spent the morning criss crossing various gravel roads as we headed towards Pouto Beach.
After a regroup and just some twenty kms from the beach, we encountered some heavily gravelled, marbly roads. It was here while negotiating a sharp off camber, down hill section that I lost control of the back of the bike. The time I regained control I was on the very edge of the gravel before another slide ensured and I launched of the edge of the road and down the bank, coming to rest nicely against the fence.
Tim and Jess who were following came to a sliding stop and were quick to check on me. I was up quickly and reassessing the bike in the ditch, and checking what was hurting. Ankle was a bit sore as was my shoulder, other wise nothing too major. Tim was able to ride the bike out of the ditch. Only minor damage to report, broken nose cone, and the handle bar slightly bent. Not major and easily fixed. (So I m reliable informed)
So we were off again...Rogeys Gravel Rash adventures had well and truly began.!!!!
|Regroup juts before pouto Beach.|
|The Light House.|
The sand crossing onto Pouto was not difficult, (although some how managed to make a mess of it) and the guys were having a great play up and down the dunes, some getting as far as the light house. I was amazed to be honest. It is a lot steeper than it looks and takes a bit of skill to traverse it. We spent quite a bit of time playing before Jim suggested we ride "just up the beach" where we would return to the tarmac and have lunch at Bayleys beach.
Of course when Jim says anything I have learnt to be sceptical..as "just up the beach" was in fact 80kms of blatting along the sand and having fun. I seriously did wonder when we would get to the end though!
A truly great ride along the beach, just a neat feeling and seeing a fantastic beach with hardly anybody on it. It was stunning.
Lunch at Baylys beach, before heading back to Dargiville to refuel. It was here I decided I had done my dash for the day, and I headed toward our Accommodation. Kauri Coast Top Ten. This camp ground nestled just off the main road is a wonderful place to stay......just be warned camp mother can be a bit .......
I managed to get my boot off OK, and kept it up and packed with ice for most of the night. Seemed better in the morning and I was able to ride home no problems.
We had all brought stuff for the BBQ, and it was great to sit around, tell lies, eat lots of great food, and have a good laugh.
I enjoyed my self very much this weekend. Surprisingly I actually believe my gravel skills are improving all the time. I will learn from it, analyse where I went wrong and just get on with riding, besides kind of addicted now.
|Terry drove up from Auckland for the night.|
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Shame about the off Roger, but it looked like a great day out on the bike! Gravel rocks!ReplyDelete
Hey mate, It was a great day, and still had a great time. I neeed to remind myself that I am actually still a beginner on this stuff. All good though and i learnt a bit.Delete
Bummer about the bike taking a nap. It seems to happen sometimes under these conditions.ReplyDelete
The pics if the morning fog are stunning, one reason why I like to get up early (especially when a ride is involved).
Playing with a bike in the sand... that would be something... you guys must have had great fun.
(Did I mention the pics are awesome?) Thanks Rog, for sharing this little adventure with us. You really seem to get the hang of it.
Thanks Hon, Hard not to take good pics some times. I am really enjoying seeing some of the country side I havnt seen before. Still didnt really need to pay a visit to that particular ditch!Delete
I think you just got up earlier than your bike wanted you to that morning so he decided to have a little nap. Lazy bugger.ReplyDelete
Glad you were okay and you and the bike were able to carry on. It looks like a wonderful weekend with great weather and great friends.
Brandy, I haveto agree 5am start was way to early! and it was a great weekend.Delete
Aww such cool photos Rog. I have been to some of these places too, sure brings back memories. I have a dual sport bike and havent really got any gravel, dirt or mud experience yet. I think every time we go out on our bikes is a learning experience, glad you had fun and didnt get hurt too bad.ReplyDelete
No doubt deb, some of my pics must make you home sick. We never stop learning and perfecting our skills.Delete
That is a lot of fog, bet it was cold riding through that.ReplyDelete
Looks like a good day out.
Actually mate it wasnt to bad, visability on the other hand was a different story.Delete
I love the fog photos. It can be so pretty, but I do get tired of riding in it after a while.ReplyDelete
Wow-Scary! I'm glad you are relatively unscathed and the bike as well. I suppose these things are more common when you ride on gravel/dirt. I can't decide if the sand riding looks scary or fun. Fun I think, and the pictures are cool. Looks like a really nice trip!
Kari: The fog wasn't much fun, certainly reduced speed helps , you just have to get on with it. Sometimes you think you are through it , and then you hit another patch.Delete
Coming off on the gravel....well everyone has done it, still I wasn't impressed with myself. Will put it done to a learning experience.
Rog - the fog photos are stunning! Too bad about your bike deciding to have a lay down. They have interesting ways of getting even when you least expect it, I guess the bike isn't an early riser. Glad you were okay though. The dunes look fun! I've ridden a dune buggy once on the dunes & an atv, but never two wheels, I think I may need to try something like that. Hope the ankle & shoulder feel better.ReplyDelete
Thanks hon, The ankle is better all ready, just some bruising. Riding on the dunes was fun, although after the off I was very subdued. Great fun though and well worth giving it a try some time.Delete
Riding off road a wee fall now and then is inevitable, main thing is that you're ok and yer bike isn't knackered. Its good to learn from your mistakes but sometimes (in my limited experience) shit happens so fast that you don't always know whats happened.ReplyDelete
That beach looked great fun by the way!
Mike....I was expecting a smarter remark from you than I got. I agree with you though, seems inevitable that sooner or later you have a wee off on gravel. Most of the guys who are great riders seemed to accept it as par for the course. Saying that though I don't want to repeat the moment. O have learnt a lot over the last few months and this is just another lesson to take something from.Delete
I haven't any clever retorts. As Mike above said, and you already know...off road falls happen. I'm glad you have just a story to tell and a lesson learned, rather than a scar and a limp.ReplyDelete
Looks like you had an excellent day. Often times getting up early seems like a chore but then you miss out on those fog photos. Everything seems more alive in the crispness of dawn and when the light shines over the horizon it lights up the world. It makes you think the world is coming alive and you were there to take it all in.
Glad your spill was minor and they you get your bike fixed at minimal costs
Riding the Wet Coast
I agree Bob, I love the early morning. refreshing.Delete
Damn! And not one picture of you or the bike in the ditch! Shameful. Tsk. Tsk.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you are both ok. The adventure looked enjoyable.
Lori, You didn't seriously think I was gonna take pics of the bike lying down did you....these things can come back and haunt us!Delete