The next KLR Ramblers ride is on…

…17 March 2018. The details of the ride are coming soon.

Until then, you can find rides and like-minded people in the Adventure Riding NZ forums.

Advertisements

February – Ride report

The KLR Ramblers Ride was held off-road in February. Our visit to the Thundercross Valley Bike Park was both fun and a learning experience for three of us. I always knew the KLR is a mule. It can do almost anything on its own pace and it was proven again.

We started on the beginners’ loop since none of us had real off-road experience. It was a very good introduction and helped us to put into practice what we already read somewhere or others told us and figured out a few other things, literally, on the go.

That rounds on the beginners’ loop also helped us realize the limitations of our motorcycles. For me, the biggest realization was the importance of the tires. My rear tire turned out to be completely rubbish in muddy sections, so I did not follow Anton and Herman on the more advanced tracks. I will write about the tires in a separate post.

I think we will return to Thundercross for more fun and to keep our off-road skills relevant in the future.

Here are a few pictures about our ride. Click on the thumbnail images for the full-size pictures.

A.R.G.O Project

A.R.G.O. is the abbreviation of Adventure Riding Gravel Overjoy and an adventure motorcycle trail is hiding behind this cheeky name. The trail is travelling through the North Island on New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Wellington, and using much as possible scenic gravel roads and even if it is not possible, the route is staying on the countryside far away from highways and heavy traffic much as possible.

BL_ARGO

The trail is a result of ideas and suggestions from people gathered on the Adventure Riding NZ forums, and the work of a handful of enthusiast who did put together the pieces and did ride the trail.

This presentation of the trail is intended to be a snapshot or the first iteration of the trail. Please visit the Adventure Riding NZ website and check there for further updates, side tracks and recent ride reports.

Click here for more details, maps and GPX files.

lic

Public service announcement

psa

The WordPress theme has been used on the blog is not supported anymore :-(

To avoid problems with future updates of the blog engine, we have switched to a newer, supported theme. I made an effort to keep it close to the old one as possible, so no one will be lost on the site.

Let us know if you have found any issues with the new appearance of the blog.

Ride from Auckland to Wanganui

I had four days on my own to spend it on the motorcycle. I used this opportunity to ride from Auckland down to Wanganui.

Since I have ridden the Port Waikato area many times and posted a lot of pictures about it, I started to take photographs just at Raglan.

AKLWAG001-Raglan

Raglan

Sometimes I needed to stop to admire the glorious gravel roads waiting for me to ride.

AKLWAG002-GloriousGravel

Glorious gravel roads

Meet the grader machine. It turns the gravel roads to dirt roads for you. :-)

AKLWAG003-MeetTheGrader

Meet the grader

Obviously, later it will be covered with fresh gravel and compacted.

AKLWAG004-Gravel2Dirt

Freshly graded road

Exciting landscape ahead.

AKLWAG005-InterestingLandscapeAhead

The gravel road begins here (again)

I have found important to have regular stops to refresh myself.

AKLWAG006-RestStop

Rest stop

The route cut through a very diverse landscape. My personal favorites were the ones traveling through forests.

AKLWAG007-Forest

Forest route

On long rides in remote areas, you need to have a good plan to refuel from time to time. Gas stations are scarce in some areas.

AKLWAG008-FineMorningFuel

Morning fuel stop

Traffic jams are common everywhere in New Zealand, but I don’t mind this kind of traffic jam.

AKLWAG009-TrafficJam

Morning traffic jam

I did travel some rarely used farm roads, no need to say these leads through the most beautiful or interesting sections.

AKLWAG010-SeldomUsedRoads

Rarely used road

Taumaranui did look like a ghost town.

AKLWAG011-GhostTown

Taumaranui

One of the rest stops to refresh myself and snap a couple of pictures.

AKLWAG012-AfternoonRestStop

Afternoon rest stop

The first glance of the Ruapehu.

AKLWAG013-Ruapehu

Ruapehu

Fishers Track was one of the highlights of this trip, but don’t do it alone.

AKLWAG014-FishersTrack

Fishers Track

Close to halfway. The Wanganui River.

AKLWAG015-WanganuiRiver

Wanganui River

The Wanganui River Road is a sealed road but there are enough roadworks on it to keep it interesting.

AKLWAG016-Roadworks

Wanganui River Road

King Country with its restless hills.

AKLWAG017-RestlessLandscape

Restless hills

The Forgotten World Highway (SH34) is one very common element of motorcycle tours. Mostly sealed road with a short gravel section.

AKLWAG018-ForgottenWorld

SH43

An almost empty town, Ohura. with only 120 or so residents.

AKLWAG018-OhuraPpl120

Ohura

A lovely spot to stop. Looks like a 17th or 18th-century romantic landscape painting.

AKLWAG019-LovelySpot

Landscape with waterfall

There is no road trip in New Zealand without rain. Here is one which just passed by.

AKLWAG019-RunningFromRain

Rain

And finally back to the Waikato area.

AKLWAG020-BackInWaikato

Waikato area

Here is the route I did from Auckland down to Wanganui.

AKL-WAG-map

Map

lic

KLR Ramblers ride – February

Update:
15/02/2018 10:00- The ride is on! I just did talk to James and the conditions on the tracks are good and as we expect a good weather for the next three days, we will have the ride at Thundercross Valley Bike Park.

 

The details of the February ride as follow:

  • Date: 17 February 2018
  • Time: 10 am
  • Meeting point: Thundercross Valley Bike Park (See the details below.)
  • Where are we going? Nowhere :-) We will ride there on the tracks of the park.

Have you thought about riding the 42 Traverse, the Fishers Track or one of the similar, more technical routes? This is a good opportunity to bring your adventure bike to an off-road test and practice in a controlled environment with the fellow adventure riders.

The location will be the Thundercross Valley Bike Park. Thundercross is conveniently located 90km from central Auckland. Set in 750 acres of easy rolling to the steep countryside in the Franklin District, the Park boasts breath-taking scenery that has featured in television commercials and movies. Click here for the location on the map.

The entry fee is $30 for an adult (please bring cash). Women and girls can ride for free. You can choose from the learners, trail/enduro, and the MX tracks according to your skill set.

If you are not confident to ride your own motorcycle on the tracks, you can hire one, including protective gear. Click here for the prices.

What you need are approved helmet, boots, gloves and you will need googles because of the dust. Back protection is a good idea. There is a full range of gear available for hire at $10 an item, or $50 for a full set.

Your choice of tire is up to you but you will find that unless you have a tire of a semi knobbly pattern you will really struggle.

This event depends on the weather and the track conditions. I will talk to James Fowlie on 15 February and post here if we are good to go or the ride is postponed.

Please register on the Adventure Riding NZ event website so we (and James) will know how many of us will ride.

Don’t forget to bring your sandwich and we can have a lunch there together.

If you are riding with us, we will assume, you have read, understood and accepted our “Legal disclaimer”. Click here to read the legal stuff.
lic

Nutrition

There isn’t much word on nutrition on your adventure, apart from the extreme food of Mongolian testicle stew or the occasional report of eating dog meat in Mainland China (PRC) and such.

testicle.jpg

The truth is, this is a very often forgotten topic, or the motorcycle adventurer will grab whatever is available in the local pub. I would say fortunately, there is often no local pub, and you cannot go around on the campsite begging for food. You need to think it through well in advance before you ride out from the comfort of your garage.

I just prepared my rations for a three days trip and I would like to share what I did pack.

In this area a very good starting point is the military born MRE rations. We don’t need to go so extreme, but it is a good starting point. An MRE pack is supposed to be loaded with a good variety of food and all the nutrition and comfort food an adult person needs in physically demanding conditions.

The basics you need to think of are goes like this.

  • vitamins
  • fibre
  • protein
  • carbohydrate
  • calories
  • electrolites
  • comfort items

You need to provide all these not just based on the needs. You should not forget, you are on a trip for fun and not in the military or on a self torturing pilgrimage, so make it pleasant with all the bells and whistles what you can afford within the limits of healthy eating and size.

Talking about size, both weight and volume, you just cannot load a half pig on your bike for a BBQ. Everything need to be packed efficiently and you need to make some compromises.

So here is my food and comfort items inventory for a three days trip in alphabetical order.

  • 5 small apples
  • 5 freeze dried meals (only need some water and heating)
  • 4 roasted peanut and chocolate protein bars
  • Cigarettes (according to your needs)
  • 5 portions of instant coffee (you can replace or mix this with tea bags)
  • 5 packs of crackers with high fiber content (6 in a pack)
  • 5 packs of mixed dried fruit (40 g e.a.)
  • 5 yogurt, fruit and nuts bar
  • 5 isotonic drinks powder pack (I like the orange taste ones)
  • Multi vitamin and dietary supplements (because you still need a boost)
  • 200 ml whiskey (to make your evenings at the campsite colorful as a postcard)
  • Water (if you are lucky, you can get it at the campsite or need to carry)

And how does it looks like packed, ready to go?

food.png

For me it is a tried and working combination but you need to consider your individual needs, taste and likes/dislikes. There is no one-size-fits-all recipe.

And here is the menu you can build from these ingredients.

Saturday breakfast

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Yogurt and muesli freeze dried breakfast
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Saturday morning snack on the road

  • Choc bar

Saturday afternoon snack on the road

  • Choc bar

Saturday dinner

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried Venison risotto
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Sunday breakfast

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried Cooked breakfast
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Sunday morning snack

  • Choc bar

Sunday afternoon snack

  • Choc bar

Sunday dinner

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried beef stroganoff
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

Monday breakfast

  • Orange drink
  • Crackers
  • Freeze dried creamy carbonara
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut bar
  • Apple
  • Coffee

 

Dakar 2018 – The Final, Stage 14

And here is the end, the 2018 Dakar race is over.

The top 10 rides were

Pos No. Rider Brand Team Time
1 2 Austria Matthias Walkner KTM Red Bull KTM Factory Team 36:33:37
2 47 Argentina Kevin Benavides Honda Monster Energy Honda Team +0:32:00
3 8 Australia Toby Price KTM Red Bull KTM Factory Team +0:39:17
4 3 Spain Gerard Farrés KTM Himoinsa Racing Team +0:49:17
5 19 France Antoine Méo KTM Red Bull KTM Factory Team +0:59:05
6 20 United States Ricky Brabec Honda Monster Energy Honda Team +1:18:10
7 40 France Johnny Aubert Gas Gas Gas Gas Motorsport +1:49:34
8 10 Chile Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +1:53:19
9 68 Chile José Ignacio Cornejo Honda Monster Energy Honda Team +2:05:57
10 61 Spain Oriol Mena Hero Hero Motosports Team Rally +2:13:07

Here is the summary of the final stage.