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It's friday morning and 1000kms ticked over on the (long) way home from work last night. So over to the honda dealer to get my nuts tightned and bits lubed.

Catching the train in this neck of the woods is apparently not that easy... no cash and no atm's near the station... anyway I had my reasons - pick up the bike too early and I would be going away for the weekend in the car. Sitting at my desk, posting nana stuff on and playing with google earth
2:30 came and I decided to buggerit and buggeroff (nice boss). Encountered the train comes "once an hour" delay, so txted her-indoors and told her to set off ahead, Its a pain but it looks like I am going to have to ride...

First off, there is an accident on the "motorway*" So a friendly cop car widened the gap for a few km's 8). Once out of town the Rumatuka range was pleasantly free of traffic. Nothing to write home about for the next couple of hundred km's, until it started to get dark that is.

At about 4:30 it was getting dark and I started to become a little unhinged. <RANT> The formula new bike + new gloves + small hands (Oi! no comments) = a hazzard. well, the hazzard lights to be more precise. Ok, somoone please tell me why is the main beam switch an incy wincy tiny switch placed way out of reach and the hazard switch a bloody great big thing which is triggered every time the main beam is missed? There is nothing more usefull than being blinded by oncoming cars, waiting for them to pass so you can turn on your main beam so you can see the corner you know is getting close, then have your periferal vision illuminated by flashing orange lights... good one honda! Does anyone know if these switches are swappable?</RANT>

So, I get to my destination, 300km's on one tank... with aparently some to spare. Trust in the fuel guage is still a few tank fulls away.

I parked the bike up in the grandma-in-law's garage for the weekend whilst it pissed down with rain and played with the really cool oversized lego I bought for my 2yr old. I even managed to make something that looked like a motorbike!

Monday (it was a long weekend) came and so did some sun... and then the "I think i should set off now because i don't want to ride in the dark" excuse came out along with the "I think my cell phone needs charging".

The plebs would take SH2 to woodville and then head over to SH1, a trip of about 300km's with no motorways*. I managed to get lost by not turning at Waipukurau
The really good thing about this area of the country is there are very few cars. This is good because there are few cops. After a little warm up I stepped up the pace a bit then a bit more, finally I decided 100mph on these narrow country roads is going to kill me. But all the time the TA was a rock, none of the bending and twisting of the F650, just rails to ride on.
Even when the going got rough and slippy, the Transalp kept wanting more and giving more in return.
I came to a junction, a choice, head back to reality or more insanity. I took the reality pill. 1km later the road opened up and I could see more than a couple of hundred meters, so I wound her well in to the red, yes in top. That was nice then there was another junction, I spat out the reality pill and swallowed the jar of the other type...

Within about three bends the back end was stepping out in the gravel. Still, she did exactly as asked and offered more. Any reservations about choosing the TA over the DL650 were fast flying out of the window. This bike has been built for NZ roads and taking fast gravel roads.
Short detour

As the gravel was running out (i did about 60kms) my time and fuel were also getting low so i reluctantly headed for reality. But not before a final fling, seduced by the bends, she is my bike now, a part of me. There is no more of the new bike uncertanty just a feeling on oneness... I'm in love with my bike. (anyone got the number to a good shrink?)

So, reluctantly making it to the state highway & filling up with petrol I made my way home, chilly on the open road mental note... next on the shopping list are the heated grips. Pulling up on to my drive I realised that despite 400+km's some of it on the roughest roads I could find I was still in excellent shape. This bodes well for October and the Rusty Nuts 1000miler :twisted:

So that was my first real ride... I can't wait until the next one, and I really must find some more gravel before the rubber gets too worn from the commute.

* an NZ motorway is a small dual carridge way.

Golam Rosewater
1,444 Posts
Reminds me of my first ride out, across country via the Peak District. Gone where the days of searching for the ideal piece of tarmac to enjoy, you just pick a road, any road will do.

And it's useally the roads you'd avoid on a 'normal' bike that turn out to be the most fun.

Enjoy the new ride.
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