Richard's Great Adventure
I have returned from a great Cavalcade adventure that I thought the group would like to read.
About this time, Ray in Christchurch decided to sell his blue '86 LXE, with 23,000 miles on the clock. A few quick words with Linda and back to Ray and the blue LXE was ours.
Now to organizing the two swaps
Organizing the trip required booking tickets on the ferry service that runs between both, the North and South Islands here and 3 fuel stops, due to the 300 miles I would have to travel in both directions. The easiest crossings that I could do, were for me to leave here at 11:30pm and ride 2 hours to Wellington, to catch the 2:25am ferry for the 3.5 hour trip across the Straight.
We got in early at 5:45am and I rode off the ferry into rain and headed to a place called Kaikoura, down hte east coast of the South Island. I got there around 7:15 and filled up, drank a quick coffee, then headed on through more rain to Christchurch. The rain was light until I arrived at the edge of Christchurch, so I decided to head to Ray's place to unload my luggage directly into the blue LXE, before heading across town to hand over the Gold LX.
We both rode across town, on a bike each, and I picked up the new owner, Peter. We headed over to Malcolm's place, where we had arranged to meet with some of the local Cavalcade owners and their bikes. There are 3 Cavalcades in Christchurch, so we expected 4 to be there, including the one I brought south.
To my surprise, 6 bikes turned up. This is the most Cavalcades to gather in one place, at the same time, EVER, in this country. To put it in perspective, had 30% of the Cavalcades in the country, at the same place, at once. I don't think that can be achieved anywhere else!! These pictures prove it. (click the pictures to enlarge them)
We ran over-time and had to depart before we wanted to. Now it was back to Ray's.
I loaded up and Jack decided to ride the first 50 miles with me, back up the coast. We were lucky that, in those 50 miles, we did not have any rain. After he stopped off at a friend's house, I struck rain so heavy that, within 30 seconds, I was soaked through, even with a riding jacket on. I lost sight of the car 100 yards in front of me and slowed down to 30 mph. After about 10 minutes of this, it eased up enough for me to get back to my 95 KPH (59 mph). My speed was limited with the trailer that Ray sold with the bike, as it developed "speed wobbles" above this speed. No matter what I did, I could not go any faster.
I filled up again in Kaikoura and drank another quick coffee, then headed for Picton to catch the ferry back to the North Island. The ferry departed at 6pm. I just made the 5pm, latest reporting time.
On arrival, back in Wellington, I decided to stay at a friend's house for the night, as I had only had 2 hours sleep in the previous 24 hours. The next day, he decided to ride the last 90 miles home with me. We rode up my drive around 2pm, finishing up a 600 mile round trip on 2 Cavalcades (one down and a different one back)
The trip was awesome, even through the wind and rain, rough ferry crossing on the return trip that had people sick, and scary moments with the trailer tried to send me in different directions.
I have since sorted the problems with the trailer. I was too well balanced and needs more weight in the front, which stabilized it.
We are organizing a New Zealand Cade Raid for March (2011), if you want to travel some of our roads.
Long story, but great trip!
Last updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
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