So the day has come for this year’s TT2000.
This is my second year at doing the TT and I have talked by mate Steve (Ed) into joining me while he is on holiday here in New Zealand.
The TT2000 is an endurance rally where we need to meet three criteria to be considered finishers.
1. Cover 2000kms
2. Do this is 48 hours and check in at finish in Christchurch before Midday Sunday.
3. Collect 50,000 points by visiting enough of the checkpoints.
Steve and I had been in the South Island since Monday and already done 1800kms so given our new tyres a good scrub in. The South Island roads tend to be quiet hard on tyres so we started on new rubber all round on both bikes.
We spent the night before the rally at a campsite in Dunedin. Turned out there several other riders including Andrew there who had entered the TT so we had a chat with a few before an early night.
We arrived at the start about an hour before the start where there were already about 20 bikes lined up ready to go. I had a cunning plan to park on the road so giving us a quick getaway by not being blocked in t the start. Little did I know that by the time over 90 bikes had arrived I we were blocked in anywayJ.
We chewed the fat with other people there and had a look at some of the lovely machinery about , we probably had two of the oldest bikes there at 30years and 21years old, but a classic never goes out of fashion at least that’s what I tell myself J
The briefing came and went we grabbed out t shirts and hit the traffic in Dunedin to battle our way north.
We chose not to do the checkpoints near to Dunedin but headed straight for Macraes Mine about 50 mins North. We had been there the day before on our way down to Dunedin to help Steve understand how the GPS worked and how we do quick stops.
First stop went well quite a few other people had the same idea it turned out with 5 or 6 people there at the same time.
Next stop was Hyde this went through some magnificent central Otago countryside , would have loved to take it slower and get some photo’s but we were on a mission.
Checkpoint 3 was the entrance to the brass monkey rally. No snow this time of year so that was a bonus.
Next one was Drybread no Problems there.
Clyde Dam caught us out we ended up on the wrong side of the Dam , I somehow think this was a plan by Mike !!. We decided to give it a bit of time to find our way to the other side , turned out it was not too hard just whizzed over the bridge and got necessary photo.
Next half a dozen went really easy including the two mystery point which Steve had sussed out using google earth and street view while still in England.
Checkpoint 15 for us was Kaiwera where I found myself pointing the wrong way to exit. No problem just do a U turn and head off. While doing the U turn I lost my balance and slowly felt the bike falling down on its right side. No damage to the bike just my pride as another group of bikes had just turned up J. Quick look over he bike and off to the next one.
The rest of the afternoon went to plan and we arrived at are Motel in Invercargill 10 minutes earlier than the plan.
We checked in then headed off to our last checkpoint for the day at Bluff. We ended up in Maccy D,s with a bunch of other riders and many questions from the staff as to why so many people on bikes were there.
Off to bed with a proposed start of 5 am next day.
Sleep very well . We both woke up raring to go and were on the road 5 mins before 5.
Did first 3 checkpoints in the dark all flowed well and ahead of our schedule.
We got to CP4 Kauana where we got apprehended by an interested Lady who wondered what was going on in their quiet neck of the woods.
Next planned stop was Mossburn where we intended to fuel up as well. The petrol station was closed as it was only 7.30 am. I didn’t know if we could get fuel at Manapouri so we did some maths and decided we should have enough fuel to get there and back to Mossburn when they would be open. We would have to ride a bit more reserved to save fuel but we should be ok. As it turned out there was a card pump at Manapouri so we filled up there.
All was going well until we left Arrowtown to head for Cromwell. There had been a bad accident, we passed the stopped cars but could see that we were going nowhere fast. We had to decide what to do fairly fast. I had chosen to go out to Cromwell and back to gain some KM,s more than the points and decided not to go over the crown range. We made the decision to go over the crown range and see if we could get up to Triple cone without any more hold ups due to the ironman being held at Wanaka. As it turned out the traffic was fairly light in the area so no problems.
We fuelled up again in Wanaka and found a fellow tt,er with a puncture. We grabbed a bit to eat and gave the guy a tyre plug to help him on his way J It was great to see him at the finish with the plug still holding up. I always carry a puncture kit used it 3 times over the years always for other people J
Next on to Wanaka Airport only to find the fighter training school was no more. We worked out what building they used to be in and got a few pics in the general are to prove we had been there.
From here was over the Lindis Pass pick up the points there then off to our last “daytime checkpoint at Elephant Hill.
From here off to Timaru for our stop for the night. We ended up following John ( koroj ) and his team as it seemed we had all booked in to the top10.
We also had the same plan of checking in and going out again to do some more checkpoint to give us an easy Sunday. We had a quick cup of tea, unloaded our bikes then headed off again. We stopped for fuel where John and his team were getting there wets on. Ed and I had a brief discussion but decided to take the change and left our wets off. We spent the evening skirting the showers more luck than judgement.
Our sena intercoms had just gone flat after 12 hours continual use, I was very impressed by this. I had bever tried charging and using them at the same time but we connected them up and they worked fine through the car adapter leads J
We had 3 checkpoint planned to do and another 200km,s which would give us a total of just over 1200km,s for the day.
We got back to our cabin both pretty shattered so a quick shower and off to bed , lay in tomorrow no need to get up until 7am.
Had a great sleep and both woke being able to see the end in sight. The weather was not so good so straight on with wets today and off to our first stop which was uneventful.
Our second stop was Sharplin Falls turned out the last few hundred meters was up a gravel track to the carpark never mind !! We met some other up there then got our picture and made our exit. As we got just down the road there was a utu with hazard lights going parked across the road. We slowed down to see what was happening. The farmer was moaning about the number of bikes going up and down “ his” road . I could hear him getting quiet heated talking to steve so told him though our sena intercoms to drive off and leave him. We heard later that he had stopped some other riders and a Waikato farmer on the ride had told him that they know how to make fences up there if he wanted some lessons !!
2 more stops then off to Christchurch for the finish.
We got to the finish about 11.15 and had a good yarn with lots of other riders. Seemed everyone had a good time , One rider had a broken shoulder after being taken out by a loose sheep , get well soon J.
Steve ( Ed ) had followed mw doing this last year and said he would come out this year. As he said he done it and got the tee shirt so that’s great.
This was my second year I found this quiet a bit easier but I think my preparation was better and I knew more of what to expect. The roads this year were not as slow as some of last years also.
Mike is not too well so my thoughts are with him and his family . Im sure we will see him at 2016 TT2000 J
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