Saturday, March 29, 2014

Honda 500X First Ride

A Honda 500X on a ford.

On Friday I picked up my new Honda 500X from Cyclespot in Barry's Point Rd in Takapuna, and so one day later seemed enough of a wait before taking it on a bit of an adventure. Also had the idea of getting some km's on to reach the 1000km first service.

I managed to do around 325km including some gravel up the Kauaeranga Valley.

Kauaeranga Valley Road

The Honda 500X

Well I was very impressed with the Honda. I thought maybe 500cc was going to be a trial-by-gear-change but no... that motor pulls very nicely and runs super smooth. As I am in the first 1000km I was taking it easy, keeping revs under 6K, but it was a great ride! The ride=ing position is upright, but the little screen does a good job of keeping the wind off, and the seat was OK once I figured out how to sit on it. I started out sitting too far back and that made gear changes very difficult. As soon as I relaxed a bit, and came forward it all fell into place. I am looking forward to getting more Ks on it soon.

Thanks Motorcycle Trader magazine and Honda for the great bike.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

And the winner is...

Well someone has to win these things and I guess it was my turn... The Motorcycle Trader magazine was running a subscription draw for a new Honda motorcycle, with three options and all the gear to go with it.

You will no doubt notice that I am actually the one on the left - but that's show business. Can't wait to pick up the prize.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Man Has Shed

Garden Shed Appears In Suburban Backyard

...and in breaking news, a man in Mt Eden, New Zealand, has erected a shed in his back yard! Little did his wife know that he would one day come true with his promise to clear the laundry of tools and manly equipment - like a lawnmower, a rear pit-stand for a Ducati motorcycle, garden tools and many things that might come in handy one day... But yes, it has happened!

A Pinehaven kitset which arrived just before Christmas has been built and furnished with a man-bench and man-shelves.

How did it happen?

The ground was leveled and the staging beams (macrocarpa sleepers) were positioned.

The floor was built and trued square.

The panels were pre-drilled and laid out ready for erection. Sam held in position while I screwed the panels together

Soon all the panels were screwed together. My battery drill lasted the whole weekend on one charge.

Then the trusses went up, with Sam providing the authentic builders crack as he screwed the panels to the floor.

The roof went on including a skylight panel in the same profile as the roof sheets.

At the end of 6 hours the shed was at lock up stage, and on Sunday we finished it with flashings and trim.

The Job Was Done

Yes the shed was complete and it was time for a well earned gingerbeer ;-)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wednesday Night Sailing

In the summer we sail Kerkira in the Richmond Yacht Club Wednesday Night Series. To take a cue from golf regarding "prize for the most golf", we are often able to come up with "the most sailing".

Here is a good indication of why we love doing it, even if we aren't the fastest boat out there - the December evening sky over Auckland city is amazing - even better when you are out there sailing. I believe I had a couple of great mates on board, and we were drinking a cold beer just as the picture was taken. Follow us at Kerkira-Racing.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Going All Social

I was looking through some cartoons and came across this one, done back in July. I am currently working on a large 'social intranet' project and I had forgotten about this:

Ain't it the #truth :-)


Monday, October 28, 2013

Hauraki Rail Trail 02

The second installment of our cycling adventures on the Hauraki Rail Trail - this time heading from Paeroa towards Thames.

Paeroa to Matatoki

It was the Saturday or Labour Weekend, and the weather was clear and warm, so we decided to do more of the Hauraki Rail Trail, this time heading in the other direction - towards Thames. We decided we would go as far as Kopu and back, which would be about 66km round-trip. In the end we stopped at Matatoki and decided that we would forgo the extra distance, and get home at a reasonable hour.

This is about 12km from Paeroa where someone has put two chairs under the shade of some trees. An excellent place to stop for our lunch-break.

We continued on to Matatoki where there is an excellent cafe. We decided to turn back from there and so the whole trip was 40kms - at an average on the trail of 14km/hr. It was easy - just a bit more endurance required from the week before.

Slowly building up for some longer trips. The cyclo-cross tyres are working out well on the gravel surface - but the lack of suspension in the bikes design makes the ride a bit more of an effort - comfort-wise.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hauraki Rail Trail 01

A beautiful weekend weather-wise, we decided to go down to the Hauraki Rail Trail for a cycle.

I have put cyclo-cross tyres on our bikes so we can tackle gravel and off-road trails, and everything went very well.

Paeroa to Waikino

We completed the Paeroa to Waikino section, which is 14km, and back, as an afternoon ride, after the business of Saturday morning was over. Had the GoPro mounted on the handbars of the bike. Got a much smoother clip than I thought I would get. These three images are snapshots from the stream.

The trail runs along-side a road, then through open farmland until it meets with the Ohinemuri River which runs through the Karangahake Gorge.


The rail trail runs through a tunnel which is over a km long. In the direction we went we first crossed the rail bridge over the river. It is uphill through the tunnel, but the whole trail is very flat and easy.
If you wanted an easy 'first-time' experience of a rail trail, then this would be the one ;-)

The tunnel entrance

The tunnel exit (from the inside) - a bit like birth perhaps?


We stopped by the river to have lunch and then proceeded across the river to the Waikino Rail Station where we got a coffee, before turn around and heading back to Paeroa.


  • 14 km each way
  • Flat, no hills
  • About an hour and a half each way with sight-seeing
  • Take a torch or bike-lights for the tunnel - not to see, but to be seen by others coming the other way

Yes, sore bums afterward - but we are already planning to do the Thames to Paeroa leg next.