Epic road trips: Baptism by fire (or rain and hail)
8th March 2017
It all started so well.
Our plan was to introduce young Ethan to the joys of the long road trip on the way to Whakamarina, just outside of Havelock in the Marlborough Sounds.
We headed off out of Christchurch, with Dave on his BMW and me on my Harley Davidson joining our rookie rider on his Suziki 600 twin for his first trip.
The plan was to casually make it up the bach at Whakamarina and enjoy the magnificent coastal views on the way north.
The signs were all good on a lovely day with the temperature gauge at 20 degrees and not much wind to speak off which is rare in New Zealand.
The perfect day for a road trip on a motorbike. Or at least that’s what we thought.
Cruising past Kaikoura, things were still looking good, but 20 minutes later the weather changed rapidly and the heavens opened up.
The deluge was so intense that the roads quickly started flooding and our bikes were aquaplaning.
We were worried about Ethan, but our rookie rider did extremely well and handled his bike with some aplomb.
Just when we thought we had survived the worst and the rain stopped, Mother Nature decided to have a bit more fun with us.
Hail started hammering us and came down at such a rate that the roads turned white.
What happened to that lovely sunny day??
We persevered for 10 minutes until the heavy hail seized and we pulled over to take stock of our gear.
No surprise to say we were soaked and our inner elbows were packed with hail. Not something you deal with every day.
We were getting close to our destination so we decided to bite the bullet and press on.
Coming down the hill into this wonderful valley we could see the glow of the log burner.
When we got off our bikes, Creagh was standing on the porch holding a cold beer for us. What a terrific sight!
Stripping down to get changed we all realised that our ROADOG tops had done their job beautifully.
As we took off our jackets, all of us had a line of water running down the middle of our ROADOG tops from where our zips had let some moisture through.
However, no moisture had gone beyond that and our chests were still bone dry and warm.
Not the easiest first ride for young Ethan but at least he had a ROADOG to keep him dry and warm.
by Glenn Rodgers
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