Posts Tagged ‘Glenfalloch Station’

As previously mentioned, it’s the 30 Year Anniversary of the BMW GS model and I thought it would be a good idea to do something about it, so a spur of the moment idea was to ride the length of the country.

Having had a number of comments e-mailed to me and watching the comments on this blog it seems there is some interest, maybe more will happen once a plan is outlined so here are my initial thoughts…

  • The people who help the most have the greatest say in what happens.
  • The emphasis of the ride will be Adventure and Fun rather than something too structured.  By Adventure I mean we have a planned destination but stay flexible enough to change the actual route as conditions dictate.
  • It will be a ‘self-sufficient’ ride, you carry everything you need as there will be no support vehicle.
  • It will take in as many off-road sections as possible.
  • Some days will be short and difficult, some will be long and fast.
  • Camping may be the order of the day but each person can make their own mind up.  No accommodation will be pre-booked (apart from Glenfalloch Station) as we don’t want to ‘have to get anywhere’.
  • A GPS transmitter will be used so people can watch, and join us wherever they wish.
  • It is a GS Anniversary so we would prefer you are on a GS bike but the new Yamaha Super Tenere will be fine (as its heavier than the 1200 GS).
  • My preference is to start in Bluff and finish in Cape Reinga, only because I have cycled it the other way and would like to do it in reverse.
  • My idea would be to start mid November.

A possible South Island route could be as follows.

Start in Bluff and ride to the Velodrome in Invercargil.  Complete one lap of the Velodrome on a bicycle without falling off wearing full motorcycle gear.

Carry on up the road to Garston and head over the Nevis.  Drop down to the Bannockburn Cafe for coffee, then head over the top to Clyde.  From Clyde proceed to Roxborough and head inland to Lake Onslow.  At Patearoa head along the Old Dunstan Trail to Poolburn and then up and over Danseys Pass.  From Duntroon we head to either The Black Forest or Hakataramea, through the McKenzie Pass and onto Geraldine.  If they are open we should stop at Chequers Cafe for a drink etc as it’s a great bikey stop (on weekends ony).

From there we head to Mt Somers and into Lake Heron to spend a scheduled night at Glenfalloch Station.  Then onto Oxford (hot chocolates for all at Seagers Cafe), through the Lees Valley then onto Hanmer.  From there (and depending upon permissions etc) we either take Molesworth through to Blenheim or The Rainbow to Nelson.  From Nelson there is a back road to Pelorous and from there to Picton.

I have no idea what is on offer in the North Island so open to anyone up there with suggestions.  The above ride could be changed at anytime due to weather conditions and tracks not been open so flexibility to chop and change will be expected.

So there you have it, please post all your comments against this article so we can keep track of everything or Register your Interest by completing this short Survey so we can see how many are keen and what their riding preference is.  Click HERE to complete the survey.

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May 10th and 11th a group of ten riders took part in the first BMW Rider Training course held in New Zealand. It was organised by Rodney at Jeff Gray BMW and held at GlenFalloch Station, behind Mt Hutt.  Riders came from as far a field as Ashburton to Taupo with bikes such as F650’s, F800’s, R1200’s and a HP2.  Our trainer was Anthony Sproull who is a qualified Sports Coach and Motorcross Rider.

The course was an entry level event giving riders the basic skills to off road riding.  The first day showed us how to pick up your bike when it falls over (this was the first thing we learnt, I wonder why!), how to correctly balance the bike while standing beside it, the benefits of standing up on the foot pegs, how to balance the bike while riding it, braking with just the front or back brakes and both, and lastly a river crossing.

Day two involved putting everything we had been taught together and going for an adventure ride around to Lake Heron (this was the same route the Canterbury Club did a while back).  Before heading off there was a quick session on riding up and down a moderate slope with a few of the confident riders doing the same thing on a scree slope.  We all took a deep breath when we came to the scree slope we had to cross but everyone managed to get across unscathed.  We had a mighty lunch just by the Lake Heron boundary gate and then headed back.

The most interesting items I took away from the event was:

  1. When picking up your bike it is a lot easier and more controlled to grab the handlebars (the one on the ground) and lift the bike from the front.  I have been shown and told previously that you should put your back into it but the method shown was much easier.
  2. Standing on your pegs does give you a lot more control of your motorbike, in all situations.
  3. ABS works, even off road.
  4. When not using ABS you can use your rear brake to stear the back quite well.
  5. Stand up when doing a river crossing.
  6. When faced with a difficult situation you have to feather the clutch a bit in order to maintain control.  Hopefully these bikes have a clutch designed for this otherwise they will burn out very quickly.
  7. Most motorcross riders have no idea how fast a BMW can go when they suggest ‘just use second gear and give it heaps’
  8. When riding with panniers on you should be very careful when ‘paddling’ as you leg can get caught under the pannier, ouch!
  9. Even Rodney falls off occasionally.

Overall it was  a great course, and hopefully a more advanced one will follow.  The facilities at Glen Falloch Station are superb with accommodation only costing $45 per person per night.  You can also arrange breakfast, lunch and an evening meal.   Anthony was a very patient tutor but next time I would like to see him on a 1200 rather than a 650.  Anthony can be contacted at performancemx@woosh.co.nz for any one-on-one training.