Posts Tagged ‘Mesopotamia Station’

A road to the Middle East!

Posted: February 21, 2011 by BlogMaster in Bike/Rider Safety

When I was told that we were going to Mesopotamia I thought we were heading to the Middle East as ancient Mesopotamia was where Iraq and Iran are situated.  But not this one, we were heading to Mesopotamia Station which can be found in the upper reaches of the Rangitata River.  To get there you drive up the Rangitata Gorge with the last stop for food and a great coffee at the Peel Forest Store.

Only four of us turned up to do this ride which was a recon for future rides.  We had Jeff, Geoff, Chris and Justin on the trip and it did not start well for Justin and got progressively worse.  On the way to the meeting point at the Rolleston BP he noticed his riding lights had all blown.  Not too worry, just use high beam for the ride but later on this was not an option.

Anyway, the day was pretty sunny at Rolleston but proceeded to get progressively worse as we turned inland from Ashburton.  By the time we got to the Peel Forest Store it was very overcast and pretty cold.  After an unscheduled brunch we all donned extra clothing and carried on only to have to stop about 10 minutes later to take them off as it was beautifully again just over the hill.

The ride in was pretty fast as the road was in excellent condition but there were many reasons to stop and take photos as the scenery was just so big…

When we got to the Station we were warmly met by Malcolm & Sue Prouting.  They gave us a brief run down on the history of the station and showed us some very old photos of previous inhabitants.  Sue also mentioned they had a 150 acre paddock that can be used as a play area for motorbikes, that certainly sparked my interest but we failed to find it.

The return journey was when the real adventure started.  Justin’s bike had a moment with a funny noise coming from the front but a quick review did not show any problems, however the battery light was now on so the bike had just shred it’s alternator belt.  Never mind, should be enough juice to get me home.

By the time we left the homestead Geoff noticed his front tyre was flat but a quick review could see no obvious punctures, however his rim had suffered some damage hence the  loss of air.  Luckily Justin was carrying a tube (following the suggestion from Garry Williams during the GS Anniversary Ride).  This was quickly put in place only to find we pinched it so had to take it off again to fix the puncture.

We stopped again for a coffee at the Peel Forest Store and carried on our way.  Justin’s bike failed in Mayfield but a quick swap of batteries meant he could carry on and actually managed to get all the way home to Christchurch, not quite home but that was resolved by a short tow.

Overall it was a fantastic day, but there was very important lessons learnt.

  • When heading into the back country you need to carry everything you need to cover most eventualities.
  • Even bikes fitted with tubeless tyres should carry tube.
  • A tow rope is a great addition.
  • Traveling with similar model bikes lets you swap parts if need be.