Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 13 - on my way again

So, I am now in Methven, west of Christchurch. Yay !

I had organized a tow truck from aa to come and pick up Bertha at 9.00am and take her to Mike Gould Suzuki in Timaru. The aa man arrived on the dot at 9.00am and I had called the Suzuki dealership earlier and Mike the owner had ordered a tyre from Christchurch which was put on a courier and was due to arrive in the afternoon. Great ! The only problem was that the aa guy turned up in his ute with a small trailer. I laughed out loud when I saw it, as about half of Bertha could fit on it. He realized this pdq and made a couple of calls and pretty soon a flatbed tow truck arrived and with some pushing and shoving and a quiet prayer I rode her up the ramp and on. Not easy with a flat back tyre and such a heavy bike.

We arrived at Mikes shop by 9.30am and I had the whole day to fill. First was a cup of tea with the team. Thoroughly friendly I learnt that Mike had just taken on the Suzuki dealership in town and I have to say that mike and his young off sider Luke were great. Suzuki should be very happy with them as I found the service brilliant. If you're passing through and need something do drop in. They are on the main road just down from Harvey Norman and opposite a bp with new Suzuki signage.

Out the back with the farm bikes ....

After chatting to the team I wandered off and tried to fill in a second day in Timaru. After a wander around and a long lunch I wandered back to see the progress. They were still waiting on the tyre however were flat out assembling some new bikes that had arrived from Suzuki. I offered my help, or rather an extra set of hands to help as they were run off their feet assembling the bikes and helping customers. It was really interesting seeing the state new bikes arrived in and what assembly is required. They were also down a mechanic for the day. The young chap Luke who was Mikes offsider was very knowledgeable and I was impressed by the whole team.

At about 3.30 the tyre finally arrived and they set to work and in no time the tyre was fitted and they also replaced the bulb in the front spotlight that had blown. Thanks very much guys. Much appreciated. Remember, if you're passing through and need anything for your bike do go see these guys.

Around 5.30 I was heading out the door and out of Timaru at dusk very happy to be back on the road. Bertha was purring she was so happy.

I had decided to ride for a bit as I had been twiddling my thumbs for a while. Not far north of Temuka on SH 1 I came across a horrific motorbike accident. It looked like the motorcyclist had pulled out of a side road and had been hit by an oncoming car going very fast. He was prone in the middle of the road not moving with a number of people around him and a girl screaming in to a cell phone. It was not nice and I will be surprised if the rider survives. The police, ambulance and fire service were all on the way and there were a number of people assisting at the scene. My thoughts are with the rider and I do hope there is a happy ending.

I was a little shaken after this to be honest. I have seen one other fatal motorbike accident outside my office window a couple of years ago and it is a stark reminder of the dangers associated to this form of travel and the fact you have to be vigilant every single second.

I have never liked this stretch of state highway 1 either side of Christchurch. Long, straight and very busy and at dusk an accident waiting to happen. Once I got to Ashburton I decided to head inland rather than stay on that road and after 30 or 40 k's stopped at Methven for the night as the road was getting frosty and after what I had seen it was time to chill out and watching tv which is what I am doing now :)

Tomorrow the plan is to head to Hanmer Springs.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to follow my blog. Cheers, Nick.

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