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Reader tale – A ride through the Southern Alps of NZ | COLUMNS | GASSIT GARAGE

A trio of old balding-bonnet, bulging-belly, sagging-sack and "where-are-my-teeth-nurse?" gentlemen on 650 euro dualies through the Southern Alps of NZ

Early morning start to smash south across the Canterbury Plains at zero del cel to meet up with the Dodgy Bastards. 3 base layers, ‘Possum skin cardie and a 3-skin Revit. Just warm enough. Just. Headed up the Rakaia River to Glenfalloch Station.

Wicked view up the valleys, with their epic braided rivers, to the ‘Alps and the many glaciers (which are frickin’ not receding, please don’t start me…). We managed to navigate across the massive scree/rock garden on the slopes above Whale Back. Very challenging section (for me at least, a 75kg dwarf ‘encouraging’ a 200kg Rubber Cow through a creek.

Sounds like a great plot for a movie…). I managed to get through, despite the worried looks from my cohorts, turning petrol into a lot of noise. Riding Buddy said that he’d heard of a holed sump and broken leg through this section recently. Encouraging. Thanks for that, Kyle. Just before I heading in. Friends.

I turned a lot of petrol into a lot of noise but managed to conquer the creek. Go, Gazza. Then onto an epic track through the valley heading down to Lake Heron Station. Muddy puddles in deep 4-by tracks still iced over. Bit slippy. The view down into these valleys is beyond description. Your ‘town’ eyes take a minute or two to adjust to the clarity of the air and the distances that you can see for.

Arrived at the Lake Heron shoreline for a sizzling peppery garlic steak, a cool non-alcoholic beverage (amazing what you can fit into a tank bag) and the usual idle and deeply insulting banter.

To Methven for a celebratory non-alcoholic dark-ale and then home. 10 hour day, 420kms. Knackered. Sore, Dirty. Happy

“2014 BMW G650GS Sertão. Rakaia, Double Hill, peaking up into the Southern Alps and the glaciers, Lake Heron. Wicked, wicked, wicked scenery. No one binned, but I came close. Damned gnarly scree crossing at Whale Back. Riding Buddy said that friends had been through this section a while back. Result? One broken leg and a holed sump. Encouraging. Commitment ruled over talent, yet again. 10n hour day, 420kms. Completely and Utterly Knackered. 

By Gary Frost