Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pre Xmas Nth Island Trip Report...

Ive just returned from my three day pre xmas jaunt around the North Island. Yet again, a fantastic way to spend my days I say!

On Sunday the weather forecasts were all foreboding with tales of strong winds and thunderous rain. This proved to be fairly accurate but over three days we managed to have a little bit of everything weather wise. My friend Fiona on a Suzuki Sportbike came down from Whangarei with her adult daughter Adele as pillion and stayed on Sunday night so we could take off nice and early on Monday morning.

Fiona and Adele

The morning began with rain and more rain. Our destination at the end of Day One was New Plymouth. After getting out of Auckland we scooted down the west side of the Waikato River and popped out at Ngaruawahia where a ciggie and coffee stop was in order. Although slightly wet, it was bloody hot. We zipped down the west side of Hamilton through Te Kowhai and missed Hamilton altogether. By Otorohonga the rain was pelting down but I still had a smile from ear to ear. There is someting so incredibly freeing about being on the bike and getting out of the big smoke. In a jiffy it seemed we hit the West Coast and a stop for Whitebait Fritters was in order, however at $15 a fritter fish and chips became the new order of the day. By this stage we were pretty soaked and Adele had a very sore bum, but we were keen to get to New Plymouth and find some accomodation. After navigating our way to the "isite" we found appropriate accomodation and set about drying everything out and organising booze and food for the night. My Teknic wet weather jacket that I have owned for nearly 20 years again proved its weight in gold. My boots were pretty wet as were my pants but my torso was all good :)

After a trip out "on the town" to a bar and then Lone Star for dinner, we made our way back to the Motel. Over dinner we had much discussion about our Route for Day 2 - I was keen to keep to the plan and head down the Forgotten Highway. Fiona wasn't quite so keen and after much discussion we looked at a number of options and decided to take a decision in the morning.

During the evening Fiona spent most of the night coughing and spluttering and by morning was feeling pretty shit. Adding to that the fact that Adele was finding the pillion postion not that comfy I got a sense that maybe they were keen to turn for home. After more discussion it was decided that we would do the forgotten highway in the rain and wind :) as this would then give the guys the option of heading North rather than across to Rotorua as planned if they felt they wanted to. I was having the time of my life and was carrying on the journey regardless. The decision to head to Whangamomona proved to be a good one. We set off early and from New Plymouth to Stratford the rain was the heaviest. Stopping to refuel at Stratford proved interesting as the forecourt seemed to have gale force winds and the rain was pelting down or rather across.

If the weather had been good we would have seen Mt Taranaki as .....



but what we saw was ....   



From the turnoff to the forgotten highway the weather gradually improved.

Big Bertha and me :)


At first it was just grey and less rain but by the time we made it to the Whangamomona Pub the rain had stopped. We arrived at about 10.00am and the pub was closed but they kindly opened for us and it was a good decision on their part as we bought the overpriced "Ive been to the Whangamomona Pub" tshirt and had a drink. I tried to order a beer just so I could say I had one at the pub but although opening early for us she couldnt serve me alcohol because the liquor license only started at 11.00am so I had a much more sensible flat white instead. (BTW, if you're interested the pub is for sale :)) - apprently they're looking for $900,000 or there abouts - unbelievable!



Setting off after been fed and watered we hit the "gravel" or rather, the mud - Big Bertha loved every second of it and she ate up all the mud and gravel and spat it right back.


Who said a cruiser coulnt enjoy gravel and mud :)

Halfway through the unsealed part we stopped at the bridge and Adele jumped on behind me on the back of Bertha to give her bum a rest.





We popped out at Taumaranui in no time and by now it had not just stopped raining but we saw blue sky too! The ladies decided to carry on to Taupo via Turangi and at that point we stopped for a late lunch. I really enjoyed the road across from Taumarunui to Turangi and with the fine weather Bertha opened herself up and we had a bit of fun.

At Taupo after our late lunch the ladies decided to head North and head home. I was still keen to carry on so we bid our farewells and I headed to Rotorua - another great stretch of road. I was really surprised with how little traffic there was through most of the journey.

At Rotorua I remembered my partner and I had stayed at a very nice hotel a few years back when I was their for a conference so I zoomed down Fenton Street and found the "Regal Palms Hotel" - a little pricey but bloody comfortable with parking out the front of my unit for Bertha which was out of visibility of the road, plus a spa bath in the room as well as all the mod cons.


Having spent quite a bit of my childhood in Rotorua I was very content just to relax, unwind and enjoy the quiet time. The only downside was that by the time I added up the drinks and food from the mini bar I ate and drank, it was a nice little money making add on for the hotel, but who cares, life is for living I reckon!

Day 3 dawned to overcast weather, however, again not cold. I set off early and within a few minutes being out of Rotorua the weather turned to summer weather again and stayed beautiful all day. Within a hop and a skip I was bypassing Tauranga and heading up the coast where I planned to have a late breakfaast at the "Flatwhite Beachfront Cafe" at Waihi Beach I had been to before. Again, it proved its weight in gold. Sitting outsde under an umbrella, reading the NZ Herald and listening to the sound of the waves while I ate my big breakfast - fantastic.


Waihi Beach - my favourite East Coast Beach

Waihi Beach
There was still a lot of the day left so I decided before heading home to Auckland I would take a long block and do the Coromandel Loop. Again, the traffic although a little busy in parts proved minimal.


Whitianga
The beaches passed by and a fuel stop at Coromandel. Carrying on around the loop meandering through Pohutukawa and beach inlets and popping out at Thames.


You gotta love the Coro Loop...



Then finally, the ride back to the big smoke with a sense of sadness that it was all over, but a sense of excitement that I am off again very soon!

All in all three brilliant days with a little bit of everything in terms of roads, weather and of course some great company. Route Map below -


View Pre Xmas Ride in a larger map

Time now to wash Bertha ready for our trip around the East Cape at New Years - only 9 days away - yay!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm on Holiday .... yippee!

For the first time in a number of years I was really hanging out to be on holiday. It has been an interesting year to say the least and although I have had steady work through the year, I am quite relieved to get to the end. So, I've put a "closed for the season" note on my email, an "out of office" note on my phone and Im really going to take some time out this year to look at where I'm heading and where I want to go.

I am actually taking nearly six weeks off which includes two motorbike trips - one next week to New Plymouth and Rotorua (see earlier post) and one over the New Year around the East Cape - I did this trip last year and it is a real blast; then in January I jump on a plane and meet my partner in Hong Kong where we will have a few days then across to Thailand for a few days on the way home. This will be the first time I have taken so much time off but I've been hanging out for it!

So, hopefully the severe weather warnings over the next couple of days will either blow away or blow themselves out before I jump on my bike on Monday and head to New Plymouth. Either way, Im going! One of my friends is coming too on her sport bike with her daughter on the back so it should be heaps of fun!

I have also added "Networked Blogs" to the links on the left so you can follow this blog on facebook. If youre one of the two or three people who actually read this already, you dont need to  :)

So, rain rain go away and bring some summer sunshine!

Cheers
Nick.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Inspiration Found...

If you've been following my blog, you would notice a couple of blog entries about my interest in travelling further afield on my bike - ie. take a world trip on two wheels. The problem is that too often we are stalled by "our fears" or the "I just dont have time to organise it" or any other number of excuses.

Well, through my late night (and sometimes at my office desk) online research I have found a whole community (this LINK for a start) of people who have done, are doing or are planning to do diferent rides around the world - from short trips to those who have spent years travelling on two wheels and are still going. Then there is THIS couple who started travelling in about 1996 and have been travelling 9 months a year since then on the same bike - a 1994 Harley Electroglide (over 500,000 km's so far) - they have been to EVERY country in the world.

The site and people above were starting to inspire me - regular people who made a decision and just did it! But then I found Dave Barr - Inspiration with a capital I - he is a guy who travelled over 80,000 MILES in the 80's on his bike and he is a double leg amputee -yes, thats right - he did this with two prosthetic legs.

Sometimes in life we spend too much tme thinking "I'd like to..." without ending up at "I've done.." so, motivation found, planning needs to be the next step - Where, When, How!

On my old C90 ... East Cape Jan '10

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Pre Xmas Journey around the Central North Island..

With my partner heading to Hong Kong prior to Xmas prior to my arrival in early January and with my family having a "pre Xmas Xmas", and work quiet, I have an extra few days up my sleeve to get a few more km's under my belt, so I have posted a ride on www.colemanscruisers.co.nz (my nickname is kiwionabike on this site) and in the "KB Cruiser Group" page of www.kiwibiker.co.nz (my nickname is nest4u on this site). I have also posted some information on the NZ Motorcycle Cruiser Group (I am nest4u on this website too)

The ride is planned for the 20/21/22 December.

Check it out below and feel free to contact me if you're keen on joining for some or all of the journey. Details below the map....


View Pre Christmas Overnighter in a larger map

(Mon 20th - Wed 22nd Dec)

Get your Xmas shopping done early and come along for a pre Christmas overnighter (2 nights)

The plan is as follows:

Day 1 - Auckland to New Plymouth (approx 371 km's)
Day 2 - New Plymouth to Rotorua (approx 385 km's)
Day 3 - Rotorua to Auckland (approx 331 km's)

Monday 20th December (Auck - New Plymouth)

Meet at Colemans Suzuki at 9.30am for 10.00am departure.

Head to New Plymouth - coffee stop in Hamilton and Te Kuiti (and any other places we feel like) (accom in New Plymouth TBA)

Tuesday 21st December (New Plymouth - Rotorua)

Approx 8.30am departure from New Plymouth. Head to Rotorua via Stratford, Taumarunui, Turangi and Taupo) (accom in Rotorua TBA)

Wednesday 22nd December (Rotorua to Auckland)

Approx 9.00am departure from Rotorua. Head to Auckland via Tauranga and Whangamata)

**Please note - Route and times subject to tweaking**

Cheers, Nick.

Monday, November 29, 2010

An Awesome Weekend away....

What an amazing weekend away! ... The Second Annual "Thuderbird Round the Coromandel Ride" took place in the weekend..with approximately 70 bikes and picture perfect weather it was a recipe for fun, fun fun! We had cruisers, sporties and tourers so a great selection of beautiful bikes to check once we arrived in Whitianga.

We set off from Colemans Suzuki on Saturday morning heading for Whitianga where we stayed the night and partied the night way. We had stopped at Bombay and Kopu where we picked up bikes along the way. Sunday saw equally stunning weather and we finished the loop having made new friends and caught up with old ones.

There is something pretty spectacular about watching a huge line of bikes heading down a curvy curly New Zealand country road.

A few pics below and of course I had to take a few of Big Bertha (my bike) ... she's a beauty! :)




Big Bertha...
and again...





Simply stunning weather...



A huge big congratulations to Troy who organised the event and to Kevin and Kathy as ride captains who did a sterling job!

It was a great weekend!

Cheers, Nick.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Naughty Mid Week Ride....

I woke up this morning and looked out my window and saw blue sky - lots and lots of blue sky - and thought - ride!

Actually I had been contemplating it last night as when I looked at my diary I had no appointments lined up for the day so the fact that the day dawned fine was just an added bonus.

I set off home and promptly forgot my camera but decided not to come back for it. I decided to head north as I would encounter less of the morning commuter traffic. I set off from home in Freemans Bay and the first stop was to fuel up. At the local Caltex I met a fella who was waiting for a tow truck to turn up to pick up his bike as the electrics had all failed - felt really sorry for him, expecially with this great weather!

As I headed north I immediatly settled in to the rhythms and sounds of the old girl (BTW I have now named my new "old girl" - Big Bertha - it came to me as I was watching some of the sporties zigzagging between traffic on the motorway thinking about my extra wide girth - both rider and bike :)

Before I knew it, I was at the foot of the Brenderwyns and ready for breakfast so stopped at the cafe and had great tasting scrambled eggs and flat white and soaked in the early morning sunshine. Next stop - Whangarei - zipped through Whangarei in no time and as I headed further North the traffic lessened. At Kawakawa I carried north to Kaikohe and for a brief moment contemplated carrying on the Cape Reinga but then decided to head west to Omapere along some magical roads, through the forest, past Tane Mahuta and on to Dargaville. Through Dargaville with a late lunch stop just south and then popped out at the Brenderwyns again and back home down SH1..... about 560km's

I'm still smiling :)


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Over 700km's on the bike today...

Have just come back from an awesome days ride. :)

A friend of mine was heading to Wellington for the weekend so I tagged along as far as Turangi then meandered back to Auckland. The weather was just awesome, and even better when I found out the weather in Auckland had been pretty crappy today :)

I found a couple of roads that were just fantastic riding roads. We left early this morning from Central Auckland and basically stuck to SH1 all the way to Turangi with a couple of stops along the way - breakfast in the morning at my folks place in Hamilton and a couple of fuel and ciggie stops.

At Turangi my friend carried on and I took the road up the west side of the lake. I have ridden this road before and it is just fantastic for bikes - highly recommended!

I popped out at Whakamaaru Dam and decided to head back north via heading west to Te Kuiti first - I had never driven/ridden that road, and again, the road was just awesome! The scenery waasnt that exciting but who cares when you've got a fab road ahead of you and bugger all traffic.

With no one else around it was a great chance to really open the new old girl - I did open her up briefly but when I got to a three figured number with an 8 in it that was quite enough as there was more left in her, so then throttled back to a much more respectable and SAFE speed - once is enough just so I know she can :)

Popped out at Te Kuiti then headed to Hamilton (not an overly exciting road) then home to Auckland following the other side of the river.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day!


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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm planning a trip....

Ive decided that I want to do a motorbike tour overseas somewhere in the next 18 months. The current plan is to take between three and five weeks to jump on a bike and see a bit of the world. I am thinking that it will be around August/September next year.

Originally I had dreams of traversing across terra firma on a bike by myself but I think that this is a little bit more to bite off at this juncture. Better I think to do a guided tour and get a feel for it first.

There are a range of destinations and different companies that can do this. Has anyone done a guided motorbike tour and have any feedback about it? or any ideas on this topic? Id be very appreciative while I am gathering info.

Heres a little video of one company that does tours in South America ...

Monday, November 15, 2010

I have a new email and domain name...

With a little bit of time on my hands I always fall into the trap of tinkering with my websites and everything related, so, on that note I have a new email address and domain name.

I have bought the domain name www.kiwionabike.com and am in the process of moving my blog to that domain name. It makes little change in that the original address of www.kiwionabike.blogspot.com will still work however what I really wanted was a new email address that I could take anywhere and use anywhere and that was not work related and also was not a free one covered in advertising, so the new email nick@kiwionabike.com is up and running and I think Ive updated it in the records, so if you need to message me just use this new email address - I have checked that it is working.

On motorbike matters, my beauty is due for her 6000km service - the way Ive been racking up the km's it feels that my second home is colemans suzuki. I mananaged to get away on Friday and spent the night in Hamilton catching up with my lovely folks - I actually took a long block down to Hamilton via Matamata and Tirau and managed to very nearly run out of gas - luckily I came across a service station just in time.

I am also keen to get an ipod or something that I can listen to a bit of music while riding - I dont really want an ear piece as I still want to be able to concentrate - any suggestions? Below is the small run I did on Fri/Sat


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

I found a great new bike website...

So, this world wide web is pretty cool!

I found a new website that I have been looking at lately. I have a bit of a plan that I want to take a long journey on my bike out of NZ and I have been researching this idea further.

Anyway, the website I discovered has a great forum for those looking at going further afield around the world on their motorbikes - it is a little commercial, but even so, theres a huge amount of info on it. Ive actually added a link down on the bottom right of mu blog - the website is http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/

All its done is given me a motivational shot to get my a into g with my planning.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Great days ride on Sunday..

Yesterday the crew met at Ellerslie and we headed off down to Paeroa, Bethlehem and across to the Okoroire for lunch at the pub then across to Ohinewai and back home to Auckland. Eleven bikes made the journey and it was a bit of a celebration with our ride captains having just picked up their new Blue M109 on Friday so were chomping at the bit to start loading the km's on it. One of the other guys had also "de beavered" his M109 so was taking it for a spin too and to top it off I had picked up my new shiny bike with its replacement bits on it so was keen to get out on the road.

The weather proved to be absolutely perfect for the day.

Below is a review of the day by Mr Troy Hardy who works wonders with a camera on his bike. I am also putting a link to the advertising for our big ride on the 27th and 28th November to Whitianga and around the Coromandel. Check it out - its going to be an awesome weekend with bikes of all shapes and sizes! Again , a huge thanks to Mr Troy Hardy for all his hard work in this department.

To check out more rides jump on to Troys youtube site ..... http://www.youtube.com/user/ColemansCruisers

Sundays Ride......



27/28th November....THunder Beach Weekend...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Auckland area based Cruiser Riders...here's the website for you...

For those of you who enjoy riding and equally enjoy stopping for a flat white and/or beer and/or ciggie I've got the website for you ..... http://www.colemanscruisers.co.nz/

Check out one of our rides below - sorry about the ads along the bottom - don't know how to get rid of them!



Its called "Colemans Cruisers" and is an incredibly user friendly site to post and or add yourself to posted rides. These are the guys and girls I like to ride with. With a whole range of abilities and riders from all walks of life the one thing in common is a love of riding.

What's even better is the fact that its really easy to use - simply join up - all you need is a user name and email address and then you can post rides and/or join up to posted rides. Theres no forum for discussion so it is quite simply a ride site.

If you are keen to get to know other like minded riders, these are the rides to do it - they're a friendly bunch. When I got back in to riding it was these guys who I got to know. So, I urge you to check it out and its a great opportunity to make new friends.

Cheers, Nick.

I have been so SLACK...

I just wanted to briefly update my blog so that if anyone does actually read it :) they know I'm still around. I have just been incredibly busy and when I have had time I didnt have the energy to jump on line.

I have been loving the new bike - nearly 6000km's so far and that includes a little break when it had to go in to the shop because of a little mishap between myself, the road and a telephone poll.

Long story short, my ego was more bruised than me as it was a "slow speed" "slow motion" mishap coming out of the service station going about 3kms an hour :) - Ive been riding 20 years and it was the stupidest thing - however, a really good reminder that

a. I have short legs and
b.the bike is heavy and
c. its so important to be focused at all times on the bike.

Since the last blog Ive been all over the North Island when Ive had time which has been just awesome! and did I say that I'm having a love affair with the bike?

Anyway, hope all is well out in motorbike land for you.

Cheers
Nick.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Whangamata Loop & Lunch

Had a great day out yesterday with a small but select group who braved the weather - as per usual, heaps of fun. Check it out below - Rusty = Me

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An awesome winter weekend away...

So I had planned an overnighter a while back and had put it on the kiwibiker website. The response was phenomenal - the biggest cruiser overnighter to date! - in fact we had 17 bikes and 24 riders and pillions on the journey.

Most of the crew...


Lineup at Tane Mahuta

 The plan was as follows - Auckland City, SH16 to Wellsford, Wellsford to Dargavillie, Dargaville to Omapere with stops at Kai Iwi Lakes and Tane Mahuta and staying at the Copthorne Omapere on the waterfront overnight. Sunday was Omapere to Kaikohe, then through the twin bridges run (with a stop at Twin Bridges), then on to Waipu for lunch, through Laings Beach and Mangawhai and home to Auckland City.


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Saturday morning began with the weather gods being very kind (in fact the whole weekends weather was awesome from beginning to end) Eight bikes started at the first point. We met early for a great breakfast at then took off down the north western and out through SH16 to meet up with a further seven bikes at Wellsford. It had obviously pelted down through the night and SH16 was sopping wet in places and combined with a major diesel spill on the road and road works proved slower than anticipated. At the end of the day though, Id rather be late than not arrive at all! We arrived at Wellsford and our pick ups were champing at the bit so we didnt hang around and set off. I have to say that there is nothing more impressive than leading a ride and looking in your rear view mirror at a long line of bikes.

Because of the large number of bikes and a range of abilities, appropriate riding distances between bikes was imperative and throughout the weekend I think the team did a great job in this department.

The ride to Dargaville was fine and clear with very little on the road. We stopped briefly at Ruawai to pick up our 16th bike and carried on to our lunch break in Dargaville at the Blah Blah Blah cafe where we also picked up our 17th bike. After a decent lunch break and refueling we took the short hop to Kai Iwi Lakes where we managed a couple of photos and continued on through the Waipoua Forest and we stopped to say KiaOra to Tane Mahuta - what a mighty tree!! The rain had obviously fallen heavily in the morning and so it was softly softly through to Omapere - (what a gorgeous part of our country)

The accomodation at Omapere was quite adequate (thanks Kathey for organising an awesome deal!) and as we arrived at 4.00pm we had plenty of time to relax, unwind, tell tall tales and drink far too much. With a restaurant on site there was no need to go anywhere which meant a very sociable afternoon and evening. :)

The new bike... I am having a love affair with her :)

Omapere

Omapere


At the Twin Bridges

Day 2 dawned and it was simply stunning - not a cloud in the sky! We set off about 9.30am and headed towards Kaikohe - this was a great little run, then fuel stop at Kaikohe and on through to the Twin Bridges where it was yet another photo opportunity. To keep people going after a long night we stopped in Mangatapere for a quick Flat White before heading to Waipu for lunch. At this stage a number of the team branched off to their repective homes and from Waipu one group headed to the Puhoi pub and one group headed through Laings, Mangawhai and home.

A thoroughly awesome group of people and yet another example of the beautiful roads up north and all the more reasons why riding a motorbike is such joy!

If you ride a cruiser (or you ride something else but are a cruiser by heart :)) and you're interested to join in on the odd ride (careful, because its very infectious), then shoot over to the kiwibiker website and join up. Once joined up, add yourself to the KB Cruiser Group as thats where we post our rides. Also, find member nest4u (thats me) and add me as your friend.

Happy and Safe Riding!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picked up my new bike today...I'm in love!

Just got back from a leisurly ride on the new bike (C109r) which I picked up this afternoon. I love it!!! Quick pic below - not brilliant but gives you the idea.



Sunday, July 11, 2010

A great mid winter ride to Puhoi

Have had a great day today when I met up with the crew and we took a leisurly ride to the Puhoi Pub for lunch, It was a gret turnout with about 19 bikes if I counted right. It was also a special day for me :) with it been the last run on my C90 before picking up the new bike on Tuesday.

Below is  great snapshot of the day - thanks to Troy for his clever recording of the ride. (You can see more of his great videos on his you tube channel at youtube/ColemansCruisers

Cheers.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've bought a new bike...

Yes, I love my C90 but I had the opportunity to purchase a brand new C109R at a ridiculously good price. In fact I was beginning to save up for a new Triumph Thunderbird but this was just too good a opportunity to pass up. I have never owned a totally new bike so it is quite exciting :)

After much haggling and negotiating I managed to get more for my trade in than what I payed for it 10,000 km's ago :) and a whole lot of great add ons.

The C109R is a big bike - 1800CC and over 350kgs heavy and quite imposing. It is definitely not a sport bike, however, I am in love with the riding position (the same as the C90), and the larger fuel tank and the massive power if needed. I also love the colour - its maroon (dark dark red). I will pick it up the middle of the week as they are putting on a sissy bar and rack; side panniers and extra lights on the front.

Tomorrow a group of us are off to the Puhoi Pub and it will be my last chance to take the C90 out. I will be a little sad as I have equally loved this bike.

Heres a pic of the new bike (not the actual bike, but it gives you the idea)  
Thanks to a couple of members at M109Riders.com for these photos :) Hope thats okay.



Heres a couple more photos I found:


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why do you love it so much?

I have had quite a stressful couple of months at work and it never ceases to amaze me how I feel like a new person when I get a chance to get out on the bike. Because of the nature of my job I am constantly on call with the cell phone and I think that one of the things I love about been on the bike is the fact that I cant answer my phone and because I need to concentrate on the road ahead it makes me relax. That is the power of "the ride"

Today the weather has been cold and overcast and I did not have a lot of time on my hands, however, I felt the urge to get out. With limited time and living in the middle of the city my options were a little limited. I decided to do a "motorway loop" - yes, not the most exciting but even the short ride down to Manukau, across to the airport (stopping to watch a couple of planes take off and land), down the new motorway to Sandringham and back home was relaxing.

So, what is it about jumping on your bike that you love?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cape Reinga and Back
























Another awesome weekend on the bike. :)

This weekend had been planned for a while by the Kiwibiker Cruiser Group on the kiwibiker site. (www.kiwibiker.co.nz - thanks Scottie!) At about 7.45am on Saturday morning we met at the Fanshawe Street Caltex for the ride briefing.

The weather forecast was ominous and as we threw back our coffees the rain began, however by the time we had picked up a couple more bikes in Orewa and just north of Whangarei the weather was great.

The plan was to head all the way to Cape Reinga (the northern most point in NZ), then make our way back to Kaitaia where we had arranged accomodation for the night. We were hoping to make it back before it got too dark.

We had a lunch stop in Kawakawa on the way up and we actually made really good time.

From Kawakawa we headed towards Kaitaia and briefly stopped to refuel again, then it was on to the Cape. The weather in the Far North was simply brilliant, the only thing being quite a strong wind. Once we arrived at the Cape I made the trek down to the lighthouse (you cant come this close then not go to the lighthouse!)

The surrounding landscape reminded me of the desert road near Waiouru - quite barren with a real sense of remoteness. The ride back to Kaitaia was stunning with the wind and sun behind us and we quickly covered the 100odd km's back to the motel.

It was then time for a quick shower and a few pre dinner drinks and a lot of laughs. After a lovely dinner and a few more drinks :) it was time for a decent sleep.

Sunday saw us head off round the coast and our first stop was Mangonui for Brunch - once we had our caffeine and food intake we set off - I was given the job of leading the way and I set off through some very wet roads.(At this point I just want to say that I have real respect for our guys like Rob and Kevin who usually lead these larger bike groups - its actually a bit nerve racking been in the front - especially with wetter roads - it seems a lot more stressful than if theres only three or four of you on the journey) After one further stop at Keri Keri we headed towards Whangarei for another fuel stop.



At this point Kevin kindly took charge and we headed towards home. On the journey from Whangarei to the Brenderwyns the wind was gale force and I was thankful for having a big bike because we were literally being blown sideways.

After a shandy at the Puhoi Pub we all went our separate ways to head home to put our feet up!

A great weekend and a further 850+km added to the tripometer! In total we had 10 riders who went all the way :)

Will rewrite this once Ive had a bit of sleep :)

Thanks guys. (Route Below)


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