Apparently the Bandit was a little difficult to start at first but it wasn't too cranky when the go button was pushed before we left Mark's place. We headed out of town and then turned off at Ashhurst to take in the Saddle.
The Saddle was in pretty bad condition. There are some road works at on the Ashhurst side and this combined with the winter weather etc made for plenty of slippery stuff on the road so we didn't set any speed records riding over towards Woodville.
Off the Saddle we took the back roads to Dannevirke and then had a chat on the side of the road about where to next. I was keen for a decent ride but while Mark wanted to give the Bandit a good run he didn't want to get to far away from civilisation just in case the bike played up. It was getting close to lunch time so I suggested Ongaonga and off we went.
There was a bit of a breeze on the plains and up SH50 but otherwise the weather wasn't too bad at all. The ranges looked great with a pretty generous amount of snow on them. No pics unfortunately as I didn't take a decent camera with me and had to make do with my phone. In Onga we parked up and ordered lunch at the cafe/store/gas station.
The tables in the cafe had glass tops and underneath the glass there were clippings from newspapers with articles on Ongonga and the local area. One article mentioned that the building in the below picture sold recently for the outrageous sum of $1 to the local historical society. It looks like it's been done up a bit but had some use over the years:
|pic pinched from local school's website|
After lunch we crossed over to Takapau and then made our way back to Dannevirke via Ormonville and stopped for fuel before continuing onto Oringi where we turned off again to take in some more back roads. We eventually popped out on SH2 again at Magatainoka but turned off again at Pahiatua to take the track back into Palmy.
All the way the Bandit behaved itself perfectly and even started ok after our few stops. Mark has still got some searching to do but hopefully the bike is feeling better after a nice little run.
View Ongaonga loop in a larger map