Arrived there at pretty much exactly as the same time as a decent sized bunch of the team and was quickly introduced to a few of the guys & girls.
The first leg of the ride was a short squirt over the saddle and into Woodville where we met up with those that had chosen to go through the gorge instead and a couple of late arrivals. A quick stop and we were off again to Pahiatua.Topped up the tank and then I was off into the unknown - a great back roads ride from Pahiatua, through to Alfredton and then Masterton. A real blast through here - great winding country roads, although a bit of care had to be taken on some of the wetter, greasy roads and there was a fair bit of crap on the roads in places.
Had a real good scare just before Alfredton: I was the last rider in a 6 bike bunch and as we came around a corner we disturbed 3 calves in the grass by the side of the road. By the time bike number 5 (Bandit 1250) had gone past them they were well and truly spooked and one of them leapt out onto the road. I was onto the picks big time and swerved over to the other side of the road while the calf finally decided that the side of the road was the safest place to be. Nearly had rare weiner schnitzel (sp?) for lunch!
Had a quick stop at Alfredton so that we could regroup and take photos etc before heading onto Masterton and then Carterton.
We stopped at the Wild Oats Cafe in Carterton for lunch and were looked after like kings. They gave us the upstairs room, brought our grub & drinks up to us along with some gear for cleaning visors. And finally when we left there were lolly-pops on every bike. Definitely a bike friendly place!
From Carterton we made our way up the road to Featherston so some people could top up there tanks before tackling the Rimutakas. A good squirt up the hill on a slightly damp road before stopping at the summit for photos etc.
From here we headed on down into the Hutt but turned off to go over the Haywoods and the the Paikok hill. A bit wet thru here and we started getting the odd spit of rain. Great ride though - the first time for me of the Paikok hill. Another quick stop at the lookout before heading into Paraparam for another fuel stop for those who needed it.
It had started raining with a reasonable amount of spite by the time we left Paraparam and the roads were very wet. Played in the traffic all the way up the main road before turning off on Highway 57 to Shannon.
Once we hit Shannon I waved to all those stopping there before high-tailing it for home - time to get out of the weather. All in all a great little ride, traveled some roads a hadn't before and it's always good to riding with a decent group of bikes - great being part of a freight train going through a decent set of corners! Even enjoyed the riding in the wet!
Well definitely be keeping an eye on Kiwi Biker for the next run...
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