Mark & Shelley's plans called for a stop at Taihape for coffee so this would be a good turning back point for me or would it?
We had a nice ride over Vinegar Hill and up the main road to Taihape and all the way I was thinking of possible extensions to my little pootle: Taupo-Napier & home; Taihape-Napier-Palmy or Waiouru-Ohakune-Wanganui-Palmy.
By the time we'd had our coffee I'd decided on hitting the Paras so I continued onto Waiouru with the others before turning off towards Ohakune. There were a few black looking clouds and the odd spit of rain between Ohakune and Raetihi but otherwise it was pretty fine. I'd been playing with my new heated hand grips but in the end even on 50% it was too warm for them.
The Paras were there usual rugged self and there was quite a bit of stock (ewes with their lambs) on the road just south of Kakatahi so a fair bit of care was needed. The roads are still pretty rough in places and coming into one corner I actually had the ABS come on which gave me a bit of a fright. I'm sure that it was the corrugations upsetting it as I was not braking hard - something to remember in future.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful except for catching up to a mufti cop just south of Bulls. He didn't seem to worried about my sudden appearance and even let a van get away with passing the both of us at probably 20 km/h over the speed limit.
Nice little ride of approx 350k's and back home by 1pm for lunch and chores.