I rolled into Phil Turnbills at about 9:30 to meet with the marshaling crew and after getting my instructions, registering and nabbing some raffle tickets there was plenty of time for looking at bikes and chatting with other riders.
By 11ish there was about 60 bikes parked up and registered - time for a Chanccey speech and then it was time to button up for the ride. The marshals headed out first with Bonez & myself following them and leading some of the less experienced riders into town and around the square. After pottering through Saturday morning traffic (and getting thoroughly rained on for our troubles) we headed out of town where we had a quick regroup - curse all those traffic lights and traffic in town.
Following the regroup we headed off over the track on very wet roads. Doing as I'd been told I led the group quietly over the track and then through to Mangamire. I soon found out that our noobies weren't so noo and were going great guns in the wet conditions. We then turned onto Highway 2 for a couple of kms before turning at Hamua and heading into the countryside again.
We had a nice ride through here and bet the Marshall to one of the corners! Bonez hung around to make sure that nobody took the wrong turn before catching up with me again to led the group into Pahiatua. Out onto the Pahiatua track and then through to Balance we splashed. We pulled up before the Balance bridge to wait for the 2nd group of riders led by Cowboyz & 86. We got there just after it had finished hailing and had to stand around in the rain for 10 minutes or so before the entire group rolled up.
After this it was a leisurely ride with the full group riding back into Palmy together and finally stopping in at the Rescue Helicopter hanger for bangers, burgers and coffee. Considering the pretty average weather we had a pretty good turnout and ended up raising around $1,300 for the Helicopter - not too shabby! Worth getting a little wet for.
More pics here.