After doing the 2007 800k's in a day Andrew had decided we needed to do the 2008 version as well. The club had run it earlier in the year, but with a poor turn out had decided to run it again this weeked.
As it turned out Andrew got crook and couldn't make it so I was off on a solo expedition. The weather wasn't great with wind and rain forecast, but I had already decided I was going regardless.
An early breaky and I was off, filled up the bike on the way into town, then headed around to Breakers for the sign in and kick off. When I got there about 4 other bikes were already there. I paid my money, they recorded my odo reading and as the other guys weren't showing much sign of leaving I decided head off.
The first check point was Inglewood so it was off to the Naki I went, not the most exciting ride but easy K's to clock up early. A guy on a Harley that I had seen at Breakers passed me at Ohakea and instead of sticking with him I let him go and continued on alone. Somewhere between Wanganui and Waverley my morning cup of tea needed to get out so I had a quick pit stop to water the weeds. I'd left Palmy at 07:07 and was in Inglewood about 09:30 I got gas, had a quick drink then was off again.
The weather had looked a bit damp ahead and I tossed up stopping to put the wet weather gear on but decided to continue until it got real wet. Once I got away from civilisation I upped the pace a bit and was soon attacking Mount Messenger, the road was wet so I had to take it a bit easy. After that it was the Awakino gorge and onto Te Kuiti. I had calculated this to be about half way so it was good to know I was on the down hill side. Heading through to Whakamaru and the second check point the roads were once again wet with the odd shower to stop me getting too hot.
I pulled into Whakamaru at about 12:15, the guy on the Harley was just leaving, so he hadn't got away on me much. I had a drink and bite to eat and as I was leaving the next group pulled up.
I had hoped to get all the way back to Palmy on a tank but was going to see how things went. Down the back of the lake I got to cover the ground at a good pace with the roads dry and the weather improving, then it was onto Mananui and the western side of the mountain and into the Paraparas. I enjoyed this bit and the road was in good condition considering all the rain over the winter. I was soon in Wanganui for the second time in a day.
I decided to keep going and see how my petrol supply held up but it wasn't long before the gauge was flashing and I knew I would be pushing it to make it to Palmy so had a quick fill up at Bulls. I was back at Breakers at 16:08, nine hours and one minute after leaving with 810km in between.