Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lets ride Annie

Yesterday was the Hunterville Lions "Lets ride Annie" charity ride (funds raised going to Ronald McDonald house) and so I had an excuse to ride the Gentle Annie (Napier-Taihape road) for the third time this year...

So after an early rise (man, it's Saturday!) I rode down to meet Brian and Manie (riding down from Normanby on his K6 Bandit)  and a few other local riders at Freedom Suzuki.  After filling in our entries and chatting with others it was time for us to ride up to Hunterville to the official start of the ride.

Brian ended up leading us out of Palmy, across to Feilding and the Halcombe road.  Here the group got split up a bit with a few riders deciding to make themselves scarce - the cop just out of Halcombe must have given them a bit of a fright...

View Lets ride Annie 19-11-11 in a larger map

In Hunterville we gassed up and completed our sign-on before grabbing a quick coffee prior to the ride briefing.  While waiting Al turned up on his Tigger and Colin (from the BRR) on his Wee - both keen to ride Annie again.

Soon we were on the road again and after a quick re-group at Taihape it was onto the Annie itself.  With a lot of different bikes on the ride and riders of different riding styles we pretty soon spread out and people could ride at their own pace.  The road is definitely seeing some use as it is getting a bit broken up in places and there was the usual loose metal in a number of places.  This road is a fantastic ride (for it's scenery and it's hills and corners) but it is certainly one that needs to be ridden with some caution.  I got separated from Brian, Manie and Al for a while as a another biker had a whoopsie while pulling over to let others past - poor guy, trying to do what's right and getting a kicking for it!

Al eventually caught me up near the front of the ride but eventually went past as I settled into a slower pace as we neared the more demanding, windy and poorly surfaced sections.  But further on he actually came back the other way - he had noticed that the bike that had been following him had disappeared from his mirrors and fearing the worse turned around to make sure that he was ok.  Apparently the guy had pulled of the road for a breather so all was good and Al was able to then catch me up and follow me into Fern Hill.

Here we waited for a while but with the other riders still somewhere on the Annie we carried on into Hastings to our lunch stop and managed to get a head start on the sossie eating.  Actually, not long after we arrived the rest of the mob started coming in in dribs and drabs all drawn to the smell of the barbie I guess.

After lunch it was time for a prize draw and to my delighted surprise I was one of the lucky recipients of a Freedom Suzuki gift voucher!  Awesome, thanks Barry (that's him on the left in the picture above)!  The ride from here was to take in SH50 and then SH2 back to Palmy and then Hunterville for a bit of a get together but as Manie had to get back to the 'naki we took the opportunity to sneak away a bit earlier than the rest and just head for home.

On SH50 we had to ride through a few decent showers and at the end of the road Manie was getting a little worried about his fuel so we ended up ducking into Norsewood to sup from the sole petrol pump in town before carrying onto Dannevirke.  Here I took us in closer to the ranges and we took in Topgrass and Pinfold Roads before heading up over a wet and busy Saddle and dropping into Ashhurst.  In Bunnythorpe we said goodbye to Manie and made our way home.  Another great ride over Annie - that's two for the Connie and one for the Vee, may have to even that up...

A few more pics here.


  1. Looks like a good days riding. Glad to see that there are still good people out there that are looking out for others whilst they are riding. Good to see he didn't have an off and just stopped for a rest.

    Shame about the rain at the end of the day. Good ride report!

  2. I noticed in your lunch picture the clouds looked a little ominous.

    Bummer that you had a few spells of rain on the way back, but when riding great roads I am sure you didn't let that get you down.

  3. Andrew - sorry to hear about the other rider's whoopsie. Although I didn't mention it on the blog, one of our team had a similar issue on Annie. Dropped whilst almost stationary and just looked like scratches on a side panel and muffler. However, the quote for getting it repaired was over $4000! Good job he's insured.

    Glad you had a great time.