First up though we had to meet in Pahiatua and take in as much gravel as possible between there and Porangahau. I started by heading over the track and then getting my eye in on the short bit of gravel that is Tararua Road. Then with plenty of time up my sleeve I stopped for a few pics just above Pahiatua.
While there a few of the boys started rocking up - or was that blasting past?
|I wonder what the rear tyre on that beemer is like?|
Just before the climb up past the lime works we paused for a regroup and to discuss what we thought of graders and the work that they'd been doing (for the record I'm not a great fan of them or their work).
After the catch up it was time to climb that hill and make our way towards Waihi Falls.
Somewhere on our way to the falls there was a little miscommunication which resulted in our party splitting up a bit as some riders went one way and the others took off on their own adventure elsewhere. The main group stopped before the falls to scratch their heads and wonder what had gone wrong.
Rather than ride down to visit the falls we back-tracked a little and made our way to Route 52 via Horoeka Road. Somewhere along here we were reunited with a few of the other guys but when we stopped for a count up at Route 52 we were still missing 1 or 2. Now it was time to lose a couple more as they volunteered to ride into Pongaroa to see if the others were waiting there - Pongaroa/Porangahau mix up?
With that Neil led the rest of us out to the turn-off to Weber but we carried on right on Route 52 for all of a couple of hundred metres to Tahuokaretu Road and then disappeared in a cloud of dust while we pulled over to try to fix a puncture in a Beemers rear tyre.
After trying a screw-in plug we ended up removing it and going for a string repair and while doing this Neil turned up just in time to help pump the tyre up. Tyre sorted it was time for a great ride along Tahuokaretu and Birch Roads. More great gravel with just the odd slippery bit to keep us on our toes.
Birch Road eventually dumped us back out onto Route 52 just South of Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu and leaving us just a short squirt on tarmac to our lunch stop in Porangahau.
Part Two tomorrow night...