The ride itself is also a good 'un as it is a reasonable distance and takes in some great roads with riders basically crossing from the West Coast of the Island to the East. The route always starts at Himatangi Beach and now ends at Akitio after a lunch stop in Woodville. The map below is not quite right but gives you the idea.
My ride began with Brian and Mark turning up at my place and us leaving for Himatangi from there. On the way out we rode through a short little shower of rain but as luck would have it that would be the only wet stuff we'd see all day. We arrived at the beach pretty early and got signed on quickly before Himatangi got swamped by another approximately 400 bikes.
|A couple of dodgy BRR riders|
|Yes, we were early!|
|A few more now...|
In Shannon Mark and I ducked out of the line of bikes and topped up our tanks so we could avoid the usual mad rush for fuel at Woodville. Once filled we soon rejoined the ride as the bikes were still filing through Shannon!
Next up was a short stretch up the main road until we hit the Pahiatua track which was to take us across to our lunch stop via Ballance. You might spot a small issue we had to deal with in the video below.
Arriving in a very warm Woodville we parked up and grabbed our lunch. The ride also coincides with the running of the Woodville Xmas parade so there's plenty of people out and about checking out various stalls set up in the park and also the interesting vehicles that take part in the parade.
As per our usual plan we bugged out early to avoid the squids in their mad rush to Akitio and have ourselves some fun without being stuck in a huge bunch of bikes. The ride through to Pongaroa was superb - the road being in great nick for a change. My only scare was a threesome of sheep running out of the side of the road just after I'd passed a funny three wheeled thing.
After waiting for the other two (who had got stuck behind some funny three wheeled thing) in Pongaroa it was time to head for the beach. Just out of Pongara the three of us had a bit more excitement - this time on hot, slippery tar. I watched Brian's trumpy do a big step out right in front of me just seconds before the Connie had her own issues with the tar. Ok, so it's summer now - watch the tar!
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful with the three of us rocking up and parking next to another early bird just as the three wheeled thing finally caught us up.
While we all got stuck into cold drinks the rest of the bikes started rolling in, first in dribs and drabs and then larger groups. Funnily enough the first thing we usually heard as helmets came off was "did you hit the bit of tar just out Pongaroa - I was all over the place in it!" Yeah, watch that bit boys...
|Some funny three wheeled things|
Once again we decided to skip the prize giving and after most of the bikes were in we hit the road. Rather than risking that nasty bit of tar (well actually it was all part of the grand plan) we turned right on Route 52 to take us to Weber and then into Dannevirke for fuel. It just so happens that Weber to Dannevirke happens to be a superb ride too...
From Dannevirke we then took in a few back roads to get us to Woodville before cruising home slowly through the gorge. Another great Coast to Coast in the bank!
More pictures here.