As per usual the day started very early for us Palmy riders. We were due to leave at 5am so I set the alarm for 4 and got up at 3:30. After a quick cuppa and some toast I wheeled out the Connie and set out to meet the others in town. The usual keen mob (Meanie, Monie and Yod) were down for the ride along with a newbie in the form of Dean on his mighty CBR250. Dean was nearly as keen as me as he rocked up not long after me with the others not far behind him.
As we all were there nice and early we got away just before 5 and slowly made our way South as the skies began to lighten up. The Paicock hill was nice and deserted but it was pretty chilly going - Monie's Viffer reckoned it was 0 degrees!
We rolled into C1KC HQ just before 6:30 and quickly signed onto the ride and fixed the yellow ties to our bikes before departing for the Rimutakas.
|The Boss and KoroJ|
|That lump of dirt wasn't there a few weeks ago...|
Next up was a slow cruise up SH2 to Woodville where we all filled up for the run up the 'naki. Gradually it was starting to get warmer as we took in the gorge and then made our way over to Feilding then out to Halcombe and onto Wanganui. By Wanganui we had covered not quite 400km so we stopped to fill up the CBR and also to grab a coffee and a bite.
The next short leg was to Stratford taking in the Hawera bypass (past the Tawhiti museum). In Stratford we had to get a photo at the Z service station and gas the bikes for the assault on the Forgotten Highway. This was Dean's first trip across the FH so we had to stop in Whangamomona for photos of the pub and to see what he thought of the ride. He was loving it and the chicken strips were getting seeing to.
|More C1KC riders parked next to Monie|
|Monie back on the tar|
|The CBR kids|
|Crappy phone pic|
|Sneaky little CBR peaking out from between the Connies|
By now we were on familiar turf as we took in Vinegar Hill and then carried on up to Kimbolton for our next compulsory photo stop.
With not long to go until the 1,000km mark we carried on around the Apiti Loop to our next stop at one of the bridges crossing the Pohangina River.
Leaving the bridge we only had about 35km to our finish point in Ashhurst but this is where things didn't go to plan. Meanie, Yod, Dean and I got away on Monie a bit and when we rocked up at the Ashhurst Inn we were missing a VFR pilot.
Initially we weren't too worried as there had been a Harley rider on the loop with us who was a little lost and we thought that Monie may have been helping him along. But when a few minutes had passed we got a bit more concerned. When Meanie couldn't get Monie on the phone it was time to mount up and head up the valley. Not a nice situation to be in.
As we rode back up the valley another group of riders coming the other way and flagged us down. They let us know that there had been an accident but that Monie was ok but had a very sore shoulder.
When we arrived at the scene there were a lot of helpful people including a nurse who were doing a good job of looking after Monie until the emergency services got there. The emergency services guys got there soon after us and the helicopter not long after that. While Monie was looked after, Yod, Dean and I rescued the VFR out of a fence and stashed it in a paddock for the night. Monie was soon bundled into the helicopter for the rush to the hospital.
Since the accident it has been nice to talk to both Meanie and Monie and find out that Monie has got away pretty lightly with a broken collar bone and plenty of soreness in other places. The little VFR is getting a good looking at and it's future is to be determined (Monie has a hankering for a Z1000SX).
Monie doesn't remember a great deal of the accident but does remember hitting gravel on a little bridge and the bike fish-tailing it up the road. She fought to hang on (and we could see her braking marks on the road and onto the metal at the side of the road) but eventually ran out road, ploughing up a grass bank and finally destroying a fence (broke a concrete post). Apparently she stayed with the bike through the entire process!
Definitely not the way we wanted to finish up a great ride but very happy that Monie got off lightly and is now looking at bike adverts...
More pics here.