Monday, December 08, 2014

December BRRBT

Yesterday was our monthly Back Road Riders Black Top ride and yes, it was not a bad day out on the bike!

The plan was to ride up the Parapara's to lunch in Raetihi before returning home via the Wanganui River Road.  We had to change this after the cafe let me know that they were not going to have power, so no lunch for us - I can just hear Neil through the intercom...

So instead we switched it around by doing the River Road first, lunching in Ohakune and then returning via Fields Track and the Paras.  As it turned out this was a perfectly acceptable alternative.

After filling up on some cheap fuel in Palmy ($1.88/L) I made my way over to Feilding where I parked up and grabbed a coffee while I waited for the rest of the team.  Fielding is obviously getting a bit of reputation as a happening place as while I waited one of the 2015 Harley's idled past - they sound a lot sweeter nowadays...

Four wheels to stop those pesky footboards from scraping
Even capable of pulling a trailer now!
The rest of the guys started showing up (including some of my new bike riding workmates which was pretty cool) and after our usual dithering around we eventually decided that we'd better go for a ride.

We made our way out through Halcombe and then across to Fordell and then through the neat little Okoia "bypass"and onto SH4 where we stopped for a quick regroup at Upokongaro.  From Upo it was just a few km up the road to the turn off onto the River Road.  The night before I'd been told there was a few road works at the start of the road and my source was correct:

At the top of the hill it was time for another quick stop to admire the scenery:

And perhaps to update Facebook...

Ok, so now it was time to get serious and follow the river up the valley.  The road was in pretty good nick but with it being a Sunday there was a bit of traffic to deal with.  One thing that was everywhere was the great views and fantastic curves.  We even ran into a farmer moving some stock who apparently took umbrage at us pushing through his flock.  Neil's video will be slightly different to this one:

After sneaking carefully past the woolly critters we still had plenty more great riding to take in but we did make another stop to regroup.  Here we had a very nice surprise (and it shut Neil up for 5 minutes) when Ngaire conjured up some muffins from the tank bag on the Guzzi.  A nice place for a muffin break!

Russell and Ngaire delivering the muffins

Richard performing TEC duties again
After the muffins did their disappearing act it was time to carry on up to Pipiriki.  This next section had plenty of loose metal on it - just like last time Neil and I went through - but by now everyone was pretty used to it and just got on with enjoying themselves.  Just out of Pipiriki a Speedy came past the other way and did a quick U-turn to join up with us - it was Neville on his way home to Wellington and keen to be led astray.

Hear's Nev pootling along behind Neil:

Eventually the River Road dumped us in Raetihi and sure enough the cafe was closed so off we went to Ohakune.  A few service vehicles parked outside the substation at Ohakune had me a bit worried about the power status in Ohakune but we were lucky, and so was the cafe with 15 or so hungry riders crashing through their doors and demanding food - with lashing of cream!

I'll pause here - not just for lunch but to let you know the battery on my camera died...

After lunch the bikes were topped up and we carried on towards Waiouru before turning off to take Fields Track.  This bit of road is a bit like the River Road in that it is pretty narrow, rough and dirty in places but it also does offer some great views - especially as you drop back down towards the river.  I tried to take in the serenity of it all but by now I had both Neil and Nev in my ears putting the world to right - the Sena works pretty good though...

Next up was the Paras and yes, they were magnificent!  We had a great run down to Upo again and I'd be very surprised if anyone still had chicken strips by the end of it.  It is a particularly good bit of road for strip removal...

I pulled over just before Okoia to make sure people weren't having too much fun and we also split up a bit with those heading further South than Palmy opting take the main road back while the rest of us took in a short loop around Marton before cruising back into Feilding via Halcombe.

And then to top the day off Colin, Neil and Dad joined me to take in a particularly decent film:

Now that's one way to have a most excellent Sunday!

Oh, BTW: I videoed all of the River Road but won't put you through it all - maybe some highlights tomorrow...

And some more pics here.


  1. Another great ride thanks Andrew. Keep up the good work!

    1. I was worried you wouldn't join us...

  2. I like the road in the last video its nice and twisty. Just how I like them.
    Neil looks like he rides well, nice body positioning.

    1. There's about 90km of those twisties up the river.

      Did you have to say that about Neil's riding?

  3. Wow, great day of riding. And you got muffins!

    I laughed at the picture of everyone on their cell phones. Could be a stop on any one of our group rides.

    1. Muffins are good!

      Yeah, I turned around after taking a photo and saw all the phones out so had to snap that shot especially for the blog.