Tuesday, August 08, 2017

10th Birthday Ride - Part 1

So the Connie's big birthday kind of snuck up on me.  The first reminder I got was the bill for its registration - yay!  But I had to do more than just affix an expensive piece of paper to it.  There were some E-bay purchases (still to be blogged about), but the important thing to do was to get out there and prove that she still has it - not that I doubted her for a second.

Brand spanker's with zero farkles...
With the anniversary occurring during winter it was always going to be a bit of a lottery on just how carried away I could get with the celebratory ride.  I ended up booking Monday (the actual big day) off as annual leave as I figured even if it rained all weekend and on Monday I would still have to do something.  Then I just kept an eye on the weather with a small poorly formed plan rattling around in my skull...

On Thursday I needed to make my decision as I had to book the hairy one into some luxury accommodation or not.  The weather forecast that night suggested fine on the West Coast on Saturday and then again on the East Coast on Sunday.  Well, that looked ok and also firmed up my plan by giving me a clockwise direction for a quick blat around the island.  Friday night saw me dropping the pooch off and packing my bags.

As predicted (accurately for a change), Saturday turned out to be a bit of a cracker and after filling the bike up I was pointing North West just before 9am (not a sleep in, just giving the frost some time to thaw).

Time to put a few more on there...
The ride up through the 'naki was not terribly exciting but from very early on the perfect day was giving me a sensational view of Mount Taranaki, I just hoped it stayed that way so I could find a good spot for a photo.  As I rode along I rejected several possible locations for various reasons but finally just North of Opunake I seized my opportunity and ducked up a side road.

Busy road with no parking spaces...

Yep, dangerously busy...

"Go straight until you hit the volcano..."

Count the farkles now...
Piccys taken and Facebook updated it was time to carry on North.  By now I was getting hungry so kinda kept my eye out for a reasonable looking cafe.  I managed to pootle all the way across New Plymouth without spotting one (I ignored one I'd been to before just 'cos) and ended up out on the open road again.  I also passed Waitara without stopping but by Urenui I had to stop because I wasn't the only one feeling hungry...

Who's hungriest?  I win...

After a nice and reasonably priced lunch I filled up with some not so nicely priced gas and carried on along my way.  I had meant to start the GoPro for the ride over Mount Messenger but forgot how soon you hit it so no pics or video of that smashing wee ride.

A little annoyed with myself I pulled into a rest area just before Mokau to kick it into life and grab a few more snaps.

That's right, park in the shade - doh!

Land of the Long White ????

That mountain is still there...
The next sweet bit of tar on my route was the Awakino Gorge - more lovely curves, a tunnel and not much traffic.

Where are all the corners?

Oh, that's better!

Hole in the rock.

By now I was wondering "where to next?"  I had Rotorua in the back of my mind as some sort of destination for the night, but the big question "was which was to go?"  Nearing 8 mile junction I decided that I didn't want to go into Te Kuiti and decided to head across to SH30 and the neat ride through to Bennydale, Whakamaru, Atiamuri and eventually Rotorua.

Once again it was a lovely ride in great conditions with only the odd section where the road was damp (it'll be dry by summer).  Very little traffic too.


Follow that straight ole line...

Go East young man

I eventually hit Rotorua at just after 3pm and decided that it was far too early to call it a day and that I'd carry on through to at least Whakatane and take it from there.  Before then however I need some...

Cheap fuel is the best kind!
 Clambering up over the hill towards Rotoma the road was "winter damp" again but still a lovely ride offering nice corners and then some good views of the lake.  Once again I somehow managed to find a suitable spot for a few pics.

Sun, water, The Bike

Winter sucks!

Yeah, Lake would look better with a Connie parked in front of it...
The rest of the day's ride was just a very quiet pootle into Whakatane where things were cooling off and I decided to park the bike for the day after a most enjoyable 643km.  Some greasies and Sky movies finished off a pretty decent sort of a day...


  1. Ahhh your winter looks awesome. Not just solid rain for 6 months.

    I am glad you got some nice weather for the ride.

    1. If only it was always like that. We've had a lot of rain this year - nevermind just in winter. The Connie has hardly been anywhere - my stars lined up right for this adventure.

  2. Great little trip on the connie. I wish our winter was this nice, usually it involves snow, ice and negitive temps for 4 months if we're lucky.

    1. Thanks - part 2 later...

      It's reasonably unusual for me to have to worry about snow and ice - unless I go looking for it...

  3. Congrats on the 10 year anniversary and a nice ride out too by all accounts. You sure do some big km's in a day Andrew. I love your photo of the Connie in front of Mt Taranaki, that says it all really. Stunning.

    1. Thanks Steve. Yeah, really glad I turned up that little road and got that picture.

      The Connie makes it pretty easy to do those miles :)