Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Herding Hondas

Just prior to the NI800, Brian, one of the Goldwing brigade had been chatting to Colin about wanting to get something else in his stable for exploring back roads.  Fast forward a week or two and we get sent some photos of the new bike and then a request to join us on a gravel excursion somewhere so that Brian could work on his gravel riding skills.

Come Saturday and when Colin and I rocked up to the meet in Pahiatua and were soon joined by not one but two new Hondas.  It turns out the Goldwing guys like to stick together...

Graham and Brian

Brian lives in Pahiatua and knows a lot of the roads in the area but was keen to check out both Pori Road and the Rising Sun.  Who were we to deny him...

After the short stretch of seal to the start of the Makuri Gorge we turned off onto Pori Road.  I decided to go TEC so that I could get both Graham and Brian on camera while Colin led the way.

Of course we had to stop at the usual spot...

Waiting for a couple of Hondas when we got to the end of the road, we were buzzed by a large group of riders heading North on Route 52.  This included a few bods we know including Chevvy and his wife.  They were all off on a bit of a tour over the long weekend.

They disappeared on us but we caught them again at our next turn-off at Waihoki Valley Road.  They were having a regroup and a wee roadside chat so we hauled up to and had a yarn to a few of them.  We then let them go while we had a bit of chat about the ride so far, tyres and techniques and then we were into it again.

This time I led off and onto a road that had a bit more gravel on it than normal.  Good practice riding on marbles for the boys...

Huia Road was more of the same, but once we turned onto Spur Road the marbles gave way to the normal combination of dirt track and good gravel.  Plenty of time today for photo stops and roadside gum flapping.

At the bottom end of Spur Road we even had another stop to get a photo of an interesting sign.

The first bit of Marainanga Road was a little chopped up by logging trucks so there were  afew ruts, potholes and uneven surfaces to negotiate.  At least it wasn't wet and gave the Honda lads a bit of practice at standing on the pegs.  Then the road came right again for a quick blast out to Coast Road and then into Pongaroa for yet another burger.

While at the pub a large group of hoodlums (😉) on ag bikes roared into town in a cloud of two-stroke.  They then bowled on in to check out the pub.  They were all loaded up with gear and out causing mischief with a trip through Makairo Track on their agenda and good bikes for it too.  I bet they had a ball.

After lunch we managed to find some magic gravel (smooth and fast) through to check out Waihi Falls.

Next up was that trip up Towai Road to the Rising Sun.  Another nice day up there with little wind.

Our last bit of gravel was probably the best of the day.  Towai and Coonoor Roads were in great, hard, fast condition and well suited to putting smiles on dials...

A not so sedate pootle then had us back into Pahiatua where we had a bit of a debrief over coffee and perhaps laid some future plans...

Naturally my ride ended with a wee jaunt over the track and nearing the bottom I had a wee bird associated incident.  Pulling out to pass a car as we were coming out of a corner, I got surprised by about 6 ducks wandering into my path.  

They were somewhat startled by the sudden appearance of a shiny blue Tenere and attempted to flee in multiple directions - all without using those big flappy arms of theirs.  But today was their lucky day, somehow I managed to thread my way through the lot of them without disturbing a feather.  They probably all hussled off to get a lotto ticket...


  1. An absolute pleasure watching you wheel out all the skills to keep all your Ducks in a nice tidy row.

    1. No requirement to resort to head-butting...

  2. Fantastic blog < i shall have a good read and I do look forward to maybe getting an inviter on a ride someday.