What a brilliant day! It was literally a brilliant day weather wise, but also program wise. Four of the lads (Mike, G, Ian and Sir Al) from the Blue Haze meet at Ashhurst petrol station at around 8:15 this morning. After topping up we made or way up the Pohangina Valley to Camp Rangi Woods. The camp is a part of the Totara regional park and is an ideal venue for such an event. We arrived to find the troops readying the display area so the bike judging could get underway. For this year the classes were broken into decades with some wonderful machines on display. Sir Al had the mighty Avenger in he 70s section whilst the rest of us were in the eighties. As the judging came to an end Dave Robinson took to the podium and filled everyone in on the program for the rest of the day. This involved a wander back down the 'valley', over the Saddle Road and out to Boydens farm, followed by lunch at the Woodville tavern. the after lunch program involved a trip to Gleesons Truck Museum followed by a run over the Pahiatua Track and back to the Camp. One hundred and forty kays all up.
The rumble of bikes soon echoed around the hills as fifty plus motorcycles made there way out of the camp and pointed south.
First stop was at the windmill farm to regroup and enjoy its sights and sounds. They are making good progress with the upgraded Saddle Road and once completed it will be a blast on a motorcycle! Our next stop was Boydens Motorcycle Museum where we were treated to a wonderful selection of New Zealands motorcycle heritage. The collection is renowned for its focus on farm bikes and it didn't disappoint with everything from the the ubiquitous Gnat to Mudbugs! A quick ride into Woodville had us lining up for refreshments and food at the New Central Hotel. The locals must have been briefly concerned that the this was a Wild Ones style takeover, but the sedate exit from the saddles and removal of the helmets would have been very reassuring! After an hour of 'scaring' the locals we mounted our steeds and headed out south to Mangatainoka for our last stop. Gleesons Truck Museum was real treat. Once again another person who has spent a lifetime preserving some of our wonderful transport heritage. There were trucks from 1914 until the sixties and we also found out where the old 'Harvard, from the playground in Pahiatua ended up! He also had a nice collection of bikes hidden away in the 'office' next to the workshop.
We got a bit of a hurry along for the final part of wander as the Targa Rally was due in the district and the Pahiatua Track was going to be closed. Interesting to see people along the route out on their decks seated with a beer in hand awaiting its arrival. Our trip over the Track saw us hang a right at the bottom and head back towards Ashhurst and back up the valley to Camp Rangi Woods.
It was a great wander around countryside with 140 kms covered and no breakdowns! After a cuppa and conversation I made my way back into town and left the troops to it. By all accounts a great evening was had by all and the rally dinner was outstanding.
A big congratulations to the team that organised this and I, like many others will be looking forward to the next one in two years time!