For those in the motorcycling fraternity in the lower North Island what to do on Boxing day has never been an issue. The Blue Haze joined the annual pilgrimage to the Whanganui Cemetery circuit to watch some great racing, check out a range of interesting bikes and get started on that summer tan. The roll call at Manawatu Motorcycles was
Dion Tornquest - 1983 RG250W
Alan Clark - 1972 Kawasaki 750H2
Alan De Lautour - 1972 Suzuki GT750J
Kim De Lautour - 1974 Suzuki RE5
Dan Mardle - 1984 Yamaha RZ350
Bruce Sagger - 1972 Suzuki T500J
Nick Mardle - 2009 DR650
Gary Whiting - 1984 Yamaha XJ750
We followed our usual route that avoided the main highway as much as possible so we turned off at Mt Stewart and headed to Halcombe and on to Marton, Turikina and back onto the main drag. Makes for a far more interesting ride with more corners and a lot less traffic. The weather was perfect and if anything a little to hot with temperatures soaring into the late 20s with some of the riders finding the road surface a bit slippery from the heat. This probably contributed to the late start to racing with a few accidents during the practice time. The smaller fields were noticeable this year and more than likely a reflection of the current climate but there was also some talk of the younger riders not liking the circuit. Hopefully this isn't a trend. The walk around the pits was as always very interesting. The Rob North framed T500 Suzuki on display definitely caught our attention. Would have been good to have seen it out on the track just to hear the spannies cackling away. As each year passes you hear less of this sound at these races but as all two stroke fans know this is only temporary and the world will see the error of its ways and it will rise phoenix like to take on the four stroke hoards! You can't beat the simplicity of the two stroke.
Another one of Suzukis great race bikes, the infamous Black Piper Suzuki GSX1100 from the early eighties was on display in the Suzuki area. Some of the lads were not convinced with its authenticity. During the day we enjoyed the usual culinary delights of a punnet of chips and a hot dog. I'm glad I wasn't working inside those caravans in that heat! As the racing became further delayed we decided to head back to Palmy at about five and freshen ourselves up for a BBQ at Dons place that evening. Don cooked up a storm and with the salads and sweets people contributed we had a great meal. One member of the group was looking forward to the sunset so he could indulge his pyromaniac tendencies. As the final rays sunk in the west his lighter became busy he shared his fireworks collection with the neighbourhood. I just hope Don is still on friendly terms with them as the spent skyrockets could be heard falling on to various roofs around us. As the evening came to end it was good to reflect on one of those chocolate box days spent with some great people sharing some great moments and creating some great memories. After all isn't that what life should be about? Isn't that why we ride motorcycles?
A big thanks to Don for a wonderful evening at his place!