Pongaroa was the chosen destination for our final ride of the year. It is always a popular run as there are some great roads with a nice mixture of curvey bits and tighter curvey bits with a great feed half way through the ride. You certainly get a good work out and as Gary A said "I could have been just as quick on my Scorpio". His VFR would certainly look more comfortable on an autobahn rather than Route 52! Caution is required as some sections are still suffering from four year old earthquake damage with some impressive slumps. It was interesting following Graham on his modern Bonnie as it sidestepped on a particularly nasty one. Nice having Ross along for a ride on his Bandit after the big shift from Paekakariki and Ian giving his recently acquired Kawasaki 650 a good workout. A great road for it. Also good to have John and Graham from the Classic club. Johns BMW 600s long legged suspension handled the slumps with ease with Graham giving his Bonnie a good workout. Bruce A and Sir Als adventure bikes certainly seemed ideal for the conditions with there lovely long suspension.
With Sir Al leading the way, we certainly didn't dally around at our usual stops at Mangamaire and Tiraumea. The timing of our arrival at Pongaroa coincided with the opening of the kitchen for lunch. In short order we all had a drink and plate of food in front of us with talk finally around the return route home. By this stage the wind had increased markedly, and the more direct route through Makiri and over the Puketoi Ranges was deemed to be a bit to blustery. Our next stop then was going to be Dannevirke and then back through Woodville to home. By this stage the temperature was getting up, so caution was required on the shinny tarry bits of road. After a petrol stop in Dannyvegas, a visit to the Windfarm Cafe rounded out a great day on the bikes. We covered well over 200kms and were back in plenty of time to mow the lawn. We are certainly lucky to have such a range of great rides in our area and with summer warming up nicely, it looks like we should be able to fit a few more in before the seasons change.