Saturday 19th Ian Brayshaw, myself, John Byrnes, and Gary Whiting (all club members), and Bruce Andrews made the most of the calm and sunny weather and undertook a Gentle Annie ride. A great day ride when you live in the Manawatu, the Gentle Annie circuit is about 400 km taking in Taihape, and Hawkes Bay.
We left just after 8.30 heading up through Kimbolton and Rangiwahia on the way to Taihape. We were three old bikes; John’s Suzuki RE5 and my Kawasaki H2 from the 70’s, and Gazza’s Yamaha XJ750 from the 80’s, and two modern machines being Ian’s Kawasaki W650 and Bruce’s GS BMW.
Fuel and coffee were added at the Taihape BP station before the assent began. From Taihape up to the plateau is a great hill climb road going from tight twisties to open flowing corners. Once over the top the downhill through Kaweka forest (The Gentle Annie) to Hawkes Bay is tight and marks the half way point. The road then slowly opens up and after Willowford becomes faster with flowing sweepers and bends. A great downhill track which is often frequented by the boys in blue waiting for the unwary.
After a fuel top up on the outskirts of Hastings it was off down SH50 to Tikokino and The Sawyers Arms for a cold beer and late lunch at around 2.30. The temperature must have been up around 30 degrees. As always the food was good and we were entertained over lunch by a stag party group already worse for wear. The Groom to be was dressed up as a fairy. Fortunately the star turn, a rotund pale hairy naked bloke didn’t appear until the eating was over. The sights you see when you haven’t got a gun!
From here it was out to the main road and a cruise home with a stop at Dannevirke to top up the Rotary. An excellent day’s riding.