Burgers, Rothmans and Mars Bars are words that conj our up all sorts of interesting thoughts and memories. Our more politically correct contemporary times constantly remind us that certain things that we enjoyed in our younger days are not as acceptable today. What with plain packaging on the horizon for cigarettes and calls to ban fast food advertising it makes one reflect on how 'deregulated' we were back in our youth. Our end of month ride was a nice reminder of those days with Dion on his trusty Rothmans Honda NSR400 and Bruce Sagger bringing his Rothmans Honda VFR400 out for its first spin with us and Steve Boyce on his 'Mars Bar' Yamaha LC350. Pauls Kawasaki H1c, Alans H2 and Richards T500 were also reminders of the beginning of the end for large two strokes. Dave Robinsons one owner Honda CB750 also reminds one of the wise four stroke strategy the big H followed and with John on his Triumph Bonneville how the English made such light and great sounding motorcycles that went around corners really well only to be caught out with poor engine R&D. (Amongst other things) Clints Katana and my XJ really started to show the four stroke was the future, but as the emissions schemes became tighter there days as 'performance motorcycles' were numbered as well. As for Kim on his RZ250 his regular 60+ mpgs is proof that two strokes can be very eco friendly(we wont talk about the Kawasaki triples!).
As we gathered at Manawatu Motorcycles our 'guilt' was somewhat allayed as one of the Hot Rod lads drove past in a spectacular show of noise, smoke and flames. Pongaroa was agreed upon as a good destination with the option for those who could only do shorter ride to turn off at Rongomai and head home from their. Our first stop was at the bottom of the Pahiatua track and then on to Mangamaire and we very quickly arrived at Rongomai. We said our farewells to Steve and Paul as the rest of us headed south to meet up with Highway 52. This continues to be one of our favourite rides with a feast of corners. The other great thing about this road is the Pongaroa Tavern, A must stop place for a breather. The large burgers and drinks are very reasonably priced and the atmosphere is great. Most of us managed to get through the meal Our journey home was delayed when John discovered his Triumph wasn't in a hurry to head home. After much discussion and tinkering he got mobile and Dave offered to follow John home. (They eventually made it home with a dud carb proving to be the culprit) whilst the rest of us made our way towards Pahiatua over yet another great motorcycle friendly road. It was good to see Dave and John from the Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club on the run.
This was an excellent day out (for most of us!) and a great way to finish of our monthly rides for the year. Its been great to share this passion with a whole lot of people over this past year and far from being an unhealthy lifestyle (true, some of the food we eat on the rides is marginally healthy) it most definitely contributes a 'healthy' outlook on life.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year everyone!