I thought I would throw up a post covering a couple of weekends worth of wandering our lovely countryside. The meteorologists say we have had the warmest August ever, and the outings we went on definitely confirmed the statistics with the daffodils in bloom and not having to wear so many riding layers. This has provided the motivation and opportunity to get out on our motorcycles and enjoy them. As a group we have quite a mixture of bikes in our garages and our rides reflect this variety. Bruce decided to bring his Ducati SR4 Monster along for one of our rides and he let me have a ride on it. It was my first ride on a Ducati, and what an eye opener. I now have a new understanding of 'good midrange torque', and why such bikes need wide rear tires! As for the brakes, well you need really good ones! It definitely showed how far motorcycles have come in the last thirty years. Along on the same ride was Kim on his H2, Ian on his GSX600, Rich on his T500. I joined the lads in Ashhurst as we headed West away from the showery weather and damp roads near the ranges. As always we needed to stop for refreshments and at Bruces suggestion we ended up at the Wooolshed Cafe just south of Sanson. Very much recommended!
The second outing is from our VJMC/Blue Haze August end of month ride up the Pohangina Valley. Its been a wee while since we have been up the valley which is a favourite ride for many us in the region. It was a great run with much of the countryside waking up from its winter slumber with blooms on all the fruit trees and daffodils everywhere. Another feature of the ride was the number of Suzuki's. Of special note was Bruces gorgeous little 1984 low milage GSXR 400. The very first of them. A lot of people forget that they preceded the 750s and are very much the first of the GSXR dynasty that is still with us today. For that reason alone it is very collectable, let alone they are wonderful little bike that is well suited to the twisty roads we have on our doorstep. Kim also dragged out the mighty RE5 from its winter slumber for its first run of the season. By all accounts it was rather reluctant to wake up and protested in its usual smokey manner, but by the end of the run was purring and enjoying the outing. Paul De Lautour brought along his GT750 and theirs nothing like seeing all that chrome and paintwork against a lush and colourful spring scene. Ian came out on his GSX600F and provided a nice contrast to the earlier Suzukis with a very strong lineage to Bruces little GSXR. Ian has just returned to motorcycling and its been great to see his 'measured confidence' grow over the last couple of months. As a group we enjoy our older bikes and ride them at an appropriate pace that often suits riders returning to motorcycling. Thats not to say we don't have an occasional 'quickening of the pace' from time to time! After all (officer) its important to blow the carbon out of a two strokes pipes to keep it in top running order! Rich brought along his ever reliable T500 and managed to find a very 'spiritual' parking spot in our last stop before heading towards home. Some one had spend time creating a mini Stonehenge that Richs side stand ended up in the middle of. This could just be chance but may explain why people why some of us feel the need to have a Suzuki T500 in our lives! We continued our ride to The Pilgrims Rest who's gates were now open. Margret greeted us in her usual jovial manner and John joined us later after completing his farm work with the deer. They are a hard case couple with hearts of gold and provided great company as we had our scones, cream, ploughman's lunch washed down with coffee and tea. The remainder of our ride back down the valley was just as enjoyable as going up and we are all looking forward to our next ride.
Just to finish off, a big congratulations to VJMC (New Zealand) who have just put up a web site for the club. Angela, Barry, Ross and Judy have been working hard on this for months. Go and have a look and keep up to date with goings on around the country and all the latest news concerning the rally in March.