Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 VJMC National Rally

Thought it was time to put pen to paper (so to speak) and through together a report on the 2014 VJMC Rally held at Tatum Park, just south of Levin. Michael on his GSX 750and Kim on his H2a made there way south for Friday evening , and by all accounts a good night was had by all. The big news for the weekend was the anticipated arrival of Cyclone Lusi with all sorts of mayhem apparently on the way. Our arrival on Saturday morning had a really good tailwind assisting our ride south. Rich on his T500, Sir Al on his H2, Dion on his TZR and myself on the mighty XJ arrived to find the display organisation well under way. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours surveying a wide variety of bikes ranging from the sixties through to the nineties and catching up with their owners as stories and restoration tips were exchanged.
The judges definitely had there work cut out for them with some spectacular bikes on show with much anticipation as to the outcomes of there deliberations. All was to be revealed later that evening after our ride up to Mangatainoka for lunch. Although the wind was strong the only rain we encountered was as we made our way over the Pahiatua track where caution was required around some of the sphincter tightening shiny corners that are becoming all to prevalent on our roads. Chasing Barry on his future 'cult classic', a Honda MVX 250F, was fun, with the bike showing some great pace going up the track. After pulling into Tui HQ and finding no bikes the penny dropped that we were to meet at the old pub down the road called the Dudley Arms Tavern. The line up of bikes outside looked impressive and the burgers and other food was excellent and good value for money. As some headed back to Tui HQ for a tour of the brewery, a pose of us headed to one of our favourite cafe haunts for a coffee. Alas the Bridge Cafe was closed due to a power cut so we headed through the gorge to Ashhurst to find a similar scenario there. Next stop was back into Palmy to the Rendezvous cafe where thank goodness the power was still on!
The run back down to Tatum Park was uneventful and after parking up the machines outside our accommodation, everyone put on there best black Tee shirts and jeans for the formal part of the weekend. We had an excellent main meal and to top it off the pudding included a wonderfully decorated cake to celebrate the VJMCs 25th National Rally with Ross picking up a special prize for attending all 25 rallies. It was great to see a couple of the local lads pick up prizes with Kim receiving the most original seventies with his H2a and Michael for best Suzuki. The band Angela organised for the evening was excellent as they played a lot of great tunes from the 70s and eighties. Unfortunately it all came to a premature end with, you guessed it, another power cut. Sunday morning found us hovering around the dinning room at 8 with the smell of bacon and eggs wafting out the kitchen. A very hearty breakfast was had by all followed by the packing and loading of bikes for the journey home.
It was great spending a weekend with bunch of people who have the same passion for old japanese motorcycles. This passion came through in the way people shared there stories and expertise. A big thanks to Ross, Judy, Angela and Barry for all the work they did to make this a great weekend.
I look forward to eating some of the 50th VJMC anniversary cake!

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