Saturday, March 7, 2015

2015 VJMC national Rally

This year’s VJMC Rally was held at Eltham Presbyterian Camp on the last weekend of February.  5 Blue Haze members from Palmerston North were joined by Barry, Bruce C, Ken, and Barry’s son Danny for the ride up on Friday evening. The muster of bikes included RG400 (Dion), TZR 3XV (Kim), GS450 (Ian), GSX750 (Mike), H2 (Alan), T350 (Barry), GT750K (Bruce), RD350 (Ken), and Suzuki FXR150 (Danny). We arrived in time for the BBQ and a few snorts and a few yarns.

Saturday morning was Bike judging which resulted in a single gong for our team with Best Suzuki going to Dion (and Kim) for their RG400. Ross Charlton scored best Kawasaki (bit hard to compete with), while People’s Choice went to a better-than-new Z1 restoration. Alan DL arrived for the day on his recently renovated Honda VF1000F (as good as anything there) and we decided to head off around the mountain on the Top Rd, stopping for lunch in the sun at Okato. Then in to New Plymouth to look at a Mini for sale with Dion. After that we parked up at Alan’s place and walked into town to look at a display of American cars and hot rods. As it was a hot day it was necessary (to prevent dehydration) to call into the pub for a cold one!

The Saturday evening meal was put on by the camp and was excellent and plentiful. A good night was enjoyed over a few drinks, a lot of laughs, and plenty of stories. Judy and Angela had everything well organised and everyone received a prize. I now have a Vernier Calliper, which will be pressed into service as soon as I learn how to drive it. Barry received a new ‘dick of the year’ award for something – possibly for his roadside bike maintenance policy!

Sunday we split into 2 groups with Mike, Dion, and Ian heading back on the main road (Ian having troubles with his GS). Kim, Bruce, Barry, Danny, Ken, and I took the long way home travelling via Whangamomona to Taumaranui, National Park to Raetihi, and down the Parapara to Wanganui and home. There is about 12km of gravel road left on the Forgotten Highway which is currently well packed and very dusty, but easy riding. From the end of the gravel the road into Taumaranui is 60 km of great corners. Want to ride that again. We lunched in the sun at the Angel Louise café with the Harley owners club, and some Patriots guys. Always a good place to stop. Sunday was a long day in the saddle but the best roads of the trip.

In addition to Ian’s GS problems Barry was having ongoing issues with the T350 for the whole trip and my H2 developed a problem on the way home not revving over 4500rpm. Always something to do on old bikes. Most impressed with Danny on the Suzuki FXR150; Wellington to New Plymouth and back with the throttle pinned and not giving an inch to anyone. Good on ya mate!


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