Monday, March 20, 2017

Winners Circle

Three Blue Haze members took away the silverware (figuratively speaking) at the recent Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club National Rally, held March 17 – 19 at Pukeora Estate, Waipukurau.

A group of ten headed up to the central Hawke's Bay late afternoon Friday. Leaving from Manawatu Motorcycles were Rich (T500), Kim (Honda NSR), JB (RE5 Suzuki), Ian (1100 Slingshot), PC (Suzuki GT550), Paul (GT750), Barry (Z1), and myself (VFR800). We collected Terry (Honda SilverWing) and Ken (RD350) at Woodville. Alan arrived from New Plymouth on Saturday on his RD350.

Keeping off the main road we followed Pinfold & Topgrass Roads to Dannevirke, and then turned off at Matamau going through Ormondville and Takapau, and back onto SH2 and up to Pukeora hill. This is a great piece of twisted tarmac, and I’m sure we’ll include it in some future rides. 

Pukeora (Hill of Health) Estate is a vineyard, winery, and convention centre which was once the Pukeora Sanatorium It is a maze of old buildings with dozens of small hospital style rooms connected by a warren of passageways. In its day Pukeora has been home to thousands of people.

Close to 40 members attended the rally, and Pukeora estate suited us well. The hosts did a good job feeding us, there was plenty of space, and as usual Judy had everything well organised.

After bike judging on Saturday morning we made our way to Te Awanga, out from Clive, to visit the British Car Museum  - a walk down memory lane for most of us. 

We then made our way to Havelock North and took Middle Road down to Patangata Pub for lunch. Another excellent bike road. Then it was back to Pukeora for a few snorts before dinner.

After a very nice meal we had prize giving. Blue Haze did very well with Ian taking Best Suzuki with the GSX-R1100, Alan Best Yamaha for his RD350, and the People’s Choice award going to John for his beautifully prepared Suzuki RE5 rotary. Kim and Paul scored 2nd & 3rd respectively in the raffle with Kim getting a VR jacket and Paul a bottle of Tullamore Dew – which was dully sampled to ensure its provenance. An enjoyable night.

Sunday morning dawned another pleasant Hawke's Bay day and after a leisurely brekkie the gathered brethren began departing. John had some problems with the rotary leaking water from the header tank on the Saturday (temporarily fixed with Bars), and it performed the same trick on Sunday morning. This time Motor Machinists radiator repair product worked sufficiently to enable John to ride home down the main road, accompanied by Rich as backup. 

The rest of us took the long way home following Hatuma Road through Mangahei Road, coming out on Weber Road and then in to Dannevirke. What a great ride on a sunny day. Saw more turkeys than tin-tops, and apart from a few tractors the road was all ours. Heading south from Dannevirke we turned left at Oringi and went through Hopelands to Pahiatua. Lunch in the sun was enjoyed at Tui Central, then over the track and home.

If we link up the route we took to Waipukurau with the ride home, we have another excellent day ride on less traveled roads. If we add in Patangata to Havelock North on Middle Rd, and then back via Kahuranaki Rd to Elsthorpe and Patangata, we have a good over-nighter with enough corners to wear out a set of tyres. Need to put that on the list. 

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