Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mrs Windsors Birthday Ride

Queens Birthday Weekend is a great mid year break we all look forward to. Despite the fact that it isn't actually the Queens birthday, no one seems to mind the 'opportunity' to celebrate it. Those of a republican persuasion may need to keep this in mind when contemplating cutting our ties to the motherland. The loss of a holiday would not go down well with many of her 'subjects' and the thought of no opportunity to have a knighthood bestowed on you could be a step too far for many. Sir Al sounds so much better than just Al and Lady Fi sounds so much better than Fi!  Sir John Key is so much better than just John. This ride then was no ordinary ride but one with purpose and meaning. It was pleasing to see the arrival of some like minded 'monarchists' outside Manawatu Motorcycles on Sunday morning.

Whilst the chance of precipitation for the ride was low, the air temperature was also low so our choice of destination required a degree of warmth and that criteria was met by a certain cafe/restaurant in Hunterville. The other criteria it met was for suitably twisty roads to and from. Ian on his VX800 thought it was about one Evening Standard newspaper down the front of your jacket. It actually felt more like a Dominion temperature! Sir Al was on his VFR 800 that he thought would get more than twelve miles out of town. Kim made an appearance on his 'radio station', his Yamaha 250 3XV. It hasn't been seen for a while with a few technical issues. Rich was out on the fuel tap transformed T500. The T500 surging was a thing of the past! Paul was on his booming Moto Guzzi rearing to stretch its long legs and John was making sure the mother country was represented with his sweet Triumph triple and yours truly on the XJ750. A quick stop at BP Rangitikei Street saw Bryan joining us on his recently acquired Suzuki Freewind.

We were soon away from the city limits and much to Sir Als delight he made to Colyton and we were soon making our way around the back of Feilding and heading north up Makino road. Our first stop was at the Cheltenham hill turnoff and much of the conversation was around Bryans new bike. He was impressed with one a while ago and bought his own and it appears it is one of the best 650 adventure singles you can buy. Far more road oriented than the DR with a lower and far more comfortable seat. We were soon on our way towards Vinegar Hill and the lack of traffic allowed us to get into some serious bend swinging. The turn off to Hunterville arrived quickly and after a quick regroup we joined the state Highway one traffic flow heading south. 

The cafe soon appeared as we joined the locals and passers bys for either a late breakfast, morning tea or an early lunch. the locals were certainly popping in to load up on carbs for either a hard day working or more likely hangover assistance! It really is a popular place and a good sign as to the value and quality of the food. Whilst some treated themselves to the world famous Custard 'Rectangles' and pies, John decided he needed a good breakfast. It was huge and tasty and highly recommended at $16.50. Eating this in front of a fire soon had our body temperatures back up and we decided to do our river 'loops' run to avoid most of State Highway One.  
We headed out of Hunterville in an easterly direction towards the Rangitikei River and these loops basically parallel the course of the river. Caution is needed as on any rural road with the usual hazards of animals, farm vehicles, animal 'debris' and due to the time of the year areas of the road that are damp due to being in shadow. The roads are a nice mix of straights, sweepers mixed with some great tight sections. We all made it safely through to rejoin the main drag and the turnoff to Feilding and Halcombe. Some of us took the turnoff to Mount Stewart at Halcombe to fit in a few more corners before we got home. A quick chat at Mount Biggs saw us heading back home with Rich inviting Paul and myself back to his place to check out his latest acquisition and some of his low cost cleaning and refurbishment techniques he has recently developed. I will leave that for Rich to share with us at a later date. His plan for a T500 scrambler looks pretty interesting now he has a frame and running gear! Go Rich! Maybe we will see it next Queens Birthday Weekend?
God save the Queen!

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