There are those who watch our group of 'motorcycle heritage enthusiasts' who think that our reason for 'being' is to sample a range of cafes in the region. Whilst we can pass comment on a wide and varied range of eateries there are a range of reasons we get out as a group and wander around the countryside. Last Sunday saw a smallish group of us take to the roads in the southwest of our region. Whilst much was on over the ranges in Tararua with the motocross and Wheels with Attitude get together in Dannivegas and Woodville, our humble group decided on a quieter time in the Manawatu. Ably led by Warren on his GT380 we followed his spannies out of town towards Taikorea. His many years as a telecommunications technician have certainly given him a great knowledge of the roading network in the region and as whistled along the Manawatu plains he was able to find us a surprisingly good range of corners to enjoy. Also along for the run today was Terry on his armchair like Honda GL500 Wing. It looks like he has sorted out some of the issues with starting and it purred along showing some good pace at times. Sir Al brought out his VFR800 for a play and after last weekends run to Pongaroa on his Kawasaki 350 Bighorn I am sure it was a far more relaxing ride. Bruce S rode his Aprilia RS250 up from Levin he appreciated finding out from Warren a few more interesting roads closer to home. Yours truely on the XJ750 certainly enjoyed the cooling effect of 100kmph+.
In no time at all Warren had us parking alongside the Horsemans Cafe in Shannon. The heat by this stage was getting very intense and inspite of this hot coffees and tea were ordered alongside cafe staples like carrot cake, custard squares and quiche! The large lattes were handled with practiced 'pinky' ease. One of the conversation around the table reflected on how this particular ride across the plains provides such a different riding experience to our usual ones. Having such large vista gives you a grander appreciation of the countryside we ride through with the Ruahine Ranges to the north east, Tararua Ranges to the south and on a good day Mount Ruapehu and Taranaki to the north. Being on a motorcycle through this countryside is a unique experience as you take in not only the sights but also the sounds and smells. It is very visceral and sharing with others who enjoy experiencing it in this way creates a special pool of memories and yes that does include the cafes we stop at as well!
With the food and beverages despatched we reluctantly put our gear back on for the ride home. Bruce disappeared south to Levin and the rest of us made our way back to Palmy via Tokomaru. With Warren and Sir Al leading the way the sight of Sir Al heading the opposite way and Warrens 380 pulled up with a side cover off on Fitzherbert Ave didn't bode well. Long story short, Warrens gear change lever fell off and Sir Al thought he knew where it was because something flicked up and nearly nailed him as he was following him! He thought it was road debris and it didn't take him long to find it! A lot of luck all round! With the side cover off it was nice to see an adequate supply of two stroke oil in it. eh Warren! Also nice to not have to go all the way home in second gear!
It was an unexpected way to complete the ride, but like all these incidents it adds to our unique pool of shared experiences. It is also adding to the list of of suitable candidates for the 'Oh Shit Award'. Time to organise a Blue Haze BBQ!