With winter well and truely upon us it is a nice time to reflect on the preceding two seasons. Not only were they warmer and the days longer, they seemed to encourage a more adventurous spirit. Winter is a great reflective time as we spend a lot more time indoors thinking about some of the highlights of recent rides we have been on and how they reflect the changing nature of how we relate to the motorcycling experience. An example of this is our March end of month ride this year where two such things happened.
The usual 9:30 meeting at Manawatu Motorcycles was greeted with a not unfamiliar sound. Rattly tappets from a vee twin. This time though it wasn't Paul on his Guzzi, but PC on his Honda CX650 turbo. A very rare beast indeed and one we had been hearing about for sometime. How precious? It had taken up residence as the centre piece in the living room with Janets(his wife) blessing? Apparently its move from the lounge to the road had allowed Janets Honda Bros to take its place in the lounge! As a group the Blue Haze celebrates gender equality and would encourage PC and Janet to make sure the next bike in the lounge is a two stroke to ensure that appropriate two stroke/four stroke equity also be maintained! It is a large bike and it was great to see it on the road alongside a mixture of bikes also out to enjoy the last day of summer.
Rich on his T500 and Kim on his NSR were holding the fort for the two strokes and Janet was along on her ER6, with Ian supporting the vee brigade on his VX 800, and Bruce on his R1 and myself on the XJ showing the flag for Yamaha. The plan was to do an extended Track and Saddle run through Hopelands and meet up at Woodville with Sir Al and Bruce A who had decided on an Adventure ride up Wharirti Peak. Sir Al had sold his VFR and bought back his Pegasso as he had decided that fast touring wasn't for him. This was his first venture out since its return so it was going to be interesting to see how they fared.
Our exit from town was via the usual route up the Pahiatua Track and unfortunately that is where PC was getting some interesting signals from the electronics on the CX. He decided that caution was the way to go and headed home with fingers and everything else crossed! The rest of us headed on down the Track towards our next stop at Mangamaire where all was in order so we pressed on through Pahiatua and onto our turn off at Mangatainoka. This took us on a great little ride through the Hopelands area and we finally ended up back in Woodville for a cup of tea.
We are making a point of stopping off in Woodville to support the local economy as the closure of the Manawatu Gorge has been pretty devastating for the local economy. It was here we met up with Sir Al and Bruce A who had come down from the 'hills' for a civilised cup of tea. It was great to see PC there to as he obviously made it home and then scampered over the Saddle road to meet us. Sir Al was a happy chappy with his return to an adventure bike and he and Bruce were planning there next expedition.
As time goes by our interest in motorcycling changes. For some it is restoring and riding machines from the past, whilst for others it is restoring and showcasing those machines in your living room! (And then riding them!) For others it is having a go at different styles of riding and then making a more long term commitment to one style. It is whatever you want it to be. What makes it really worthwhile though, is being able to share that interest and passion with others!