Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day Races

Just back from the Boxing Day Races at the Wanganui Cemetery Circuit. Had a great day walking the track and snapping some photos. Didn't stay for the completion of the races and was disappointed when the final Superbike race was canned after two red flag incidents.

There was some fantastic racing in all classes and I have to say I enjoyed every race I saw. But the picture below celebrates the most hard case racing you will see - the classic sidecars. They're all over the place as they struggle to stay on the track - great fun to watch!

If you haven't been to the cemetery circuit before then you really are missing out - just do it!

More pictures here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pets & Bikes

Roger & Geoff have both gone off topic on their blogs lately and introduced the furrier members of their families. Unfortunately they not only have poor taste in bikes (three cylinder thingees) but also pets (cats) so I thought that I'd better introduce a proper pet in the form my vicious guard dog Bart.

Bart is a refugee from the SPCA and has been my hairy mate for about 8 years. He is 28kg of lab/staffy cross and just the coolest dog you could find. Afraid to say that he is not too keen on bikes (esp noisy V-twins) because when they come out of the shed it usually means that it's time for him to be tied up and left on his lonesome. He does however guard them with his life and can recognise the sounds of a Bandit 1200 or a Firestorm coming up the road - the Connie can sometimes sneak up on him if he is having a nap in his house...

Merry Christmas all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


A few farkles for the VTR?


I've a growing problem with an accumulation of ride badges - I'm not about to stop riding and buying badges but need a way to store/display them. I have an idea of what I want to do but would be keen to hear other people's suggestions...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wanganui Ulysses Toy Run

Today was the last Toy Run of the year for me and after meeting up with Brian and Chris in Bulls we cruised over to Wanganui to meet up with the rest of the riders taking part in the run.

Prior to the ride we dropped off our toys, got our badges and bought a sausage or two off the Sallies. (Side-note: cut back on the sossies, it seems every ride involves the eating of sausages lately).

In a bit of change this year, the ride took us North of Wanganui and out a few back roads that none of our bunch had been on before. This was actually a nice surprise and some of the roads were really nice and had some great scenery. It's just a shame that they were a bit short and we ended up popping back out on the main road pretty regularly.

The ride stopped in Waitotara for cold drinks and socialising but us unsocial Palmerston North lot carried on back through to Wanganui where we lost Chris and carried on home without our usual detours.

View 2010 Wanganui Ulyssees Toy Run in a larger map

2010 Coast to Coast

Yesterday was the 18th running of the Woodville Lions Coast to Coast which is a local charity ride which benefits our Rescue Helicopter. The rides starts in Himatangi on the West Coast and ends in Akitio on the East - not actually a very long ride distance wise but it does take in some great roads (particularly on the Eastern side).

Saturday morning started out pretty grey and drizzly didn't really improve a whole lot. I started off by filling the Connie and riding out to meet Brian at Himatangi. Out at the beach we signed on for the ride and hung out in the drizzle watching the rest of the bikes arrive.

Eventually there were around 300 of us and after a quick briefing we were off on a quite ride up SH1 to Sanson before cruising to Feilding and then making our way over the Saddle to Woodville. In Woodville sausages were consumed and then we were off again heading East.

On the road to Pongaroa things got a fair bit wetter and did a good job of keeping speeds down and holding the idiots in check. It's funny though, I really started enjoying the wet and tagged in behind Meanie for the rest of the ride to Akitio - two Connies splashing around and having fun.

But by the time we turned off Route 52 the weather began to improve and it was actually very warm out at the beach. At the beach we had a drink and hung around for the prize giving where I managed to snaffle myself a hat before Brian, Meanie, Monie and I remounted for the return home.

We left the sunshine behind and were soon back into the rain again but it was another great wee ride through to Weber (fantastic roads) and then onto Danniverke. From there it was just a quiet pootle to Woodville where we stopped for gas and discovered that one of us had suffered a bit of bad luck somewhere along the way - Monie's bike was less one Givi V46 topbox! Not good and only a couple of weeks after I had the same issue - the only trouble this time around was the nobody saw it come off and we had absolutely no idea where it came off! Very sucky and not a good way for the run to end for Monie.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Three Toy Runs in Two days

Yep, it's that time of the year again where it seems that every town has it's Toy Run to benefit those kids not so fortunate. This weekend it was time for the New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington runs. Normally I'd probably miss a couple but when we found out that there was two on on one day (New Plymouth & Palmy) we thought that this might add a bit of a challenge and started planning...

The New Plymouth run called for a 9am sign on and a 10am departure and the Palmy run kicked off at 1pm - could we make it? In the end we decided to give it a go by getting up early and heading up to New Plymouth, dropping our toy off and flagging the run so that we had time to get back to Palmy. Yes we'd miss the actual run but a couple of extra toys made to the New Plymouth charity, we got a badge and got in a good ride anyway.

So after a later night due to our work Xmas function Brian and I got up early and were on the road by 05:30. As always it was a very pleasant time of the day to be riding and we got to see the skies brighten on a very fine day.

We had a great old ride up to Hawera and then followed the Surf Highway through to Opunake where I started looking for fuel (my fuel alert had just come up) and a feed. It turns out that at 7:30 in the morning everyone is still in bed in Opunake...and Rahotu...and Okato! We finally found an open gas station in Oakura with 388km from the tank showing on my trip meter. 22L into the tank and then we were off for the short squirt to New Plymouth where we found a cafe and had a nice breakfast before struggling to find the ride start.

Toys gifted and badges purchased we remounted and after a bit of discussion decided to return the same way we'd come as we'd really enjoyed the run up. It was another great ride back until just before Turakina...

We were in a line of traffic drop
ping down a slight rise when a Suzuki Swift decided that he really, really had to turn right, right now! He'd been waiting patiently in the turning lane and after the car in front of me passed decided that he'd had enough of the waiting and nailed it. Well this is where it got exciting for a bit: I hit the brakes hard, real hard for probably less than a second before throwing the Connie to the right and executing the big weave to avoid the cage. Things happened real quickly but I still
remember looking into the car directly at the passengers and I even had time to give them a real good blast of the Stebel! Brian saw the whole thing and was amazed firstly that the car had turned in front of me (actually it puzzled me too) and secondly that I somehow came out of it intact! It was seriously freaky and I curse that car driver to hades - he needs to be off the road for good!

Anyway it was all over in seconds and we managed to make it to Feilding well before the start of the next Toy Run so refueled the bikes and met up with Mark to fill him in on all the action.

The Toy Run itself took us over to Halcombe and then some more back roads to Cheltenham, Colyton and Bunnythorpe before ending in Palmy with the gift giving and a BBQ.


On Sunday it was time to swap bikes and ride down to Mana for the Wellington Hog Toy Run. This time around I took the Honda while Brian had Linda on the back of his Connie and loaned his Honda to Linda's daughter and her partner.

We left Palmy in some very light drizzle which soon cleared - although it did remain quite cool for the entire ride down. In Mana we also decided to just drop our toys, by a badge and ride home after watching the bikes head off on their run. Obviously Wellington can draw quite a few out and it was good to see that there was plenty of Xmas spirit with bikes of all makes joining the Hog guys on their run.

Once the masses had departed we carried on home after stopping in Otaki for fuel and a lunch. Mission accomplished - three Toy Runs in Two days - not bad going and just one more Toy Run to go...

More pics here.