Monday, January 31, 2011

Wanganui with Violet.

Anniversary in Auckland arrived, and on Friday night to greet the long weekend Cyclone Wilma brushed along the top of the country causing slips , flooding and general havoc.  You got to love our summers.

During the week I had been in touch with Nick about heading off for a ride on the weekend.  Ironically Nick is an old friend of my partner who I had met before, and didn't realise he was following my blog until I clicked on his profile one day.    So it was a great opportunity to go for a ride together and get to know each other a lot more.  Nick is just as passionate about biking as I, and the two days we were away, we were never short of conversation or enthusiasm....and lets be honest, biking is not just about the ride but the people you meet and the places you see.

Due to the weather still being average on Saturday we decided we would go for a run on the Sunday and Monday.  Wanganui seem like a place to head to, an easy and enjoyable 460km run.

Saturday dawned brilliantly and we met at the Papakura Autobahn, where we enjoyed a McDonald's brekki, and discussed the days riding.  We headed south down the southern motorway, turning off at Glenmurry where we stopped for a quick photo shoot, and yet more gas bagging and talk about bikes.

We followed the normal route through Te Kuiti, Taumarnui, past National park, where we took a small diversion to Ohakune for lunch.  I love Ohakune, it has a fantastic feel about the place, and I know in the winter with it's close proximity to the mountains it would be a happening place for the snowboarders and skiers.

We continued south and once again the Paraparas threw up her own surprises, with some very heavy road works, and slips that had been cleared, but the tell tale signs of mud and crap remain.  Sill it was a great ride, and we arrived into a sleepy Wanganui late Sunday afternoon.  We found a motel and I sent Nick off to get some "light"refreshments.  The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting out side enjoying our drink and discussing how we will change the world by riding around it!

We headed off to find some dinner, and had an excellent meal at "Angora Mediterranean " restaurant.  The food and service was second to done, and although I have often commented on excellent places to eat, I would definitely recommend this place.  It was exceptional.    The "Black Russian's" hit the spot also.

We hit the road early the next morning, with the weather forecast predicting rain and heavy winds, we were lucky in as such we only every encountered heavy wind and nothing else.  Not that Nick on Violet would of noticed, it takes a bit of wind to move a 300kg bike of its mark.  We followed the same road home, and enjoyed a great breakfast in Taumarnui.  We followed each other all the way until my tun off for home.

Ruakawa Falls

It was a great 36 hours away on the bike, and it felt more like a three day weekend away than just overnight.  Nick was great company, and threw the Violet around corners like it's a street triple!!


  1. Great post Raftn ... I really enjoyed our two days away. Big Bertha a.k.a. Violet enjoyed herself immensley and it was fun trying to keep up with such a sporty fast red Triumph like yours :) .... was just what I needed ... thanks again. Nick

  2. Thanks Nic, it was a great time away, as is often the case on a bike! NOw if we could just get that other Kiwi blogger to join us...I am sure we would have even more intersting stories to tell.

  3. I was worried about you guys planning to tackle East Cape from what I was reading on the Transit NZ website - good call and excellent post!

    Coromandel was a nightmare. Slips, clay and blockages all over when I rode over to Whitianga on Sunday. Wish I hadn't gone but you know the saying "What doesn't kill you"...

    You guys made the right choice!

  4. Geoff, I think you would agree it has been the strangest summer weather wise that I have known, extremes of heat /wind sun and rain. I decided west coast for the very reasons you mentioned. Hope you can post some pics of your adventure, I hear some roads are still closed.

  5. Great first picture of Violet with the handlebar of the same arc as the bridge!

    I'm jealous! Sounded like a great weekend away with mate and drink. Please, Spring, come and stay!


  6. It is always cool to meet a fellow blogger in person. Even better if you can spend some time together and have a gasoline talk (and bonus: more food for your blogs).

    Another wonderful road trip. Glad that the weather kept up. Weird weather pattern you got in Kiwi-Land lately.

  7. Lori, I think that pic was a fluke! Great spotting though on your behalf. Spring is just around the corner....

    Sonja, couldnt agree more with you, we are having some very wierd weather of late. It was great to meet Nick and go for a ride. I look forward to you coming over so we may share some adventures.

  8. Nice post and photos!
    My bike before the Ninja was a Boulevard, but a much smaller C50. The wind didn't bother me much on that one, so I can imagine Violet was completely immune to the wind. Love the waterfall!

  9. Yea, it's great to meet old friends and be able to ride together. Nice pictures.
    I recently went on a cruise with friends I hadn't seen in 26 years, they still live in South Africa and I moved to the US 26 years ago. Looks like you guys had fun.

  10. Havent quite got round to writing my blog Roger .. will get on to it when time in next couple of days :) and yes, bluekat ... Big Bertha (not convinced about the name Violet :))just cut through the wind, gravel and mud like it wasnt there. :) Nick.

  11. Bluekat. Thanks, Nic certainly loves his bike. The waterfall is just one of those things you come across when you travel in this country.

    George....I will ride with any body, but it is always great with people you get along with, now when does that Tenere arrive? wouldnt have a hang over by any chance would you?

  12. You guys have the best sounding names to ride to! Since you are used to them it's probably old hat to you, but I find them fascinating just to hear/read them let alone how it would be to ride to them!

    Very nice post!

  13. Ken,....Thanks. Yes we have some fun names allright. Have a look at a map of NZ one day, there are some real beautys.

  14. As I commented on Nick's blog, it's cool to read when two (or more) biker-bloggers meet up. I like the terms you guys use for some things. Brekki for breakfast is great! Nice post Roger!

  15. Mike; like all countries us Kiwis like to put our own slant on the english language!