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Monday, 15 February 2010

East Cape Adventure

I've just been round the East Cape of NZ (a total of 1346 km) with 3 great friends (Andy from Auckland, Richard from Ohaupo and Davey from Whitby) as a preliminary warm-up for the 1000 miles in 24 hours Grand Challenge ride later in the year.  It was over the weekend rather than in one hit but it was the first time everyone had ridden together on a longish haul so it was a good opportunity to check riding compatibility.

The East Cape is largely deserted and is therefore fantastic for bikes with over 80% of the ride being challenging, twisty roads on the coast and up through the hills.  The scenery is pretty spectacular too as you'll see from the attached photos and the full set at: http://picasaweb.google.com/geoff.james74/EastCapeEscapeFeb2010#.

Apart from nearly having my head taken off by a hawk with a wingspan of over a metre, it was hard, fast riding with trusted company and no dramas.  The sort of riding that is perfect for the soul and I'd do it all again today.

The Street Triple more than held its head up against the bigger bikes I was with and was pretty comfortable too.  However, for the Grand Challenge, I think that I might fit an Airhawk cushion seat cover as standing on the pegs to relieve numb bum became quite frequent on the last part of the journey home!




















Monday, 8 February 2010

Classic race bike weekend, Auckland NZ

Just had a wonderful weekend.  On Friday, we hosted a Blackbird owner and his wife (Steve and Debbie Downes) from the UK as part of their month long holiday in NZ. Actually, he's just sold it as a concession to Debbie's comfort and bought a Pan-European!  Lovely couple and we really hit it off.

This weekend also happened to be the Annual 3 day long International Classic Race Bike Festival at the Pukekohe circuit in south Auckland. I haven't been for many years and what a treat I've been missing!  Over 250 riders and bikes from all over the world come along, many of them in successive years because they enjoy themselves so much.  Kevin Schwantz, Giacomo Agostini, Paul Smart, Peter Williams, Stan Woods and Lea Gourlay have all been here and are unbelievably approachable. It's incredibly laid back and for the $25 (10 pounds, $20 US) entry fee, you get a beautifully produced programme and unlimited access to the pits.  It's fantastic to see enthusiasts running an event where the public aren't ripped off - quite the reverse in fact.I've attached a few photos to the blog as a "taster".  If you'd like to see the full set, here's the link: PukekoheClassic2010 .  If you're ever planning to come to New Zealand on holiday, make sure you're here for this annual event!!!

 
 















Next weekend should be an absolute ripper too.  I have a 3 day "boys weekend" riding round the North Island's East Cape.  Approximately 1300km round trip of largely deserted twisty roads.  Can't wait!!!