A lot of the classic bikes turn up at the Pukekohe circuit in Auckland for an annual 3-day meeting and I went up yesterday to watch. I love it because you can wander anywhere and everywhere and the riders are incredibly friendly. Also, there's no concession to the age of these bikes, they get seriously raced despite their age!
Yesterday was a particularly memorable day for me, for a whole range of disparate reasons. I rode to the circuit with a local businessman who lives in the same road as me - didn't even know he rode bikes until late last year. Bruce is a "mature" rider, albeit not quite as "mature" as me. An ex-car racer with a long history of bikes too, his latest acquisition is a Hayabusa, so he's not mucking about!
Bruce gassing up before leaving Coromandel
We hadn't ridden together before so the first few km through the twisties were spent dialling in to each other (a much nicer way of saying sizing each other up, haha) and it soon became apparent that Bruce was seriously good with his roadcraft and teaming with someone you trust completely makes riding such a joy. Both to and from the circuit, we didn't hang about but with the complete lack of stress, the whole ride was so wonderfully enjoyable. That was the first memorable part of the day.
The second was arriving at the track and meeting fellow blogger Raftnn (Roger). What an absolutely top guy he is and within seconds, we were chatting like we'd known each other for years; laughing away like a couple of schoolkids. For the followers of Roger's blog, I'm delighted to say that he comes across as a nice guy in his blog but the real bloke is even nicer! Sadly, we didn't have much time to spend shooting the breeze but we'll no doubt be getting together for a ride-out before too long. Roger has a heap of great photos from yesterday on his blog, so I'll stick on some complementary ones and a link to Picasa web for the whole set.
Me and Roger enjoying the sun!
Another delight from the day was to see how many of the racers were seriously "mature" and I'm talking of well over 70. Like the machines they rode, there was absolutely no concession to taking it easy and they're a fantastic advertisement to getting the most out of life.
Days where you ride bikes, talk bikes, eat and breathe bikes are truly days made in heaven. This contented biker slept very well last night!
Here are a selection of photos: (click to enlarge)
My mate Paul from Coromandel with his trick 850cc Norton racer
BSA Gold Star with the motor hung from the frame
The most expensive bike at the meeting? Brough Superior. Rare as hen's teeth doesn't begin to describe it!
Nortons of all ages
Rare Benelli Sei 6 cyl 750 with 6 mufflers!
Close-up of flawless Henderson 4 cylinder
Nimbus 4 cylinder
A word or two about the next photo. The Ducati Desmosedici RR shown below is to all intents and purposes a Moto GP/Superbike and costs over NZ$100000 if you can lay your hands on one. It took part in what might loosely be called a "demo" race although there wasn't much quarter given! When it was being warmed up, it was akin to aural sex (not oral sex, for the grubby-minded)! Now look at the age of the rider. If you had seen the way he rocketed round the circuit, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was a current race star on board!
Old meets new - a fantastic pairing
Yet another youthful rider - forever young
Lunchtime entertainment - P40 and Spitfire
The unmistakable silhouette of the Spitfire
McIntosh-framed Jawa - looked like 2 Manx Nortons mated together
Munch Mammoth powered by 1200cc NSU car engine
4 cylinder Cleveland
The incomparable Britten - a work of genuine genius
BMW Rennsport racer
Flawless HRD Vincent 1000
Trying to start the Harley flat-tracker on rollers called for serious downward pressure!
Interesting Moto-Guzzi racer
What a day! Here's the link to the full photo set: Pukekohe 2011