Wheel alignment

Wednesday 11 August 2010

It's the journey, not the destination

Yeeehaaa!  Sure sign that spring is approaching..... 17 degrees C late morning, buds bursting out in the garden and a Rosella busy eating the buds of one of our flowering cherries!

 Beautiful, but greedy!

We won't have many buds left at this rate!

Between Rosellas and the Kaka, (a large native parrot) from a nearby stand of native bush, our flowering shrubs and fruit trees take a bit of a hiding but I reckon that's a small price to pay for the pleasure of having them in the garden.

We are also getting the nectar-eating Tui songbirds in another flowering cherry and flocks of tiny Waxeyes waiting for the food scraps and honey water we put out for them .
Tui after nectar

Waxeyes waiting for a feed

The improved weather means time for a trip halfway round the Peninsula for a scallop burger.  Well, it's the journey really, but as the Coroglen Tavern was closed last time I came past, a burger packed with local scallops makes the destination worthwhile too!

The journey didn't start off on a promising note .  The beautiful weather always brings out a few cage drivers who use one brain cell for breathing and the remaining few for gawping at the scenery. Driving ability is apparently left to divine intervention.  Regular readers will have seen my previous rants about cage drivers crossing the centre line to straighten a bend irrespective of oncoming traffic but this one took the prize for biggest knuckle-dragger of the season so far! Ascending the Coromandel Range, I spotted a Toyota Corolla several bends away creeping downhill towards me.  This normally signifies that all occupants including the idiot driver have their brains at half-mast and are staring at the stunning vista over Coromandel Harbour, so my brain was on maximum alert.  As the car hove into full view, it was completely on my side of the road and actually within a foot or so of the Armco barrier on the edge of the steep drop!  Whether it was a sudden awareness of the Armco right next to the driver's wing mirror or my headlights just down the road, the car gave an almighty over-correction back to the proper side of the road and I was left with an impression of bulging eyes and mouth open in alarm!  Although it wasn't really a close call, a momentary thought was entertained about turning round and delivering a pointed sermon to the elderly guy driving the car.  However, this would have got the ride off to the wrong start and the wrong frame of mind, so I simply filed it into the "yet another dickhead" category and got on with enjoying the ride.  Just so that you can see the cause of the distraction, I momentarily stopped on the way home and took a photo (click to enlarge).  We live in the small group of houses just right of centre on the narrow peninsula.

Coromandel Harbour and outer islands

Traffic was very light on the eastern side of the Coromandel Range, so a short photo opportunity was taken at the roadside where there are several acres of pampas grass growing.  Really pretty, but can be quite invasive in our climate so it probably won't be long before it gets sprayed.

Roadside pampas grass

Dry roads, warm, light traffic and no more idiot cage drivers - what more could one want?  The perfect conditions for dropping into Zen Riding State, where control of the bike seems effortless through heightened perception.  Doesn't happen all that often but when it does, what an absolutely sublime experience.

Arriving at the Coroglen Tavern a bit early, I was the first customer and after ordering the scallop burger and a big mug of latte, it was off outside to join the owner and his dogs on the deck. The dogs are real characters - they don't scrounge, just try and soften you up with a big grin!
Trying to grin me into dropping a bit of scallop burger

Weekdays and the only bike at the Tavern

The Coroglen Tavern is a cool place and in the summer, outdoor concerts are held in the grassed arena behind the main building.  They get a great attendance from all the local beach resorts, so attract some great acts.  Jimmy Barnes, the great Aussie rocker is appearing here this summer, as well as other well-known local acts.

Relaxed and at one with the world, it was time to return home.  An absence of traffic meant that the pace was a bit more spirited than originally intended, but an unplanned burst in ideal conditions is all part of a perfect journey. I normally don't react when a cage wants to join in the fun but this time, a guy in an Audi saw me coming, put his foot down and was driving really safely, so I just hooked in behind at some rather naughty speeds until he turned off with a wave about 20km up the road - nice and it's good to have someone running interference in case the Highway Patrol suddenly appears!

A quick stop at our local wharf  to see if anything interesting was happening and then back home to complete a wonderful ride.
Coromandel wharf

A poor attempt to reflect the harbour edge!

 Looking forward to this coming Sunday.  Our full 1000 miles in 24 hours team are meeting up for the first time at a central spot down country to grab a meal, do a bit of planning and have a ride so looking forward to it and reporting in due course.


  1. Geoff:

    my how time flies. Firstly winter was coming, then the rains, then you vacation to Samoa and all of a sudden, Spring is here. I didn't see much snow in your recent photos so I suppose you don't get very cold there. I like how you use the term "bends" (twisties)

    you are so lucky to be able to enjoy a scallop burger during a weekday while we have to work

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. Hi Bob,
    Time does indeed fly. We don't get snow in the upper north island although only 2 days ago, the main route north/south was closed for half a day in the central north island high country due to snow. Mind you, it is at close to 3000ft altitude.

    We use the term bends too, but as opposed to sweepers or shallow curves, "twisties" signify stretches of road comprised entirely of tight bends. Pretty much describes the Coromandel Peninsula!

    Stop complaining Mr Bob, you're a similar age to me! Retirement is but a signature at the bottom of a company form :-)

  3. Sounds like a great day out Geoff. Next time you head to the Tavern for a scallop burger can you get a few extra ones and send them over here...(and a few cases of Montieth's !!)

    I love the Zen Riding state - when it happens its awesome!

    Always enjoy the scenic photos you post, well done, (and the Triumph always looks good in every shot!)


  4. If you ever make it over here Anthony, I have good news! We have a scallop bed within 1 km of the house and I'll have a dredge for the boat this spring. Nothing like raw scallops straight out of the shell. Oh, and the beer fridge is full of Monteiths :-).

    Thanks and safe riding mate!

  5. Spring is approaching? That means fall is approaching here and finally some cooler weather to ride in.

    I just wanted to say your panorama image of Coramandel Harbour and outer islands is magnificent. New Zealand is one of those locations on my list should time and money ever allow. For now I shall remain content looking at your trips....

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  6. Hi Steve, thanks for the kind words.

    Being a long, skinny country, we don't normally get extreme temperatures at either end of the scale so riding is pretty much a year round activity (errr... when our dearly beloveds aren't finding us other chores).

    Well, if you ever find yourself down this end of the world, there will always be a warm welcome waiting, together with comfortable beds and good food!



  7. Geoff:

    there's something wrong with your analogy. We all work hard during our working careers but somehow you have managed to retire at a YOUNG age. Perhaps lower costs of living in NZ ? If you could set up our accommodations for long term we could have our pension cheques redirected there and we would be forever grateful. Your words keep ringing in my ear, "beds and good food" until eternity.

    Just say the word and we will purchase our ONE way tickets to paradise.

    and remember, the first one up gets the Striple for the day

    luv, and hopefully see you soon

    Wet Coast Scootin


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