Wheel alignment

Friday 4 November 2011

Nice bikes, nice people

I got an email yesterday from my long-time riding partner, great mate and fellow IAM associate Andy.  He and some fellow Auckland riders were going to finish the working week a day early and come for a "quickish" ride round the Coromandel Peninsula and would I like to join them?  Hard choice actually as a trip out in the boat for a spot of fishing was also on the cards.  However the ride won out and I met Andy and his friends a couple of km from home.  I'm normally a bit wary about riding with people I don't know, but trusted Andy's judgement as always.  Lord knows why,  seeing as Andy's a respectable banker by working day and a complete hooligan on 2 wheels!  Actually, he's a top class rider and exceptionally quick if he has the mind to boogie :-).  Andy did the introductions and I felt immediately at home - really nice people.

Meet Andy and his brutal K1200R

Nice Ducati Multistrada kitted for touring

No good for me - I'd need a step ladder!

A Multistrada in tasteful black sir?

Nice KTM and BMW F800

Note the badges - more on this in a moment

After gassing up, we set off for the Eastern side of the Peninsula - great sweepers and twisties the whole way.  Being the local yokel, I lead the first 40 km to Whitianga.  Trying to set an acceptable pace for people you've never ridden with before isn't always easy but everything worked out fine at a "slightly" illegal pace, even if that phrase would have zero credibility with the boys in blue :-).  It very quickly became apparent that the other riders were really smooth, very patient and extremely competent - a pleasure to ride with.

Andy took over up front for the leg from Whitianga to Tairua.  His IAM training really showed through with great positioning and well-judged overtakes and everyone was enjoying his lead.  Easy to make good progress when there's a really smooth rider up front taking the stress off everyone else.  We all pulled into Tairua for refreshments and it was here that I learned that Jane on the F800 and her husband had ridden the length of South America last year.  A really impressive feat but sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to quiz them on the adventure.

All to soon, it was time for me to turn north and head for home and for the others to head south, then back to Auckland.  Yet another unexpected afternoon ride this week and just as enjoyable, albeit for different reasons to the one in the previous post.

Cheers Andy and thanks so much everyone for a wonderful afternoon!


  1. Sounds like a great day. I beautiful ride, nice weather, twisty roads, and you got to meet new people too.

    I am envious of your weather right now as I sit here at noon and it is only 40˚F out there and cloudy. Brrrr.

  2. Hi Trobairitz!
    Yes, couldn't be better on all counts! Brrrrr indeed! Sorry to hear about that. If it's any consolation, we're shortly heading off to our granddaughter's 4th birthday party 160 km away and it's blowing a gale with heavy showers - a complete contrast to yesterday!

  3. Roads and roofs were frost covered today as you guys are heading into summer. I wish I could come. Please talk to my boss that he has to let me go.

    And the mirror at the wall will tell you that between all the bikes out there your bike is the mightiest and prettiest of all. Just saying.

  4. Hi Sonja!

    Brrrrr... hope you've got heated grips on the HD! When your boss is over here next, tell him to come and see me and I'll have a word in his ear!

    Oh you say the nicest things, you sweet-talker!

  5. Your ride reports are always entertaining and generally factual.  I am not sure why your usual high standards slipped on this post.  "a respectable banker" are three words that don't usually sit well together.  Or maybe there are such things in the southern hemisphere, but they are certainly a dying breed up here in the north.  Oh, I get it, he is a biker as well - that would explain it.....

  6. Gary:
    Hahahaha - I do apologise! I know that banker normally rhymes with a synonymous word starting with a "W", but Andy was a rider before he was a banker and it therefore nullifies the effect!

    Actually, bankers in Australia and NZ generally have a better reputation at present than their cousins up north as they seem to have been a bit more prudent with their lending habits.

    I'll make sure you meet Andy if you get down this way for a tour :-).

  7. BTW Gary,
    I didn't get a photo of it, but another of the riders with us was a Fireblade owner who decided to bring his H-D on this ride. He had a ball, but lost a few kg of metal on the ride when temporarily forgetting about ground clearances in the tight stuff!


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