Saturday, August 22, 2009

500 km ride to Hampton Downs

The first dry weekend for a few weeks brings with it the chance of a ride. And so with Ivan rearing to go and an organised ride by Big Bikes in Hamilton, we set off. The official ride didn't start until 2:30 PM so we decided to take in the Clevedon-Kawakawa Bay-Kaiaua route. A really nice day too, fine and dry, and not too hot - and that road is such a fantastic ride. A coffee in Kaiaua but no fish-and-chips this time, and we headed out towards Mangatawhiri, and via the old State Hwy 2, through to Mercer on Koheroa Rd. The 'Castle" at Mangatawhiri has a For Lease sign out - nobody comes this way anymore I'm afraid. Nice ride to Mercer and 5km back on the main road we turned off at Hampton Downs to survey the Hampton Downs Raceway - as you can see, there is still quite a bit to do.

Here is a picture of two bikes and field of clay.

Then through to Big Bikes via the famous Hamilton by-pass (that actually takes longer than going through the centre of town) and a catchup with a few friends. Mind you, the cruisers were severely outnumbered by sporties: Ducati, Aprilia, KTM, and a couple of Hyabusa's amongst them.

I was thinking "its bikes with radar detector vs bikes with GPS".

View Larger Map

So how come the guys with the GPS got totally lost? We even found Eureka (yeah, I know...) but not the prescribed ride route.

So we abandoned the well designed motorcycle speedy-twisty-backroads for the "straight to the pub" strategy. By this time the day was drawing on and Ivan and I decided to go straight back to Auckland from Tirau, to try and arrive before dark - and we nearly made it. Ivan's Hyosung 250R was being put to the test and I'm sure he changed gear 1000 times while doing a great job of keeping up with the bigger bikes. Mind you I was being extra good (mostly).

Great day, great roads, great company, and a vast field of clay. You'll need knobblies for the next trackday...


JohnHS said...

Well Ivan's Hyosung has been sold and a brand new R6 bought in its place. I think I may be the one trailing now...

JohnHS said...

I am going to the California Superbike School at Hampton Downs on the 19th November to learn how to straighten corners - really looking forward to it - I guess I will provide some entertainment for all the sporties on the C90 cruiser.