Winter, time to ride.

Mid-Winter North Island New Zealand is an interesting place to ride. In the last 2 months I have had a ball riding the Ducati here there and everywhere.
3 weeks ago today I rode the Forgotten World Highway.
ImageI was going to overnight in Whangamomona but I arrived there so early in the day it was stupid. Suppose leaving at 530am more than just gets the worm on a ride day. The pub there is warm, hospitable and the family who run it just real nice people. Even when I cancelled my nights’ accommodation they were still happy, and I had an incredibly nice lunch, a pot luck hotpot thing with fresh hot baked rolls.
I had 2 beers and carried on riding.
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The road was incredible!
166 km’s of pure twisties, 4 mountain pass saddles, one tunnel and a grin the size of the San Andreas Fault on my face.

Got to Stratford at sunset, catching an awesome picture of Mount Taranaki silhouetted by the Ducati in the foreground…love it.
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After getting home at 10.45 at night having ridden from Taranaki in the dark and stopping at every coffee op I saw (and toilet as well…goes in…comes out!) I was exhausted and had done 981km’s in the course of the 18 hour day I put in.
I made lots of stops sightseeing and picture taking as well as drink and food breaks. The sheepskin seat cover adds a lot to the bikes endurance factor to.

The following weekend I went for a hoon to the Wairarapa with Kelly and my mate Bruce (he was on my old RF900, great that it’s still in the whanau). A short burst but what an awesome ride, perfect weather, Bruce following me as I knew the hill better, and wow a great ride.

Next day we went over the hill again with Andrew and his boy (MANBOYGIANT) Ben, who did the magic beanstalk thing the last 3 years and is a towering 6 foot man! (Blink) We took a longer ride that day but the weather was less than warm.

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So the bottom line is even in winter, with storms all over the country we were lucky enough to get some great riding days. The Forgotten World Highway is an essential bucket list road for anyone, including the 8-9 kms of gravel in the middle saddle is a dream road to ride.
To quote a beautiful and highly intelligent lady who spends lots of time on my pillion seat, it’s riding through a picture postcard.
Nonstop twisties over four mountain saddles, traversing 166 kilometers of mountain road, with almost no other vehicles around.

I love living in New Zealand, even with our limited size as a geographical entity and the fact its split by two major mountain ranges in each island, there is so much riding heaven to be had here, so many glorious adventures.
The Forgotten World Highway is one of them. Bucket list ride, fact, make sure you do it.

StoneY

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