Far North Ride 2016 Review
23rd-25th of September
Our first organised ride for the season was a great success. We had 27 people come on our Far North Ride that left Boyd Motorcycles on Friday morning.
After the briefing and a final chance to grab some wet weather gear we were off!! The group headed up through Ngaruawahia on the Hakaramata, Huntly West Road to join up onto State Highway 22 into Tuakau. Our first break being the Tuakau bridge for a quick hop off and regroup before heading onto Bombay for our first fuel stop. The road was pretty good and we had no rain, so we were all pretty chipper.
Unfortunately that changed when the van wouldn’t start at Bombay….We ended up hiring a new van and carrying on about an hour and a half after the riders continued. This meant we missed the Kumeu, Helensville, Wellsford detour, but by Dargaville we had caught up again to the last few of the group.
I ended up somehow passing those final 3 riders and arrived at Woodlands Motel before them. One of the other riders reported he saw them heading South on the road they should have been heading North on. Funniest part was that they had a GPS.
Tony and Wendi at Woodlands spoiled us with a Gourmet Buffet BBQ dinner and cake for desert (For Nikki’s birthday). There was plenty to eat and their entrees were awesome. After a lovely meal and a long day behind us, most were off to bed pretty soon afterwards.
Saturday, we woke to rain. It didn’t seem to dampen the mood much, but a few decided to relax back and see if the weather improved before venturing out. We had 2 options to chose from for Saturday, one was the ferry to ferry circuit, the other was the Cape Reianga run. Six riders went on the ferry circuit, seven of us went to Cape Reiagna and others made it as far as Mangonui for breakfast with friends before cruising off to visit other people.
While at Mangonui we met Gary Need who is a motorcyclist and who lives at Taupo Bay. He was telling us how his bach and surrounding area has been set up to accommodate motorcyclist in smaller groups. Four in the main bach and another seven or so in the other building. Tents are also welcome, so if any of you are interested in having his details, let me know or follow this link to have a look at his place online Kurrawa Cottage .
After breakfast at Mangonui we carried on up to Cape Reiagna. A few of our group hadn’t been up there ever or in a very, very long time, so they all came up from checking out the light house with big smiles. It was a little windy as we got closer to the Cape, but as we headed back it got easier and easier. If only the rain had died off as well.
By the time we got back to KeriKeri the riders were all wet, but still pretty happy.
The group of six that took the ferry to ferry circuit arrived back having enjoyed their day out too. Starting with breakfast in Paihia at Franks ‘Pizza bar & café’ $10 bacon & eggs all round apart from 2 difficult ones that had the $11 pancakes with bacon haha (what a bargain). With full tummies we headed for the ferry at Opua to catch a ride to Russell and man did it rain as we arrived to see the ferry pulling away to head to Russell. With the rain stopping we looked out to see the second vehicle Ferry arriving so we all paid our $5.50 each to cross and headed for Russell. It wasn’t much dryer when we docked in Russell but we were all still smiling under our helmets and ready to go.
We looked around Russell then headed towards Helena Bay. With stopping for photos and chatting on the side of road it took us about 3 hours to do 100km! plus the roads were very wet and slippery. We arrived in Helena Bay with some very heavy rain (thinking back it was nothing compared to what we got on Sunday) We stopped at the Helena Bay Café & Gallery for lunch so it was hot coffee’s and hot food for lunch to warm up. If you are ever in area stop in, the view would be amazing on a fine day.
We left Helena Bay heading for Rawene to catch the next ferry it was fine most of the way their just a few light showers. We stopped in Kaikohe to fuel the bikes up and clean our helmet visors. We caught up with some of the others waiting for the Rawene ferry that had been finding all the gravel roads in the area and had few laughs as we shared tails of our adventures. We were loaded onto the ferry at Rawene and man did they cram us all on there, there was no space left for breathing!!
We had great plans for the Mangamuka’s but the rain put us off that. So we started to make our way back to Kerikeri for a refreshment or two. We fuelled up in Kerikeri and headed for the Stone Store to get the usual tourist photos of our bikes in front. Then back to Woodlands to catch up with everyone.
Most of us stayed in for dinner again, the weather was still mud and the food was so yummy there was no need to go anywhere anyway. A whole group sat around telling stories and having a few drinks in the backpackers style kitchen that Woodlands has, before joining the rest for dinner or braving the weather to eat out.
Sunday came sunshine!!! We were all a bit stunned as the rain had been heavy throughout the night. We had buffet breakfast at the motel, then a riders briefing, before saying goodbye to our hosts and heading for home. We headed for Kaikohe then down the twin bridges road to Dargaville. There was quite a bit of flooding around including a bit on the roads that we had to go though. A few bikes with low mufflers sounded like jet boats for a bit.
We stopped when we got to Dargaville and had a cup of coffee, before carrying on. Some of the group had gone straight down State Highway 1 and as we headed off again we started getting word of what we were riding into.
By the time we stopped again at Kaukopakopa we had riders at Bombay all saying that the weather and the motorway was really bad. Lunch was fast and we got back on the road, ready for home. The rain got worse and worse as we got closer to Auckland and the motorway was a 70km zone at best. By the time we got to Bombay we were ready for the rain to stop…it didn’t.
We got back to Hamilton about 4.30pm Sunday afternoon and had unpacked the van and handed over luggage for the riders who were close. By 5.30 we were home and relaxing. Thanks to all who came on the ride with us, you made it worth while. Sorry we couldn’t do anything with the weather, but I hope you all still had a good time despite it.
We look forward to our next ride down to Wanganui in November!! Cheers Nikki and Kieren