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Hello and Welcome Mr L. Warnock and myself would like to invite interested parties to a weekend of riding small bikes through the backroads of the Bay of Plenty sometime in March, the plan is as follows.... Dates set as 28/29 March Saturday - Meet in Mount Maunganui in the morning where there will be space to park vehicles for the weekend and head off via the harbour bridge and through Tauranga town to Welcome Bay where we will head into the rural hinterland and cut through to Te Puke via a scenic backroad that is mostly sealed with a small section of gravel in the middle of it, from Te Puke there will be 2 small sections of highway to traverse as we jump inbetween sealed backroads which will take us to the seaside township of Maketu for a bit of a relax by the ocean. From Maketu we will head back inland to Paengaroa where there is fuel to top up the thirsty steeds before a decent stretch of backroads(a mix of sealed and gravel) through farmland/forestry and native bush to end up at Lake Rotoma where after another small but scenic section of highway around the lake there is a nice reserve to enjoy a bit of a rest and a swim in the lake for those that are keen, from Rotoma its up Manawahe Road past the infamous helicopter corner of WRC fame to McIvor road which is a steep gravel goat track off the Manawahe hills to the Rangitaiki plains where we will hoon down Braemar road, have a quick look at the springs at Otakiri(where china is stealing our water from) and head back along a stretch of main road to Edgecumbe. Turning off at Edgecumbe we will follow the Rangitaiki river along more back roads to where it meets the sea at Thornton where there is the option to hoon along the beach for a few kms(or cut back along the road and meet up with the beach riders) just before Matata. In Matata there is booze/food/fish and chips to stock up for the night as from there its a short 5 min drive along the highway again to Murphys Motorcamp where we will base ourselves for a night of beer sharns and cigrits. Its right on the beach to there will be the opportunity for some more beach hoons and backs onto the railway line for getting a good foam on for those that way inclined. Day 1 Main Stats: About 180kms of riding Mix of gravel and tarmac- roughly 50/50 3/4 gas stations to fuel up Food/beer/fuel 5 mins ride from accommodation Sort your own accom at Murphys either a tent site or there are cabins sleeping up to 6 people - http://www.murphysholidaycamp.co.nz/ Sunday - After a strong coffee and a cigrit for breakfast we will head off from the camping ground and straight back into the hills via Herepuru Road which starts off sealed then a section of gravel and back to sealed as we reach Manawahe Road again, back up Manawahe Road we will turn off at helicopter corner and head around the back side of Rotoma onto more gravel and native bush. Once in the native there is a side track called Porters Road which is basically some sweet pumice tracks with ruts/hill climbs where we can hoon around for a while do some jumps and test hill climbing skills. After that back onto Manawahe road which will take us out to Pongakawa and back on to sealed roads with some short sections of gravel then across SH2 and out to Pukehina where Lee has offered his place as stop for a BBQ lunch. After lunch and a cruise up Pukehina Parade its back onto Old Coach Road and follow a similar route via Maketu and Te Puke back towards Tauranga. A detour off the route down will take us through a short paper road and back into Papamoa where we will cut thru suburbia for a lap of mount main beach to pest the boomers and back to where we started on Saturday morning to conclude the ride. Day 2 Stats: 180ish kms of riding again 60/40 mix of sealed and gravel riding 4/5 places to get fuel BBQ lunch at Pukehina Backroad hoons and a cruise of the Mt to conclude the weekend Not to steal @johnnyfives thunder but the ride will be of a similar pace and conditions of the east cape rides for those that have done them Expect lots of narrow roads of the sealed and gravel nature, limited cellphone coverage in places but sweet scenery, lush swimming spots and great times on small motorbikes in the backblocks of this beautiful country. At this stage there wont be a support vehicle so you will have to be 100% self sufficient with carrying your camping gear but all the supplies you need the night are 5 mins down the road from the camp and having a reliable bike is a must because if you cant fix it roadside you will be on your own sorry. A date isnt set but it will be sometime in March maybe early April depend on peoples keenness and availability but il start with 28/29 March as a weekend to do it Koha/donation to attend will cover the lunch on Sunday and incidentals
OK, so this is coming up again soon. There was some chat about it at Wagnats, so I'm assuming there are some extra attendees this year. We'll be there in the Mercury, had to arrange new accommodation again (due to flood damage) so will be hanging out down towards the surf club. Arriving Wednesday sometime.