Had a great ride down to Turangi yesterday. I met up with Luke in Auckland who needed to go to Hamilton for work and we rode down that far together. Since we had a little spare time we chose to go down the very scenic and twisty SH22. 🙂

We got down there about an hour before Jon has finished a call out day working in Hamilton (amazing luck that happened and that we was able to attend on his bike) – he had a full working day in a workshop and ended up helping to diagnose issues with not just one, but three trucks – so he made himself useful before joining up with me.

Felix (another rider from Auckland) had an eventful start to his day yesterday when his Engine earning light came on; so he was in the shop at 0830 getting that seen to. That put him behind with his expected schedule and so he too was able to hook up with us in Hamilton.

So the three of us rode down to Turangi together. This was useful as it gave us an opportunity to see how our riding styles and general riding speed worked together as a small group. We intend on trying to ride the NI1600 as a threesome – if it works out.

Generally the more people you add into a single moving group the harder it is to make good time, it can work against you. But all three of us have done 1600km rides before and we all know what it takes to get round in the time available and so I feel like we should be ok at giving it a go.

When we got here last night, the first things Jon and I did was get our bikes through scrutineering; well, I did, Jon’s failed. He was failed on his rear tyre tread. He was more annoyed than anyone over this as he knew that they were fairly strict on this point. It set us into a scramble to organise a new set this morning. He’s luckily got a heap of contacts through his job and was able to call on some local people he knew who know all of the other locals in the industry and within a fairly short time he had got a plan formed for this morning to get a new set fitted.

I met up with Jon for breakfast in the hall at 7am and by 7:30 he was on the road heading to Taupo.

So he’ll need to have his bike rechecked before we start at 1pm today.

Last night was fun and a little stressful, we had our rider’s briefing at 7pm where the route master spoke for almost 30mins in a manner which, to someone with less local road knowledge than him, seemed incomprehensible. Place and road names rattled off at 100 mile/hr, none of it meant anything, very little sunk in. Then we were giving our rider’s packs and some of it then started to make more sense.

We managed to start our route planning at around 8:30pm. The first tasks carefully loading all of our checkpoints and then seeing what general route falls out of the software. Then trying to remember and apply the tips which were given out verbally at the riders briefing.

It was 11:30 before we had finished our planning and just after midnight when I got to bed. I slept ok, through to just before 7am.

We’ve loaded up the GPSs and I’m about to check the route again in finer detail against the planning sheets and tips which were left in the hall. The weather here today is glorious. Which will make for a lovely afternoon and evening ride but it’ll likely be quite cold overnight. We have plenty of layers so we’ll be fine. 🙂

One thing I’m not looking forward to is the gorge between Gisbourne and Whakatane at 4:30am. I will be sure to call on the other members of our riding group at that point to be pulling their weight in leading some of the riding through there as I have a feeling that the majority of this will otherwise fall on me.

A reminder of our tracking links. There are three:

The whole weekend: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=1b82c5bb6624a4ca82&hoursPast=0&showAll=yes

Just the 1600km segment, starts at 1pm today: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=1b82d5bb663165b11b&hoursPast=0&showAll=yes

Our Raah track which is always the current days ride: https://goo.gl/yRz5mF

We’re looking forward to a good clean and uneventful ride. 🙂