The Burt – Final Ride For Home

Day 12

Enos, SJ, Grumpy and I had a great evening at Oakura Boat Club in New Plymouth, where the red wine flowed easily.

We then walked back to the Holiday Park and our cabin, number 12 for future reference, on the beach for a tipple of port and a cigar. It was still warm and Grumpy made the decision to sleep outside on the deck so as not to wake the rest of us with he freight train snoring.

Enos was staying behind in New Plymouth for a couple of extra days as his missus didn’t want him home yet.

So the three of us said our goodbyes at 7am and hit the road for the last time. We stopped off two hours later at Pio Pio for a ripper of a breakfast. It was great putting those early miles under our belt as we knew it was only a hop, skip and a jump to Auckland, or in my case Dargaville, which was an extra leap.

All on this tour there has been no close calls traffic wise. The fine weather we had certainly played a part in that, but we all rode at levels that were comfortable to us. That’s not to say that some corners were taken a little to quickly on occasion, or overtaking when we would have been better to just be a little more patient, but there was no scary moments for any of us.

As we left the cafe in Piopio I checked my bags and spare helmet were on securely and threw my leg over Equus.

We decided to fill up in Te Kuiti and say our goodbyes to each other there as SJ was heading to Cooks Beach, and Grumpy and I wouldn’t need to fill up again. It was fitting that it was us three remaining as it was only us who had done the South Island a couple of years before. SJ was fighting back the tears, and I admit to shedding a lone tear down my rosey cheek.

SJ would leave us at Hamilton and head toward the Coromandel, while Grumpy and I would continue north.

However, before SJ left us we were just outside Otorohanga when I saw her.

Her blonde hair waving in the wind like a graceful ballerina.

Her blue eyes sparkling like the pools of St Bathans would have many years ago.

She was wearing a white cotton dress that showed off her taut figure.

She was in the hitchhikers pose with thumb extended.

I pulled on the reins of Equus who eased next to her. I threw my kick stand down and quickly took off the spare helmet and gave it to this incredibly gorgeous woman.

She took the helmet, and laughed.

She then thrust out her spare hand and said, “I’m Wendy. Where are you heading?”

I showed her my pearly whites and replied, “Shepp” pointing to my embroidered name on my leather vest. “I’m heading to Dargaville.”

“I’ve never been there,” she continued to laugh. “Let’s go!” She quickly slid on some jeans whilst keeping her summer dress on. She looked hot.

Grumpy and SJ sat on their bikes, mouths agape, at what they had just witnessed.

Wendy slid her long legs around me and the three Harleys roared off once more.

I hadn’t even got into top gear before I felt Wendy’s hand rubbing the side of my leg.

I found it very hard to concentrate on the road.

We soon got to Hamilton and waved our farewells to SJ.

He’s been a great leader on this trip, despite a few hic cups with directions and tickets. He actually bought me a very cool Route 66 sign in Invercargill to hang in the Man Shed. Cheers brother.

Grumpy, Wendy and I had a relatively smooth ride through Auckland with Wendy absolutely loving the V-Twin between her legs.

Wendy and I waved to Grumpy as he exited onto Greville Road in Alabany and headed for his palatial home on the Shore.

There was little traffic for Wendy and I to fight with for the remaining hour and a half ride to Dargaville.

I pulled Equus into the drive and Wendy hopped off and planted a big kiss straight on my lips.

My kind of woman!

Equus was back in her stable, and I jumped into the shower to try and get rid of 12 days of mayhem.

I returned to find Wendy naked in my bed holding my well deserved beer.

The Burt – Day 11

A sad day.

We had to farewell Semi at Bulls after we had all caught the Interislander ferry to Wellington.

I must tell one story that happened on the Interislander that was amusing.

As we were leaving we were amongst a throng of passengers.

SJ decided to be lazy and take the lift instead of the stairs. He was the last one in the lift and the doors wouldn’t shut because it was overweight.

After much laughter and telling him to get off, which he initially wouldn’t, he finally stepped out and sure enough the doors finally closed causing those watching the dilemma double up in laughter.

It was so emotional to be splitting up the 5, but Semi was in fine form over dinner the previous night in Picton.

So Enos, SJ, Grumpy and I rode in more sunshine, which put smiles on all our faces.

Oakura Holiday Park is one of my favourite spots on the planet.

We dusted ourselves off and kicked off our boots and sank a few well deserved beers.

The Burt – Day 10

We left my nephews Christchurch pad at 8am and poked our noses toward Picton, via Kaikoura.

James, my nephew, and his caregiver, Bayley, looked after us very well.

The sun was shining, but not throwing off much heat and although I have enough natural padding to insulate me the same can’t be said for Grumpy who had also decided to ride jacket less.

I could see his false teeth chattering in my mirrors, and hoped the 83 year old would survive.

At Amberley we stopped and I tucked into my muesli and fruit with lite yogurt and a glass of water for brekkie, while the other four lads devoured bacon, fried bread, mushrooms, onions, fried eggs, sausages, hash browns all washed down with a keg of coffee.

We decided to meet at Kaikoura for lunch and SJ, Grumpy and I blasted off leaving Semi and Enos to fend for themselves.

Now I know there’s a few harden bikers reading this blog and asking why we would leave two of the crew behind.

It’s a fair question, but that’s our arrangement and Semi and Enos seem happy with that. We all ride at the pace we feel comfortable at.

However, this arrangement has it’s downfalls as the 3 leaders reached Kaikoura and headed to the Pier Hotel for lunch, which is right by the water and a great spot.

The problem being Kaikoura town ship is situated back on the main road and that’s where Semi and Enos looked for us.

Of course they missed us so rode onto Picton.

The three Chuckle Brothers sat and had lunch and beers on the waters edge wondering where the hell the stragglers were.

Contact was finally made over 2 hours later with Semi stating he and Enos were near Blenheim. We told them to ride through to Picton and we would see them soon.

No harm done as we were happy supping away on a few cold ones at the Pier Hotel.

The temperatures soared and were the hottest they have been on the whole trip.

We arrived in Picton and were greeted with smiles from Enos and Semi.

Everyone was happy.

We all went for a walk trying to decide which restaurant would receive our custom, and ended up in the same pub we go to every year below our lovely apartment for a well deserved beer.

The Burt – Day 9

I love Dunedin, but was pleased to be jumping on the bike and heading toward our next destination, Christchurch.

We blasted through despite seeing several cops on the way.

Fortunately we were well gone by the time they could of turned around and gave chase.

The scenery is still wonderful, and we are taking it a bit for granted now.

We got slightly lost trying to find my nephews shack in Redcliffs.

We enjoyed a wonderful meal with James and Bailey and some well deserved beers.

The Burt – Day 8

The Turn For Home.

We packed up our kit and left our Riverton house for the last time.

It was a great place to lay our weary heads although a second bathroom wouldn’t of gone amiss.

Again I had my jacket and gloves in my saddle bags as temperatures soared toward 30 degrees (86 Fahrenheit) and I hoped the sun lotion was doing its job on my naked forearms.

It was a lovely, short, ride with a quick cuppa stop at Balclutha.

SJ and Grumpy were starting to feel the effects of last night, but as I’m in better physical condition than both of them I was fine.

We rolled into Dunedin mid-afternoon where only I went for a well deserved beer.

The Burt – Day 6

We woke to a glorious day here in our Airbnb in Riverton.

We have a new member to our gang. Marcel flew in yesterday afternoon and has fitted in nicely.

His initiation was to run nude across the road and back.

All I’ll say it was very funny, but not a pretty sight.

On today’s agenda was the Beach Races.

It’s a 1 mile track marked out by cones, and these guys let it rip.

So we jumped on our rides, with Marcel on the back of SJ’s bike.

Enos, SJ, Marcel, Grumpy and I are waiting for Semi who seems to be unable to get his bike moving.

No problem starting it, it just wouldn’t move.

Grumpy jumped off his bike and soon realised that Semi had left a brake lock on the front disc.

Another fine.

We smashed down a cooked breakfast at the local cafe, and rode out to Oreti Beach.

There was bikes galore.

We estimated about 3000, but keen to hear official numbers.

The sun was fierce and as we sat on the dunes we could feel it burning the backs of our necks.

The races came thick and fast, which for a spectator was brilliant.

On the bigger bikes speeds of 160kms were reached and you could see the riders fighting with their beasts to keep them upright.

There were a few spills as the sand became softer from the continuous use of the track.

The 50 mile race was the big one for the Burt Munro trophy.

Nine riders started, only three finished with some poor bugger not realising he’d only done 49 laps.

They must have been exhausted after that.

The five of us weren’t feeling to flash after baking in our jeans and leathers for a few hours.

We jumped back on horses and rode to Bluff to get a photo with a sign post.

We stopped off and had a feed and a couple of beers to try and cool down.

Enos didn’t look to good, but Doc Semi was keeping a close eye on him.

I was also feeling the effects so left the lads early to come back and have a sleep.

I was just drifting off when they returned! No afternoon nap for me.

Marcel and I went for a swim in the Foveaux Strait to cool down.

It worked wonders.

We had a few beers at our base and headed out to dinner.

As we walked along a young lady pulled over in a pub courtesy van.

“You look like you boys want some food and beers.”

We jumped into Hannah’s van and she took her to her pub Aparima Restaurant and Bar.

The meal was outstanding and Hannah was a lot of fun. The beers were again well deserved.