Saturday, 30 June 2012

The scenic side of riding The Long Way Around Lake Taupo

Leaving Taupo around 7am this morning (NICE, now confirmed at minus five degrees) and NO heated hand grips. brrrr the KTM690 and small Yamaha XT250cc journey well over 500kilometres on Saturday to tackle and take part in a series of challenge riding sections around Lake Taupo - and this would of course be the TEMPTER to participating
Arriving at our dam stop and the two bikes take a brief stop before heading off again.  Son Tim had just arrived back from Melbourne and the XT was hauled out to have some of those cobwebs blasted out!!!!  Tim will NOT disappoint with that task.
"LOOK JIM" - "NO FIRE EXTINGUISHER", Tim loanding the small XT and always blows out those cobwebs to the max......  Fire Extinguisher had also been blown completely OFFF!!!   I guess no amount of strapping was going to last the distance!!!!    hmmm
The view from the dam  -  CRISP  COOL  CLEAR    A N D    C O L D..........

One fire extinguisher still manages to hang on in there -  we kitted both bikes out with a full compliment of knobbly tyres for the ride today.  On some of the roading sections layers of ice had also formed and this also made for a few watchful moments with these tyres.

A team support van had arrived and the aroma of hot drinks a most welcome addition.   NICE TOUCH

Monday, 25 June 2012

Gravel Hopper Adventures and Riding the Loose Stuff: Tunnel Time anyone???

Gravel Hopper Adventures and Riding the Loose Stuff: Tunnel Time anyone???: Tunnel Time Anyone??? "Thumpers", and they came,  first out of the starting blocks, our friend the big BMW1200cc followed closely by...

Tunnel Time anyone???

Tunnel Time Anyone???

"Thumpers", and they came,  first out of the starting blocks, our friend the big BMW1200cc followed closely by "TEAM ORANGE".   Like a swarm they were lining up and waiting for the treat to ride "The Tunnel".  Yes, the surface provided for a little entertainment also to some.   Everything and more an adventure ride should deliver.
"TEAM ORANGE" taking it on.......
That "KTM ADV Bike" looking the business and "BRINGING IT ON"..........
A small slice of the 'Action and Fun' a "Tunnel Ride" can provide

Yamaha 660XT  and  "Exit Strategy"
Nice shot of a really slippery and muddy exit - the hole at the "End of The Tunnel" - and
YES,  there is always a light at the end of also................

"Out Of Town"   and this KTM does not like to be left out
Commentary and Cam Snapping hand-in-hand  
 "WE SNAPPED" our roving Photographer
Don't you love it when this happens!!!!


For more of this,  visit our website for further details and join us:

We are running a repeat of this ride to cater for our members who missed out on the Saturday's
"RiverHead Explore Adventure" ride - 

Sunday the 05th August   We Will Be Back  For ROUND TWO
 Of This NEW Adventure Season

Friday, 22 June 2012

Chris Birch New Zealand Champion Fund Raise Ride

CHRIS BIRCH fund raise ride  December 18th 2011

If you like it fast, loud and enjoy a little of TEAM ORANGE, then
this compilation is for YOU......
New Zealand champion Chris Birch returned for a very brief visit to his home country, here in New Zealand, to host a fund raiser ride in preparation for his very first attempt at DAKAR

I met Chris at the fuel stop in the morning and had a brief chat before the boys headed off again
We amassed a total of 82 riders in support of Chris's attempt,  CHRIS came and presented to us a nice little serve-it-up of  farmland along with forestry trails that led our riders out to the Muriwai Beach
The rider below on TEAM ORANGE KTM is none other than Jim Denham - my husband and supporter to     Northern Gravel Adventure Riders NZ
Jim pictured here lifting that front wheel up and enjoying the wet beach surface that Muriwai has to offer

Thursday, 21 June 2012


NGARNZ Riders Page of Fame - GSA JESSICA Adventure Girl

SPOTLIGHT on our big BMW GSA Adventure Bike
Scenes from the now MANY NGARNZ Adventure Rides that JESSICA has attended

Jessica joins us for an explore over the private lands of Poronui, this girl does indeed enjoy her stream crossings!!

Jessica the big GSA takes it - this was our entranceway to begin the start of our adventure ride at Poronui         Wow what a way to begin an adventure

NGARNZ hosted Poronui Adventure Ride on the Saturday and many wished
for that little bit more on the Sunday,   so off to explore Waitahanui
The Sunday AFTER Taupo Poronui Adventure Ride, Jessica ventures out to explore Waitahanui, and decided to take a bath in The Waitahanui Streambed,  oh dear,  her owner has his work cut out for him
Jessica making a spot of afternoon work for her owner - He tells us the KTM was In The Way!!!  Blame it on "Team Orange"

Oh well,  looking all good to go again, those panniers can now be re assembled and emptied out

Yes, we came to visit Waitahanui and we have conquered - we will be back again

After the small ENCOUTER at Waitahanui and Jessica joins the Group as they head off to explore The Poutu Canals

Jessica the Big GSA joins for a small explore amongst the sand dunes at South Head forest
And, finally, this story would not quite be complete without the OVERSEAS exploits of Jessica and Alan
YOU HAVE BEEN INDUCTED INTO THE PAGE OF.........................

Northern Gravel Adventure Riders NZ
Adventure Riding In New Zealand Is Looking Very GOOD

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

BMW1200GS Tackles Clay At RiverHead

BMW1200GS Tackles Clay Bog At RiverHead

Scenes from Northern Gravel Adventure Riders Forest Explore   16th June  2012

Never far from "ANY" action that I have ever seen - this big BMW1200ccGS seen here after a very brief encounter into a deeper mud bog.    The smile and huge big grin when I greeted our rider on his exit through one of our challege sections  PRICELESS!!!
Tackling The Bog Road

Oh yes I can feel a good clean-up job coming up

The Big Bike    just after exiting one of our challenge trails

The evidence is all here>>>>>
Exiting The Tunnel Tube - another block we encountered had an Old Tin Tube and our riders had great pleasure in lining up and taking the big bikes for a little Tunnel Time
The big 1200ccGS tackling the tree root section\

Scenes from South Head Explore Adventure Ride
The big 1200ccGS Attends a farm tour we hosted over a private maori owned land block,
this ride was made up of a myriad of gravel roads that led our riders out to South Head before
we commenced our ride

Seen here, we had reached the end of the private property block and were turning around our big bikes to prepare for the hard slog back out of the property.  We discovered after spending many hours enjoying and playing amongst a variety of Sand Traps and much more, there was ONLY ONE entrance/exit in and out of the property.   Some very exhausted and tired riders after this ride.
Stopping for a brief break to meet up with our second group of riders,  taking a much needed break from the mng's endeavours.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

"Loose Gravel" - anyone??

"Loose Gravel" -  Anyone?

After riding those easier and smoothed gravel roads we now ventured upon a 'NEW' road that forestry had added a fresh topping of new chunky gravel.   This to ease traffic leading 'DOWN' what was quite a steep roading area.   The nice smooth roads of the morning openened itself up to a new encounter.  It certainly provided a wake-up call for some of us.

Descending To Visit An Abandonned and Old Skid Site

"Thumpers Visit An Abandonned and Old Skid Site"

   Mike and the V-Strom leads the Thumpers as they descend down the forestry trail to visit an Old and abandonned Skid Site no longer in use. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Thumpers and Our Exit Strategy

Thumpers and Our Exit Strategy

Scenes from RiverHead Adventure Riding 16th June 2012
Our advanced group of riders all exit down one of our challenge sections - the gates were open and they were offff. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Thumpers enjoying RiverHead Forest Experience

Thumpers enjoying RiverHead Forestry - and Out They Came

Scenes from "Boys At Play"
Amongst the RiverHead forest we explored many old and dissused forestry roads no longer maintained and in use.  The grins of pure excitement from our riders plainly evident.  Many slept extremely well after this ride.  Our new club hosted a ride which was geared towards exploring those gravel roads inside of our local RiverHead Forest.  Many of these roads are very well maintained and used by forestry workers.  We found four old and dissused roads that offered our more experienced riders a chance to have a slight play amongst it alll.  Pure adrenalin on tap and fast flowing!!!
We will be back 05th August for those that missed our recent Saturday ride.
 A very big thanks to TEAM of Neil and Rachel for compiling this for us.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Thumpers nestled Amongst The Trees

Scenes from 'Thumpers Nestled Amongst The Trees' 
16th June 2012

The boys had just completed one of our four "Challenge Sections" which had been designed especially in mind for our advanced riders, and as they emerged, the bikes bore true testament to the arduous effort they had put in to get through and to emerge from out of this Old and Dissused Forestry Roading.  The bikes emerged caked in mud as they parked up here at the end of the road. The smiles and comical jousting from one rider to another true testament to the FUNTIMES experienced.

Not to be left out, and a special mention here of just ONE of our big 1200cc adventure bikes in attendance,  John's bike piccied here looking like an adventure and a macmassive work-out had definately been completed.  John, of course extremely pleased with his efforts.
First there were three, and then there were four,  more of our team of Thumpers, exiting from the third of our planned challenge sections.  All looking proud to be sporting that little bit of something 'dirty'
Finally, yes our photographer emerges from..................  and I recognise a BIG smile coming from under That Visor!!!!!      hmmmm 'Team Photographer does carry some merits with the job SUE!!!

RiverHead Forest Tour

RiverHead Forest Tour and Funtimes were had by allll

16th June 2012
Gorgeous weather and what an excellent selection of bikes we had today for our RiverHead forestry tour.  With over 41 bikes attending today we utilised a small forest located in the heart of Auckland.  Our route provided that something for all.  'Where gravel meets dirt' came in to play here and many that have left our ride today will indeed be sporting this slogan.  The clean-up job true testament to 'play amongst it all here today'

Thursday, 14 June 2012

RiverHead Forest - The Sertao and KTM taking time out

RiverHead Forest - The BMW Sertao and KTM690R- time out

Saturday is fast approaching so we thought we had better check on our route before we bought 40 Dual Purpose Adventure seeking riders to explore the many forestry roads tucked away inside the RiverHead Forests boundaries.

Accompanied by husband Jim the two of us explore the many roads that are RiverHead Forest.  The KTM enjoys that little bit more than I like to take my brand new bike over.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

T T T - Taranaki Tunnel Tour  DAY 1 of Our Journey Begins

Sharon looking at me, we are both grinning as we are mighty pleased with ourselves for blitzing it through that
freshly laid gravel,   "We Have Conquered It,  You Can Breathe Now SUE"!!!
Viewing the sad and dreary forecast on the mng of and expecting the worst out of the weather, this meant for me some pretty heavy packing arrangements would ultimately be the outcome of this knowledge .  Being told to take "ONLY ONE" change of clothing, a dilemma for me again.  Knowing that we had some pretty cosy accommodation organised, it seemed prudent to have "THAT ONE" decent change of clothes for the pre arranged dinners,  and the ultimate combined Orating Of Some "VERY TALL" tales that invariably are part of any adventure ride.  All packed I made ready to set off, almost 80 kms ride early mng from home to begin our journey.  Meeting up with the group at Bombay we set-off and begin our ride which was over many hundreds of kms of gravel-based roads,  that led us through the very scenic back country roads of The Famous Limestone Downs.   Very interesting first stage of our day this was indeed, having ridden over this exact same stretch of countryside the previous fortnight,  the roads were in a very sad state of total disrepair. Bare Limestone/dirt mix and with no evidence of gravel at alll.  The roading was sparsely covered and bare of the loose stuff.  Many ruts to be enountered.  A very rocky journey.  An amazing contrast awaited me for this ride, our friendly grader had been put to very good use and had sorted the first scenario right out.  This ride I was treated to quite a thriller, also riding my new bike. 

Arriving at Te Uku and we farewell a small number of our riders
Riding on two wheels around those tight twisty corners with mountains of new rock makes for quite some interesting moments!!  How to keep momentum and pace and not have the gear box drop out of the bottom of,  quite an art indeed.  Having reached the end of this delightful portion of road, time to take a brief stop and regather ones composure.  Relief to be through it.  Only just recently I have transferred from riding the small Yamaha XT250cc over to my new DAKAR SERTAO BMWG650 GS - affectionately known as "Gravel Hopper" and I adore this new bike.  She handles extremely well over the loose stuff and cuts through it.  The big 21inch front wheel almost feels like I am riding a dirt bike again. 
  Reflections over, and here we go again, The Call Is In and  "SADDLE IT UP AGAIN RIDERS" Our ride leader John G beckons for us to begin to make tracks again,   knowing we still have many more kilometres to journey before we would make it into the tiny township of Te Uku.  A small handful of our riders  had joined us to participate in the mng portion of our ride.  Here, they would leave us and depart on to Raglan - a much larger township.  Time taken for both Linda and John to discuss further details before we depart once again.
Farewell to a small group of riders at the local school at Te Uku
From Te Uku,  our ride is headed towards the fishing town of Kawhia - this thriving township having known over six generations of maori known as Tainui.  Tainui people are recognised as the largest Tangata Whenua (people of the land) of Aotearoa.  The Gravel Riders converge upon this very cultural fishing village,  here we decide to make this our allotted luncheon stop,  at one of the small streetside cafes nestled alongside The Kawhia Harbour.  Engulfing the complete roadfront,  we settle in and enjoy a much needed refreshment stop.

Converging on Kawhia for lunch
"OK" lunch is done, now "WHERE TO" from here?????
"TUNNEL FEVER" and "Boys At Play"
Gorgeous views await those who venture THROUGH The Waikowhai Tunnel and onto the beach
Waikowhai and explore the Tunnel of Course >>>  Yes, it is now Tunnel time - another little something to look forwards to, this our first glimpse of a "Tunnel" on DAY 1 of our Tour.  Nice......  A quiet stretch of unsealed road leads us out over farmlands,  and at the end we reach The Waikowhai Tunnel.  On arrival here,  our riders bursting with "Tunnel FEVER" and "Boys At Play" is quickly on display.  Riding our adventure bikes through the narrow tunnel entrance that leads out to a beautiful black sand beach and taking in the oceanside -   "Epic". 
Parked up outside The Tunnel entrance
Where to from here John???   Another brief ride and we are now headed inland to our first overnight destination - that of Awakino which is situated on the West Coast of the North Island.  The Awakino River runs alongside our Hotel and the Tasman sea is within easy walking distance. The River rises in the rugged bush country of the King Country and flows south via the settlement of Mahoenui from where it runs alongside State Highway 3 to the Tasman Sea at Awakino.  Our first nights stay is the Hotel at Awakino.  Compliments must go to the owners Craig and Margaret for hosting us not ONCE now, but TWICE.  I need to mention Margaret cooks up one really mean roast dinner for the evening meal.  Portion Control????,  not on THIS MENU planner!!!  If you are looking for a healthy and very hearty b & b - this is where it is at!!  The Gravel Riders have experienced the hospitality two-fold now, we came, we had a taste of, and yes Margaret and Craig, we will of course BE BACK for more of.....................
Settling our bikes in for the evening
Husband Jim seen here attempting to DISLODGE luggage carrier from the new SERTAO - I do give my husband some very tough jobs at times???

Preparing for the many TALL TALES to be TOLD over our dinner evening,  the BOYS do it all so very well!!!

Dinner, bed and brekkie and we are settling in for the evening,   shower, shave (for the lads??)  nice - those "SPARE CHANGES" of clothes for the evening,  and we settle in for a while before commencing DAY TWO of our TOUR