Day 1 – New Zealand Motorcycle Tour

by The Crew on March 10, 2010

Ok, let the fun begin.

We collected the bikes close to the airport in Nelson and simply headed out of town towards Picton.

In an embarrassing moment, Birdman mistakes his helmet for the toilet

In another embarrassing moment, Birdman takes a leak in his helmet. Flyboy pretends not to notice.

  • Riley was riding a KTM 990 Adventure.
  • Flyboy had, like in Tasmania, a BMW R1200 GS.
  • Birdman was on a BMW F650 GS.
  • Drop Top Doc was driving a groovy MX-5.
  • I (Captain GK) rode a 650 Suzuki V Strom.

It’s always great at the start of a ride because you’re finally underway and can relax.

Riding along the foreshore of Nelson, with the water on our left, was nice as we headed for Picton.

Through a couple of quaint towns including Wakapuaka and Hira before we came to the great bends of the first mountain and then into the Rai Valley.

After working the rust off, we headed to Havelock and took a left onto Queen Charlotte Drive.

Birdman and Flyboy head out of Picton

Birdman and Flyboy head out of Picton

The views along part of this are as good as anything you’ll see in the world, with the small descent into the picturesque town of Picton a welcome place for lunch.

Lunch was had at the cafe on the corner across from the park on the main road – great value lunch with big, big sandwiches.  The park across the road, with the lovely War Memorial, is a nice place to kick back and relax.

GK & Birdman relax at Picton

GK & Birdman relax at Picton

We were heading for Kaikoura, so we jumped back on the bikes and headed for nearby Blenheim.  This was great riding, with beautiful countryside, winding roads and wineries galore.

I’ve always loved Montana Sauvigoun Blanc and the winery is situated just outside Blenheim and well worth a visit.

Riley fuels up - expect to pay $1.92 per litre on average in NZ

Riley fuels up - expect to pay $1.92 per litre on average in NZ

From Blenheim it was an easy ride to hit the coast, then a joy as we rode the fairly straight roads down to Kaikoura.

Riley In Charge – Let’s Race Past That Copper at 140!

We let Riley have a stint up front to test him out as 2nd In Charge.

This proved to be not such a smart move as he had us doing 140 km/hr down the highway right in front of the police car.

Luckily, Riley offered to pay all speeding fines because, as in the words of Drop Top Doc, “He’s the dickhead who had us roaring down the highway at 400 km/hr.  Anyway, he has more money than a horse has hair, so he should pay.  Did I mention he’s a dickhead?”

Riley soon learned his lesson and had us crawling at about 60 km/hr along the highway – he went from being in “Gone In 60 Seconds” to “Driving Miss Daisy” in about 5 minutes!

Flyboy sets up for a corner

Flyboy sets up for a corner

The ride into Kaikoura, with the ocean on1 side and the hills on the other, was a joy with seals spotted sunning themselves on the rocks.

After checking into the Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge we headed into town for a few beers at the pub and then a lovely Thai meal (we had a selection of delicious curries) across the road.

The meal was lovely, but the Captain’s tasted even better when he out-smarted everyone to guess closest to the bill amount and get a free meal.

Sure, it’s not hard to outsmart 4 blokes whose IQ wouldn’t add up to more than 80, but every now and then 1 of them flukes a good guess so the Captain was thankful for the win.

Let The Liver Damage Begin

In a surprise to no-one, Captain Golden Knob started off the New Zealand motorcycle trip the same way he finished the Tasmanian one – with a belly full of food and booze.

He does not snore and if any turncoat bastards (i.e. Flyboy and Drop Top Doc) say he did, then that’s just filthy lies.

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