Quite fancied myself as the roadracer back then, reinforced by the praise of a traffic cop who surmised that I’d been breaking the speed limit through a series of curves, but hadn’t been able to fulfill the legal requirement of following me at constant speed for 100 metres. (Traffic cops were honest back then…)
I used to visit friends with their 3 kids in Whangarei, about 160 km north of Auckland and tool around the back roads on the way out to the coast.
There was one road on the way out to Matapouri that was a real treat – drop down from a marginally legal speed, shifting down through the gears as the road fell away to the left and then to the right and left again – using up every inch of my lane and a bit more – and then feed in the power for the long sweeping climb with the perfect camber and radius out from the bridge and scrape the foot rests on the drawn out curve that put you back on the straight.
The first time I rode it, I stopped, turned around and went back to ride it again, such was the buzz.
I related the story in the evening and a few years later, the family was on its way out for a picnic at Matapouri when Bill said “This is the stretch of road that John rode twice on his motorbike”
Every time a picnic loomed at Matapouri (and that was often…), the whole family would hold its collective breath, waiting for Cath – probably 5 by then, 3 in the picture – to pipe up with “Is this the stretch of road that John rode twice on his motorbike…..?”
Went on for years……
Cue for a song