September 5, 2016 at 5:44 pm #13713Box.a.BitsParticipant
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
Given that this wasn’t an anniversary year, & last years event was a mudfest, I thought numbers might be down. Work overlooks the Bluebridge Ferry terminal, & the lack of (the usual flood of) bikes coming up from the South was disappointing.
It looked like I was going to be Johnny-no-mates going up this year. In some ways that suited. It meant I could move to my own schedule. But then Mrs Box.a.bits decided she’d hitch a ride to her mums place at PNth. That meant a slight reorganisation in packing – she took a pannier & boot space. And led to a lively discussion about leaving times. I was keen on 8.30am, given the ride I had planned. In the end it was closer to 9.30am.
The forecast was for rain, & so it proved, to Shannon at least, albeit that mostly it was just on & off light misty rain.
We stopped for coffee at the Horseman. Has that changed hands? Service & food didn’t seem as good.
From PNth the weather improved. Out thru Cheltenham, onto Beaconfield Valley Rd (Gravel!), Waituna Tapuae Rd (getting hot now), Upper Pakihikura Rd, Mangapapa Rd, Mangamako Rd, & Otara Rd To SH1. Lunch at Flat Hills.
Unfortunately NZOpenGPS has incorrect info about Weston Rd connecting to Zoh Rd, so the next mapped portion of the ride was a wash. My little eTrex 30 isn’t much good at allowing the plotting of new routes on the run. So instead I backtracked & did Watershed Rd to Koeke Rd & connected across to Turakina Valley Rd.
Rain at Ohakune again, thru to the Horopito Site. I had about enough of riding by then.
I agreed to meet Chris at the top of the hill at the site. Unfortunately the site has been developed a little (new cowshed at the ridge line I camped on over the past 2 Kiwis), but Chris managed to find me, & direct me to the remaining high point on the camp. I needed a little help to get up one of the climbs – this portion of the track turned into a quagmire as the event unfolded, so I decided not to ride on the Saturday – I had no confidence I would be able to get back up.
Numbers were well down this year – at 550 bikes. That compares badly with the heyday or near 5000. Most arrived Friday – the normal runs of bikes on Saturday morning didn’t really happen.
Saw a few people I knew up there – some of the Wgtn crew camped just down from us. I saw one CDMTCI member, a couple of others, & that was it. Burger for dinner – I wasn’t prepared to break out the stove & cook in the rain. I sat at the coffee tent Friday night (there were a few camp chairs left there – my back won’t tolerant long periods of standing) & had some interesting discussions with a no of people, on a wide range of topics including about registration of ‘exempt’ bikes, & Chinese ownership of shares in a Hamilton aircraft manufacturer.
The band had a penchant for Floyd, so I was rocked off to sleep with that. Comparatively mild night. The lower nos meant that the idiots with the 2.00am burnout fetish weren’t apparent – or maybe I just slept too deeply. Apparently it tipped down over night.
Saturday morning was cloudy, but gradually improved into a nice day. Bacon, egg, & breakfast sausage sandwich for breakfast.
Wandered the site, talked to a few BMW owners, & photographed a few bikes that interested me. Proper permanent clean flushing toilets!
CX powered lawn tractor
Interestingly, the beer was much cheaper than any drinks sold from the catering carts. But rum & coke after lunch seemed more the order of the day, to wash down the Uncle Bens Rice & Kaweka ‘Beef & Red Wine Casserole’.
The normal events occurred. I watched the hillclimb (jumping the XJ900 was impressive, the guy with the Vstrom with panniers could certainly handle things, but just seemed too ‘try hard’ & narcisistic without the mufflers), but had a nanna nap during the wiener snatch. Wandered the site again during the burnout comp – which was on a different site as the older site flooded out.
Uncle Bens Rice & Kaweka Lamb Casserole for dinner (spotting a theme here?).
The band sounded good from the top of the hill. The guy could sing. The girl – not so much.
You could see the lights from Turoa from the tent.
Woke just as the light drizzle was coming back in, in patches. Managed to cook breakfast, but packing up was in consistent misty drizzle. Slithered my way down the hill, through the worst of the quagmire. There was an alternative – but that involved a small uphill portion that some of the bikes were really struggling with.
Surfed the gravel home via Turakina Valley Rd, lunch at Relish the Moment Cafe at Hunterville. Then back up Vinegar Hill Rd, Pakihikura Rd, & the reverse of the trip up.
Mrs Box.a.bits wasn’t ready in PNth, which allowed the weather front to catch up, and we had a 2 & a half hr trip home in the pouring rain, battling traffic that didn’t seem to be able to cope with it. Mrs Box.a.bits only seemed to get wet when we were stopped or crawling – and we did that a lot. The downside of sidecars. My wet weather gear leaked & I got soaked.September 6, 2016 at 11:33 am #13714Jake MaryniakParticipantRank: 400cc Rider
Pretty good write up there :). Pretty much summed up why I am reluctant to go the the Cold Kiwi these days. Talking with Eddie and few others, the new site has lots to do with why lots of people stopped going to the Cold Kiwi. The mud, lack of shelter and hilly terrain is the main reason. Pitty considering that CK was one rally that I always enjoyed attending. Especially at the old site. Interesting point is that on one hand the organisers complained that they always ran at loss or close to break even, then they said that the new site will wean out all the unwanted element and that only true Cold Kiwiers will want to attend. Now with the numbers speaking for them selves with only 500 bikes in attendance, they might have to rethink their strategy. I think if they could manage to find better site the numbers would definitely come back to the old levels. This plus the ever changing winter / alpine weather will surely keep people away. Just my 2 cents on the matterSeptember 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm #13908Box.a.BitsParticipant
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
Jake, I agree that the new site is not as good as what the club previously enjoyed, but make the following points:
1. Given the size of the entry pool, & the financial commitment they have made to improvements to the site, they are unlikely to change;
2. The 40th Anniversary CK suffered because the farmer had re grassed the site earlier in the year. Unfortunately wet weather, combined with this, resulted in a mud fest.
Fortunately the turf was more developed this year so it wasn’t as bad. The fact that nos were down ironically also helped, balanced by the fact that there was less overall space for the rally goers.
3. I remember the old six cross site, especially when it flooded out. That probably also generated grumbles, & certainly reduced dos for the following years.
People have other options & are looking for other experiences. It’s interesting that the Brass Monkey, which hasn’t changed sites, is also suffering from reduced numbers, & is considering it’s ongoing viability.
I note that the flow of the rally has changed. People arrive Friday – Friday night is party night. Saturday is more subdued, with an awareness that people will need to ride home Sunday. There were bugger all people arriving at the site Saturday.
I’ll probably go again. Every year (at about 8.30pm) I wonder why the hell I’m there. A few rums fixes that. I’ve done more than 26 of them since 1981, so…September 12, 2016 at 9:44 am #13913Jake MaryniakParticipantRank: 400cc Rider
I was happy when CH changed from 6 crosses to the one before this. I think that was the best site they had. I understand why they had to move out as it was well publicised, but I still think they could have chosen a better site. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t exactly have a an array of sites to choose from. If it was a summer rally, I don’t think anyone would have cared, but for a winter rally, in an alpine environment with ever changing weather a lot of people will take that into consideration before deciding to go to CK. I have done 16 Cold Kiwi rallies and they were at both 6 Crosses and the previous sites, but after talking to few people who attended the 40th I got put off with the new site and how it was set up. As for how the rally dynamics have changed, that is bit weird as I know allot of people would turn up on Saturday. I for one was considering going this year on Saturday, as I couldn’t get Friday off, so would have missed out on the evening party entertainment.
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