Seven of us started from Mana (Stephen, Neville, Bruce, Howie, Ian, ?), picked up Mark S at Shannon. Robin & 86GSX at Ashhurst. Graham Flyger also rode up but didn't accompany us.
Looks like the Manawatu almost had a frost. It was cold. And the weather didn't cooperate & clagged in. Aslan took us for a bit of a magical mystery tour of the upper Pohangina Valley, but it was a bloody good gravel road, so who the hell cares.
Lost Robin at the bottom of Takapari Rd. He deicided not to go up with us, given he was running a road oriented front tyre.
Takapari Rd was clouded in, which meant we got wet on the way, & didn't get the views, but hey, its an excellent ride. There was snow clumps nr the summit. We all stopped at the A-Frame for a warm up & pictures. Did anyone get a pictuire of the snowman on the way back?
The group split into two, 4 going back, but Ian, Stephen, Mark & I decided to get to the end of the road. The road deteriorated markedly after the A-Frame Hut, with large erosion washouts & some sections with large rock loose. We stopped when the road did - there was tracks going into a bog. I wasn't successful in getting Mark S to 'test the water' for us.
Coming back was even more fraught than going. Is that clutch I smell?
Back down, someone needed a tow to the gas station, & then the fab four headed off to Ballance for a coffee & lunch. Attacked North Range Rd, the Lower Class Road attracted the riff raff, & we proved it isn't a dead end. Also fairly sure the 'temporary' 20km warning sign has been there a while - its growing moss. One dab in the middle of a huge mud puddle on the way thru, when the front washed out. Fortunately that was sufficient.
Home by dark, bloody cold.