This year's C1KC (or Capital 1000Km Cruise) actually started for me about 2 to 3 years ago when playing with Google Maps &/or MapSource to come up with some options for a nice wee pootle. With the Awakino Gorge probably rating in my top 5 rides in the country, I thought, “that would be nice!” and set about seeing how it could be done within the prescribed Km's …without being predominantly a horrid boring grind up and back on SH1 & SH3. Well that can't be avoided really, but we did OK. Anyway, the route was all set, but those plans had to be shelved when the Gentle Annie got sealed last year.
This year was the 6th C1KC, an event that came about one night at a Ulysses Meeting when I was talking to Steve about the possibility of heading south to sample a 'Longest Day' 1000Km ride. Times must have been hard and money scarce as we decided we could save the price of a ferry ticket by planning our own 1,000Km, ride...and that year 18 riders completed a route that included Route 52, Western Arm of Taupo, the Para's and Fordell-Hunterville Rd (after Steve (DNS) offed on a conditioning ride prior, Big Al (DNS) pulled the pin and didn't start and Grub (DNF) blew a tyre and Nasty had to fetch his sorry arse from Raetihi or wherever). The highlight of that ride for myself and Steve was to see Sweetpea (6 months experience on a restricted) arrive back on her FXR150 with the hugest grin. (The aftermatch was a dismal failure where we planned to have a few drinks and feed at the Rimutaka Tavern....but our lack of planning and their lack of anything resulted in a few laughs in the carpark).
The following year was a big lesson for us! I set a route for me! ...which had all my other local favourite bits of road linked up (Mariceville Diversion, Saddle, Pohangina Valley, Rangiwahia Rd, Fields Track & Top of Para's, Ponanga Saddle, SH41...and the Forgotten Highway) Well! Dare I say that the route I was so proud to have produced turned out to be so gnarly that we had 9 DNS, 13 DNF and 37 finishers, although many of them were post midnight from a 0700 start!! (and of course, most tragically, Grubb offed and died on the Forgotten Highway when riding with Steve and myself) This brought to us the realisation that we weren't catering for a bunch of hard-arsed (literally), nutty, died-in-the-wool endurance riders, but our event was an intro jobby for riders that wanted to have-a-go, and therefore the route needed to be an open, free-flowing ride, although we did still try to stick to the criteria that wherever possible, the route should include a road, or roads that many of the participants would never have sampled. (That year we moved the return to the Petone Workingmens Club....but the lack and lateness of finishers led to another non-event and I note that after they shut, Ron waited for some time in his car in case any more came in.)
That led to 2009 when the route took us over the Track, across to the Para's via Halcombe, up SH4 & SH3 to Te Kawa, then back via Waipapa Rd, The Western Lake Rd & SH1 (where Waipapa Rd was the rarely sampled section). Nasty participated in that one, carrying Grubs ashes so he finally got to complete a C1KC. This was our biggest field ever with 56 completing after 9 DNS'd and 2 DNF'd.
The ride has always been a very informal, low key event with minimal planning, organisation and people (helpers) required. We have always had the badges and the small profit from selling them goes to supporting the Wellington Ulysses Muscular Dystrophy Ride, whereby children from the Central & Lower North Island (excluding Wellington) are delivered a Christmas present from Father Christmas (up until his death in Jan 2012, aka Red Fred) and of course a motley and unruley collection of altidudinous, attitudinous, elves, all riding motorcyles...with myself as Pix-E to record the events for posteriors sake! 2010 failed dismally as a fundraiser.
The 2010 ride took us once again up Route 52 to Waipawa, then we sampled the delights of Middle Rd before scooting up to Wairoa and back, finishing with a squirt across from Pemberton to Ohingaiti before returning to the Parrot 'n Jigger. It was to be a boomer with over 60 registered for the event, but the dismal weather forecasts days out from the event caused 28 to DNS!! That was a shame because apart from a little drizzle, we were stripping wets by Pongaroa had enjoyed a brilliant day on great roads...but not so for the MDA as I had already bought the year bars....and still have them. Consequently we had 34 complete with 38 DNS & 3 DNF.
In 2011 we had to change the system to a pay-to-register format and as mentioned in the 1st paragraph, the Gentle Annie had been sealed earlier in the year, resulting in a late change to the route. This ended up being a pootle straight up SH2 with the option to bypass Woodville via Bluff Rd, Middle Rd had proved so popular the year before we had to throw that in again, before enjoying a scoot over the Gentle Annie, then continuing on to Taumaranui and the Forgotten Highway to effectively make the ride a Coast to Coast affair, once again finishing at the Parrot 'n Jigger where we were made most welcome. This was the first year all the starters mnanaged to complete so we had 36 completions with 2 DNS.
This event has arisen out of nothing, on a shoestring budget, by a couple of guys who like nothing more than to stay in saddle and do a few more Km's, rather than sit around and talk about it. My business, Affiliated Insurance Brokers has provided the badges, certificates, pens and a few bits and pieces (as well as a fair bit of my time), NAC have sponsored spot prizes over the years, the P'nJ has proved to be a good finishing point and it has been a pleasure to introduce more riders to the longer form of our passion, as well as improve the quality of gifts to the poor unfortunate kiddies afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy.
We continue to get a smattering of new riders each year as well as providing another opportunity for some of the long-ride-veterans to collect a badge, grow another callous on their butts...and spend heaps in the process. Right from the first ride, we have had a group from Palmy, leave early in the morning to join the start from Caltex Rimutaka. From year 2 we have had a start from Masterton, year 4 onwards has seen a start from Napier and this year a group started from Turangi to travel in the reverse direction. Long may it continue...but we are running short on ideas for route options.....particularly since I'm not allowed to use my most excellent adventure that doesn't leave the boundaries of Wellington and the Wairarapa!!
At the end of the day.....the picture says what it's all about!
At another time one dear we girl was once asked by Santa, "And what would you like?" she replied in barely more than a whisper, "A hug from Santa." which she duly recieved....She died before we visited again the following year.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.