We had two rides this weekend. The Wellington Free Ambulance Charity Ride on Saturday and social ride to Foxton Beach on Sunday.
Saturday dawned a pleasant enough day, although a little chilly so I put my liners in and went down to top-up the air in the tyres, filled-up then returned home to pick-up Ann, departing for Maidstone at 0945.
We chatted and took a few photos to kill the time and before we knew it, it was time for the briefing, so I counted the bikes and noted a few extras arriving so by the time we were ready to leave we had 100 bikes, many with pillions. It was now 1110 and the temp was up to 18°, so I had to whip the liner back out of my jacket, gave the camera to Ann and we were amoung the last to leave. We took a few photos of riders and when we got to Haywards, continued straight to Thorndon via the motorway to get there early.
Once everyone had arrived and all the sausages had been sold, a cheque for $1000 was presented then a few of us popped down to the Back Bencher for a drink. Ann and I finally got home had a spa and settled in for a night in front of the telly.
Sunday’s weather forecast was very inconsistent and I wasn’t expecting too many to turn up for the ride and the day dawned with rain in Ngaio. I got up and checked the tyres before having a cuppa and leaving home about 0915. It was drizzling so I put my pvc pants on and only got a couple of Kms down the road before having to stop to put the top on as well, but as soon as I got to Porirua, it cleared so on arrival at the weigh station I took my top back off and waited to see who would turn up.
By 1000, there was 10 of us there (only 2 were dirt trackers bound for Otaki Forks) so we had a quick briefing and hit the road. The idea on todays ride was to avoid SH1 as much as possible, so I led out up to Whenua Tapu, then cut back to Plimmerton via Airley Rd, crossed to Greys Rd and headed for the Paekak’ Hill Rd. We were just getting into a rhythm as we approached the 70kph section when we were stopped by a group of police and had to park-up off the road. It turned out, they were doing another checkpoint in conjunction with ACC, giving out packs with DVDs, a magazine etc and a survey, so we chatted for a bit before continuing on and were soon regrouping in Paekak’.
From there it was up to Poplar Ave and around Raumati and Paraparaumu to Southwards, then back on SH1 to Waikanae, where we took Te Moana Rd out to the beach and carried on across to Peka Peka, back to SH1. A couple of Kms further and we were off again at Te Hapua Rd, back to SH1 on Te Horo Rd before doing our last wee left hand loop on te Waka Rd and Addington Rd.
Once we got to the round-a-bout in Otaki, we found we were short our TEC, so Mike went back to check on him and would meet us in Foxton while the rest of us carried on via Rahui Rd, Ringawhati Rd, Waitohu Valley Rd and re-emerged on SH1 at South Manakau Rd. This was quite good because we were now able to go at 100kph.
After crossing SH1, I kept it down to 90kph as we went through Kuku, to allow Neil to catch-up because he missed getting across in front of some traffic, then we paused at Ohau to wait for him, but he missed the turn, followed closely by Steve, so we continued along Muhunoa East and Arapaepae Roads to SH57, where they both rejoined us. We then finished the ride, nipping through to Shannon, then across to Foxton and out to Simply Balmy at the beach, where Mike was waiting. By this time the temp was up to 24°, so it was most pleasant….but it did take 2½ hours to only go 150Kms…..lucky there wasn’t 20-30 riders!
After a great feed of Lambs Fry & Bacon, a coffee, a ginger beer and much discussion, we went our own ways to return. Most went over the Track to head back via the Wairarapa but I just wanted to get home so came straight back on SH1 getting home at 1530. 289Kms for the day at 19k/Ltr and the bike now has 69158Kms on it.
I thought it was time to introduce my great-nephew Jake to the Easter Mouse! You know, …….the one that follows the Easter Bunny everywhere and if you don’t woof your Easter Egg down quickly, the Easter Mouse will get at it.
In this instance a Triple egg was obtained for Eleni and an egg filled with pineapple lumps for Jake. A message was sent to their mum to ensure my efforts would not be in vain and collection was due this morning………UNFORTUNATELY…………I believe the Easter Mouse knew about ‘the drawer’ and without a mark on the seal, nibbled a window in the side of Jakes egg, removing all of the pineapple lumps except for one half of one lump….!!!.....shock horror!!!!
I eagerly awaited to see the reaction another ‘Great Easter Egg Robbery’ would bring to a new generation!! Mwuahhh ha haha! (Please let there be tears!!.....that would be sooo cool and I would know I haven’t lost my touch) (I might note here that a spare complete egg was close at hand)
I thought I should attempt to have the camera at the ready, but I expected to be too busy….rolling on the floor!
(PS. I know better than to try this on the ‘other one’ or ‘screaming meemee’)
The moment finally arrived, Caroline arrived with ‘the Musc’ and ‘the screamer’ (ooops, make that two screamers) complete with ear-to-ear grins because lollipops are always in the drawer. The drawer was slid open to reveal not only lollipops but two boxes containing Easter Eggs……….but who cares, Jake was twirling on my chair and Eleni-MeeMee was diving into the bag. She knew what she wanted and it wasn’t in a box and even when the box was explained and offered……she just wanted a lollipop!! (Damn….this wasn’t going well)!!
By this time, my real target, Jake was rousing off the chair as his ears had pricked-up to the mention of Easter Eggs (Nyah ha ha!! I thought, and I would have twiddled my moustache – if I still had one), and I thrust the Pineapple Lump supposed-to-be filled egg out to him. His eyes lit up, “Wow” he exclaimed and started to wander off to give it mum to take home I suspect. “Drat and Double-Drat” I thought as I saw the moment slipping away. Quick thinking and action was required! “You better have some now, Jake” I remarked, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears and his mum commented, “Do you know how to crack an egg?” A glimmer of hope returned as I indicated how to extract the egg from the box.
Next thing, Jake had the egg from the box, complete in its shiny red foil, he waved it about, wide-eyed and drooling, (his thumb nearly punching though the foil where there was no egg to support it. He ripped it open and was happy as a sandboy to see a window in the side of the egg revealing a bag within and pulled that out, pouncing on the half pineapple lump as it fell from the bag to the floor. (Obviously he was worried that the screamer, who was closer to the floor than himself, would beat him to it). He didn’t give a thought, or care a toss, that anything would be awry. His Uncle John would never nibble at his egg….and that half lump was beaut!! It never even occurred to him that the carefully cut diamond shape that had then had nibble marks carefully chiselled around it with a finely honed craft knife, was anything but normal.
I was shattered and nearly in tears. (It nearly worked, there were nearly tears…but they weren’t supposed to be mine!) I’d just been done and dusted by a 5 year old (OK, 4 ….but nearly 5)! Damn, the joke was on me and I enjoyed a good laugh as I reflected on how it turned out and reached for the rest of the pineapple lumps in the drawer. “Oh well”, I thought, “That’s OK, it’ll work next time I try, when he’s old enough to have expectations of his Easter Eggs”!
Meanwhile, Eleni-MeeMee had decided that these Easter Egg things looked OK, so she grabbed hers, ripped it from the box and started to shatter it, letting it crumble to the floor….only to find another brown one was inside the white one, so she shattered that too, to find a marshmallow one inside that. She had a nibble and left it to mum and I to clean-up.
They then departed thanking Uncle John for the Eggs and good time. My reputation still intact….(just not the right reputation I was hoping for. Damn)!!
……And for those of you who are not familiar with “The Great East Egg Robbery” ….and/or just to set the record straight on the whole affair, here is the real juice on the sordid 60’s affair.
The Great Easter Egg Robbery
A family favourite story was 'the great Easter Egg saga'. On this particular year, the Easter Bunny passed through leaving each of us a marshmallow egg in a fancy egg-cup. I don't recall why, maybe I went earlier, but on this occasion, while mum and all the other kids went to church, I was left home with dad, but he was safely wrapped-up in bed. Marshmallow eggs are really quite small and having a very sweet tooth and having consumed my own egg, there were four other eggs begging for my attention. Fortunately for my siblings I was endowed with loads of willpower and self control, so I was able to limit myself to picking the minutest of samples from each egg with thumb and forefinger....they'd never even notice. The trouble was, mass took an eternity and by the time they got home, there had been so many small nibblings that it looked like a small bite had been taken from each egg. What a bunch of sooks I grew up with, you'd have thought the sky had fallen or I was the Parnell Panther. This crime was so great that 40+ years later, I believe I am yet to be forgiven.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.