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Assignment: Stuffed Animal

This was originally written for the ADV forum with some of the images embedded in the story, but the flickr way here allows for a lot more pics.

There is a section of the Adventure Rider’s forum called ‘Jo Momma’.

It’s not a place for the feint hearted, but that’s hardly surprising, considering it is inhabited by men and women who often spurn things like roads and paved byways in favour of riding through rivers up the sides of mountains or across vast, scorching deserts – for recreation.

If you crave political correctness, polite discourse and a balanced view, don’t go there.

But like most things there is a Yin to this gruff, anti PC, Yang. Part of that is the funds raised for charity by their efforts with projects like ‘Pooey’s World Tour’.

The Publisher told me that the KR Stalwart ‘Oscar’ had ‘The Bird’ that is making its way around the world and since I was in possession of the Kiwi Rider Rocket III test bike it was down to me to provide conveyance for the esteemed traveler.

Lunchtime Thursday I saddled the behemoth and forged South to the Waikato and Oscar’s rural Grouch pit, via New Zealand State Highway 1.

I was pit-side and introduced to the esteemed bird by the middle of the afternoon.

A remarkably interesting chap he proved to be too, with very interesting accouterments. The case he travels with has a rich journal and lots of nick-nacks he’s collected in his previous motorcycle travels through every US, Canadian and Australian State and Territory.

So after pleasantries and a photo opportunity, we got ready to do some serious torque-ing.

I had seen altogether enough of the Waikato Freeway on the way down so I headed further West from Oscar’s.

After hitting it off so well with the Duck it seemed only fair to show ‘him’ some sights on the long way home. (The ride is well worth it and I love this bike).

The western Waikato has some of the twistiest roads in NZ.

It doesn’t have the towering peaks or epic landscape of the Mainland, or the snow clad escarpments of the North Island’s Central Plateau, but in parts the Volcanic landscape undulates like a choppy sea on a mountainous scale.

The angular hills and dales run along the coast to Mt Taranaki a few hundred miles to the South and they become more ‘settled’ and less steep the further North and closer to Auckland we traveled, but the region provides an huge array of simply superb motorcycling roads as they follow the natural contours of the land.
First we had a look at Bridal Veil Falls and a visit to Raglan on the West Coast. It was a great 30km detour and 10 minute walk to the falls

We stopped to drink in some of the serenity and take a snap or two, when all of a sudden…..HOBBITS!

Along came a couple of Mums waking the kids and they loved the Bird and its story.

Back on the bike we headed for the coast and a Coke at Raglan.

We stopped and watched the surfers and the Coast for a while. Very pleasant place to spend 30mins.

From there we made our way back towards State Hwy 22 and North.

Pooey was rather digging the roads and the ride up SH22

By this time the shadows were pretty long and we still hadn’t seen any dirt. Where’s the ADV content I could hear being demanded!

So we headed East onto Toko Oko Road and did a few miles of easy dirt in failing light.

From there the light was gone so we headed back home along the freeway and home.

From there he hung out in my studio, rode Harleys and hung out in Auckland till we handed him over to Mr Kokopelli and his turn to transport the Bird.

In his further exploits Pooey rased over $1000 for the St John’s Ambulance at the Brass Monkey Rally and had plenty of other great rides around NZ.

Check out the thread and unfolding story here

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341891