For the last few years I've been organising the annual Round Ruahine Range Ride. The Ruahine's are a mountain range making up part of the back bone of the North Island in New Zealand. The 2013 installment was held last weekend. The route is fairly loose and changes every year, but the ultimate goal is to complete a lap of the mountain range over 2 days, using the worst possible roads. We started in my home town of Dannevirke. The first mishap happened within 30 seconds, when 2 bikes took the wrong turn (within sight of the start point). While I was chasing them down, the others continued past the second turn just out of town. Herding cats springs to mind. After a few minutes, we got everyone back on track, and hit a few gravel roads towards the coast. We rode a long section of beach and everyone let off a little steam. Gav practicing donuts on his DR Wheelys Spills As you can see we had some amazing weather We reached the end of the beach and found a bunch of kids blasting around on little puddle jumpers. The temptation... Wade on the 530 trying to out drag a girl on a....ummm....is that an 80? The competition was fierce. The little fellas weren't giving up without a fight. Number 7 was a particularly tough caracter. The jacket says it all... After a few laps, we had to give in to the young ones. They were just too quick for us old guys. With that, we left the beach and headed inland (before their parents got pissed off and chased us out of town). We gassed up and had lunch in Waipawa. Wade then took us around a few farms in the local area. The view was stunning. Early autumn here and it's been a very dry summer. Yes, that looks a bit like a motorcross track down there I'm pretty sure Gav has done this sort of thing before. He was getting progressively faster and faster, to the stage I thought the old DR would shit itself. Those DR's must be tough Bags, fuel can...the works Marty wasn't far behind on the 690 Suspension...who needs it From there, we continued on to a large feild where for some reason they'd been stripping off the topsoil and mounding it up. Wade having a play around Gav practising his berms Some of the crew went home, only doing the one dayer. The rest of us headed back to civilization for gas and beer. Once sorted, off into the hills again. Deep in the Kaweka ranges. It was getting late by now so we headed for the campsite at some hot springs. This is a free 'department of conservation' campsite. Gav with a home made cooker made out of beer cans and some meths. Quite effective once it got hot enough There's a bit of thermal activity in the area and hot water runs down a small stream out of the hillside. This hot water is channeled though a couple of fibreglass tubs. It was too freaking hot for me. These guys lasted about 5 minutes before they looked like cooked lobsters. A tin of beans, a few beers, talked some bullshit to some other bikers that happened to be there, then it was off to bed. It's been a while since I've slept on the ground, so it wasn't my best nights sleep. More to come.