The last time I went to Muriwai was for an enduro event. That did not end well and pretty much finished my wife’s tolerance for motorcycles in our family for 20 years. But I ended up there again today. It’s been 20 years. The day dawned clear and fiendishly hot, there was most of a tank of dead Dinosaurs in the Yello Peril. I could not think of any work that needed doing nor other excuses for not jumping aboard and heading off into the morning sun. In fact, I could easily remember several jobs that were hanging over me but luckily they were just as easily forgotten as The Peril lit up. Fate chose the first part of the route because the straight ahead lights were green and the right turn lights were red. Immediate change of plan because it was too hot to sit in traffic in the sun. I headed out through Coatesville, a nice winding road through the country dotted with stud farms, stalls selling fruit and vegetables and some of the most impressive mansions you could imagine. Maybe a bit further. I’m getting in the groove. The road to Riverhead has always been a favourite on a bike. It winds with fast corners and changes elevation nicely. It has beautiful scenery and a decent surface. OK, I’m at Kumeu. Lovely little town, used to be a favourite to stop for a pie and ice cream. I eyed the café made out of old railway carriages. Not today. Maybe a bit further. To Muriwai. Another primo road and quite challenging in places with hairpins where you don’t expect them. I remember hitting the last hairpin way too fast on knobby tyres during the enduro. I wasn’t the only one caught out. The road winds down to the coast, ending in several kilometers – or miles as you Yanks like to call them – of ferns and cool, towering trees that shaded the harsh sun. Then there is Muriwai Beach, about 20 miles of black sand, surf and west coast magic that is a designated public road. But not today for The Peril. I didn’t mean to come this far and it’s time to head home for some lunch. The day just gets hotter and by the time I get to the Albany Heights road, overlooking my home territory, my hands are cooking inside my gloves. The bike goes onto reserve – it’s come a long way on not much gas. I pull in and punch the garage door opener in my pocket. The near-perfect ride is at an end. (OK I could have used more than 12 horsepower but at least it didn’t break down). The door opener doesn’t work so I faff about in the scorching sunshine. In a few minutes I’m cooking but as a sting in the tail of a great ride, it’s not too tough.