Backroads to Woodville - 31st Mar 19: There was a choice of 3 rides this weekend. But only one that really suited inviting Mrs Box’a’bits to. That was Rowan’s (Motomart linked) ride to Woodville. That ticked a lot of boxes. Good chance of a mix of other female riders & pillions, social - good people, & a high chance of gravel. The ride started from Motomart at 9.00am, & we only just pulled in as they were about to leave. I'd nearly made a blunder, thinking this weekend was the end of daylight savings, but the real delay was getting Mrs Box’a’bits out of bed and up & running. We had a fairly sketchy ride over the Remutakas – not really feeling the rhythym, & even as late as Carterton there were potential distractions (ohh, look, lets go grab some mushrooms...). The first regroup was at Mobil at Chapel St / Te Ore Ore Rd. Topped off the tank there (& the spare 5 litre jerrycan I have been instructed to carry for reasons I don’t really wish to get into). 15 other bikes, some two up. Initially rode Te Ore Ore–Biddiford Rd (promising...), but then turned into Whangaehu Valley Rd (which was disappointing). That meant lots of tight-ish seal – which is way harder work for me. Perhaps it was the group size. Part way thru there Mrs Box’a’bits instructions were fairly firm & to the point. ‘I don’t feel too comfortable with the speed you are going, slow down.’ ‘Just trying to stay with the group, dear’. Regroup at Bartons Line. Rowan didn’t even need to finish instructions regarding riding at your own pace, before I shot off, keen to stay out of the dust, & not be held up by other riders. We got just a wee bit of sliding action going on, which Mrs Box’a’bits completely got into. Okay...The bike seems to be handling much better now... Mrs Box'a'bits playing at being 'Wilson'. We stopped just before Alfredton Rd to warn an unsuspecting lady in a ute that there might be a bunch of barely in control bikes heading her way. Interestingly the first bike to arrive at the regroup intersection was a Ducati Scrambler. That slightly reordered my estimation of that bike’s capabilities. Nice. Left, then right into Tawaitaia Rd, right onto Mangaone Valley Rd , link across to Pahiatua Pongora Rd, followed by Millers Rd/Waituna Rd/Hopeland Rd yadda yadda yadda. Google Maps didn't quite get it right, but close enough Lunch at Woodville, at the Black Cafe. I had a latte (weak, & not great coffee) & the big breakfast (disappointing), Mrs Box’a’bits a Hot Chocolate (sweet) & the Eggs Benedict with salmon (salmon was a bit salty). If we have to go back, we will just try cabinet food. The pies looked okay. From there, everyone went their own ways. We headed back down SH2, gassed at Eketahuna, then Mangone Rd, Bowen Rd (a favourite), Opaki – Kaiparoro Rd, & then back out to SH2. Stopped at Queen Elizabeth Park for a leg stretch. Then droned back on SH2. A bit more restrained over the Remutakas, in part enforced by the 2 stock trucks which caused huge tail backs on the Upper Hutt side. 27-28 degrees in Masterton, all the way back to Upper Hutt, so we were a little over it... Mrs Box’a’bits enjoyed the day, especially the gravel. Success!