Northern Odyssey 2016 – Part 1
The Northern Odyssey is an easy ride that entrants will be given a route of approximately 1000 km of North island roads selected for good riding, great scenery and points of interest along the way. Every hour so you will need to stop and find the answer to a question. Questions can be completed anytime between 26 December 2015 and 25 April 2016 the route can be completed as one continuous Ride or several short rides.
I finally decided to do this ride after finishing the NI1600, the 1KC (Hamilton start), and the TT2000 and wanted something a little different so in went my entry fee and the same night I got the route, the questions, and an answer sheet to fill out.
I simply hate reading routes while riding and like the GPS to do all the work so one night at work when I had some free time I went through the written route and the questions and worked out all the GPS locations via google maps. I also got some answers straight away but the fun is in riding the route and seeing the country not in just answering the questions.
There was 35 questions to be answered and the route started in Taupo, went down through Napier/Hastings, before heading up around SH35 around the bays and finally ending back up in Taupo. I decided to do the trip in two parts with the Taupo/Napier/Hastings part in the first hit and the rest later on.
I left the Naki on Wednesday 2nd March and headed for Wanganui. A quick top off and then a leisurely cruise through the Parapara highway (GoPro video here) soon had me at National Park and then onto Taupo. Refuelled and had to get the first answer here in the middle of town and it took a little bit of searching to find. Next onto one that was to find the River Lodge on Vaile road and grab the next answer. From there it was to the Aratiatia Rapids and a further answer. Huka Falls was the location of the last answer around the Taupo area and I was soon heading for Napier.
Along SH5 was a couple more questions to be answered and easily found with the GPS guiding me well. Starting to run a little behind my schedule due to looking for answers though. Along the way it started to rain and in the end I had to put the rain suit on. The roads were quite slippery as well so slowed my pace accordingly.
It fined up before I hit Napier and my first stop was to be Havelock North at a war memorial. I found the memorial but not the answer I was looking for so ended up at the local constabulary and explain what I was looking for. They pointed out I was in Hastings and the one I was looking for was up the road a way. Close but no cigar as they say and I got that waypoint wrong in the GPS. I will blame google for that one. Soon had the correct one and next stop was Te Mata Peak which is always nice. The views on a clear day are awesome. Took some shots from the camera as well.
Cape Kidnappers was the next stop looking for the tractor tours office. I only had an approximate location for this but once there a sign pointed me to a further 1.6kms up the road and the answer was obvious.
Final question to be answered for this trip was to be at the lookout in Napier above the port. Was soon there and found the answer but by now was 90 minutes behind what my original schedule said I would be.
With 10 of the 35 questions answered it was time to head back to the Naki and home. Refuelled in Napier before leaving and headed back through the Manawatu and arriving home having left at 6am and returning at 9pm for a total of 15 hours.
Some pictures of the trip below. You may see some answers if you are going to do this trip but as I said it is the trip not the answers that is what it is all about. The final part will be done a little later after the bikes 40,000km service and maybe a new set of tires.