The soul of riding

Before I hit the flat lands properly I had some fun riding through recreated historical towns…

More impressionist masterpieces…

And more scenes from LOTR, this one being close to where they filmed the chase scenes through Rohan to Fangorn forest.

I also met up with another rider, though he spent far too much time just staring at the views, so we parted ways fairly quickly.

It was during this blissful riding that I hit the perfect place and day to experience the soul of riding.  Not adventure riding, not sport riding, no- just riding.

The dramatic scenery had been replaced by pleasant country roads winding around the rolling farmland, with the weather having been made for riding.  The little towns usually only had a shop or two, one being the general store/gas station/coffee shop/post office.  These little places invariably, like all of New Zealand, had fantastic coffee and great pies.  And after every break and fill up, there was always more wonderful road left to ride.

This is the place that wakes you up early on a Sunday morning.  A splash of coffee and slice of toast are enough while you put on your jacket and helmet to head out.  Jumping on your old Triumph Bonneville, hoping that that impossible to reach middle spark plug that you keep promising to look at will be okay.  Riding down the country roads consumes you, so while stopping at a little gas station to fill up and grab another coffee, you call some friends a ways down the road to meet up later for a beer.  Back on the bike the rhythm of the road and beat of your engine become one and time becomes elastic, stretching and shrinking with the straightaways and curves.  As the sun begins it’s descent, you stop at a country pub, your friends bikes already lined up outside with their owners sitting on the patio, cold beers glistening in the golden light.  The day finishes with your head on a friends couch- you’ll be later for work tomorrow, but the thought is fuzzy with distance because tomorrow the road will be ready for you and the ride could just continue on forever…

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