Whitebait Fritter ride 20 Dec

Whitebait Fritter Ride, Sunday, 20th December, 2020. 9 riders today. 09-00 start, we headed down Highway 1, turned off at Rangiriri, and along the western side of the Waikato river to Whatawhata. We turned right and headed along the road to Karamu, on to Te Pahu then to Te Awamutu for a toilet stop. From Te Awamutu we went to Otorohanga then Piopio for a fuel stop, where we were met by Paul Cosbrook, a past Auckland member, who came up from Stratford where he now lives to join the ride. Nice to see you mate. From there we had a wee squirt through the Awakino Gorge, dodging multiple patches of roadworks including 2 Stop N Go locations. One of our riders recomended the Awakino Pub for Whitebait Fritters which we opted for, the general consensus was that we were not sure if they were any better than the one's at Mokau, plus I love that stretch of road which we missed going along.

After our feed, we left Awakino, minus Paul Cosbrook who went home and Brian Hewitt and Ross Corlett who didn't want to their bikes dirty. No excuses guys, we can use hose pipes for bike washing in Auckland now you know!! We headed back towards the gorge before we turned off onto the coastal road heading to Waikawau. This took us along a 6km stretch of gravel to the tunnel which takes us onto the beach. We all got off our bikes and after the obilgatory photostop at the entrance, we walked through the tunnel to be greeted by the spectacular water views.

From there we encountered 10km's more gravel before we ended up at Marokopa. As usual we stopped at the top of the hill overlooking the settlement for yet another photostop. We bypassed the falls at Marokopa as the carpark was full to bursting, so instead we headed to the natural bridge a few km futher down the road.

After that, we were homeward bound through Waitomo, Otorohanga then on to Te Awamutu for fuel stop and a leg stretch. From here, our group was further depleted by another 3 riders who headed home, Hilton Toung to Matamata and Chris Di Allatt and Dave Papesch to Waihi. I am pleased to say, everyone made it home with smiles on their faces after yet another awesome days riding with our clubmates. Albeit with a sore ass after 580kms door to door for me. Thanks Guys for coming along.

Writeup and photos by Chris Moller.