The Manawatu Classic Motorcycle Club decided on having their monthly meeting at the Apiti Tavern last weekend. The day dawned fine with a warm autumnal temperature setting the scene for a very pleasant ride alongside the Ruahine Ranges. After meeting at Memorial Park the usual route to Apiti was followed up Pohangina Valley with a quick stop at the Totara Reserve turnoff. Sir Al and the mighty Bighorn led the way onto the Apiti Tavern. It was quite a mixture of modern and classic bikes following in his path as we wound our way towards the tavern with a quick stop at the Makoura turnoff to rebunch the lengthening line of bikes. The arrival of this number of bikes into the sleepy settlement of Apiti must have looked like a scene from the The Wild One. With Sir Al as Johnny Strabler (Marlon Brando) on his Kawasaki Bighorn and the rest of us his 'gang'. Although this number of bikes arriving enmasse, the noise and look of us was probably not convincing enough for the locals to call in the community constable from Feilding. (Especially after we took our helmets off!) As for those of us who were 'patched' in our Manawatu Classic Motor Cycle tee shirts we obviously didn't present ourselves in ominous manner either as the local custodian welcomed us into his tavern! A lack of 'ominosity' was further reinforced when the local tavern rat showed no fear of us and wandered past us on its way for lunch in the kitchen. (After seeing this many of us were hesitant about ordering chicken for lunch!)
With the arrival of the overnighters who stayed at Phils farm house up the Kawhatau Valley it filled up both sides of 'main street' Apiti certainly and looked impressive. However, this still failed to rouse the locals fear factor. In fact the locals were so 'terrified' of us one of them invited us into his shed to have a look at his wonderful collection of heritage vehicles! After enjoying the hospitality of the Apiti Tavern we wandered through town to Georges wonderful shed and enjoyed him sharing his collection of vehicles. On the motorcycle front he had what looked like a Kawasaki VN750 and next to it an unmistakable Honda GL1200. Many of the lads were taken with his racing Anglia and MG that was next to an interesting Rover V8 powered sports car. Apparently a racing Hillman Imp was also spotted on a trailer in the shed.
At the conclusion of our time we wandered back to our bikes in dribs and drabs. Our departure certainly didn't attract the same attention as our arrival and we left well watered, fed and happy with having had a great time sharing our interest and passion for heritage vehicles. The ride down to Kimbolton had us enjoying a few more twisty sections of road and then onto more open roads taking us back to town. It was a great day out and always a little more special when larger numbers are involved. It certainly bodes well for the continued success of the club.