Napier is about 5 hours southeast of Auckland on the east coast in Hawkes Bay. I attended a conference on push biking in New Zealand. Luckily I had a free ride via my employer, though now I'm going to have to produce some work out if it... blah blah work blah.
I can split the ride into two parts, there and back. Easy enough.
Getting there entailed packing up and getting the appropriate gear together:
I'm riding on a Suzuki SV650, 2005, with soft side packs, and a waterproof german push bike carrier strapped to the top in green.
Getting there was an easy five hour trip with a halfway point in Taupo where I took a nap beside the Taupo River after eating a risotto stuffed potato at a yummy cafe hmm:
NOTE TO TRAVELERS: between Taupo and Napier on the second half of the journey through an isolated Eastern Oregonish stretch of terrain there is a stretch of road with nary a gas station to be had. I'll leave the untold fun to your imagination but needless to say, I made it...
The ending point was a top floor room overlooking a beautiful NZ coastline, totally worth it. I was exhausted, promptly fell asleep and awoke the next morning to this beautiful sunrise.
The next three days were spent listening to very active bicycle advocates orating freely. Luckily the wine of the region flowed generously to dull my senses. During the day I 'went on site visits' to check out the local bicycle infrastructure on free bikes. There should be more free bikes.
OK now the journey back was definitely the highlight of the trip. It was a physically demanding ride from Napier to Gisborne to Tauranga to Auckland. It took me a week to get the feeling back in my ass. Ok, here's the route on Google Maps:
All in all the return trip was over 700k on very windy roads, through some of the best road conditions for motorcycling. My favorite stretch was between Napier and Whakatane, it was incredible for the scenery and complete lack of traffic. It smelled like fragapinis the whole way, which is a lot better than somebody else's exhaust.
Enough typing, here's some more photos: