Saturday, May 03, 2008

Advanced Rider Training at Puekohe

Two weekends ago I went to the Pukekohe racetrack for the Advanced Rider Training. I've been meaning to get to the race track. I've always figured that it would be good to test my bike in a safe(r) environment. What I didn't think/realize was that I would have a farkin blast! It was so fun. And so dangerous at the same time.

Here's a video of me passing on the inside, bout three people. Though I was in the novice slow group, I was passing a lot. Though, I probably could have ridden in the next group up, I opted not to as I didn't need to push it. It was a learning, not racing day.

I don't think I'm going to go to the race track again for a while. It's dangerous and I should probably stick to hobbies that don't burn a bunch of fossil fuels or can get me killed instantly.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

ANZAC Trip around the East Cape

Adam had a couple of gigs in his band so I took off for a motorcycle ride around the East Cape of New Zealand. I didn't know anybody who was into distance riding.

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ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps, and ANZAC day is a public holiday (yay!). It's the last three day weekend at the end of summer. Adam and I were going to go to the Great Barrier Island but the music thing was something Adam is really into at the moment (somebody ask him to post his song, it's very 'poppy polynesian').

So, about the East Cape, very very similar to the Oregon Coast except they have some bad ass natives (as compared to oregon coastal crusties).

From the New Zealand website encyclopedia, the area is pre-eminently a farming district, with very little industry and few alternative avenues of economic development. It has, however, a large and rapidly growing Maori population requiring in the immediate future increased opportunities for employment. The East Cape offers the social scientist a remarkable field of research; for its Maori community, having experienced the shock of a new culture, is in the process of adjusting itself to modern civilisation in a largely agricultural economy where population growth is rapid.

However what they don't tell you is sometimes the Maoris shut down the roads in protest. Anyhoo, I pulled into a gas station that was hidden behind a dairy (gas pumps are few and far between). I was hopping on my bike and turned and saw this heavily face tattood Maori guy pull in and it totally scared the crap out of me, as its intended. I was told that face tattoos are supposed to scare you, but this article gives the history of the Maori face tattoo, basically it's the person's life history on their face.

Photo from eyeteeth on flicker Read more about this Maori activist Tame Iti