Day 116, Friday 15 December 2017.
I visited Tāwharanui Regional Park at the end of August, and commented on the difficult road work on Takatu Road on the way there. After reading that the much-delayed road seal was due to be completed, I went back today on my adventure bike to see if it was suitable to take a group ride to.
Takatu Road has several areas which have just been resealed. Most of these are probably areas damaged by the heavy machinery moving to the end part being sealed, and repaired now that the seal is complete. There are also a couple of small areas where there is tar bleed. None of this should worry experienced motorcyclists.
There was a longer stretch of new seal near the end of the road, where the ugly gravel was on my earlier trip. This was under the control of a stop/go sign wielder. When I reached it there were several vehicles queued ahead of me, and after waiting for a few minutes in the hot sun, I removed my helmet to stay cool. When the sign changed to go, the other vehicles moved off before I could put my helmet back on, so I was not immediately following them. I cautiously rounded a blind corner to find a steamroller on my side of the road bearing down on me. Not a sight most motorcyclists would welcome.
Tāwharanui Regional Park was beautiful as always, and there were lots more people there than when I previously visited. I discovered a shallow cave on the beach which provided a refuge from the heat.
On the way home I found the steamroller, again on my side of the road and moving towards me. I would recommend waiting for another month before taking a group ride over this road.
Distance travelled: 176 km. Total distance so far: 16,484 km