Monday, December 14, 2009

Bert Munro Rally 2009
This ride report is for my American friends who have showed such interest in the Bert Munro 'thing'. Bert lived in Invercargill, New Zealand's most southern city, and the event is in its fourth year. It's not really a rally but more of an event spectacular over four days. There is a hill climb on Thursday, beach races Friday evening, circuit racing at Teretonga Park Saturday, Speedway Saturday evening and on Sunday there are street races in a small village north of Invercargill.

Wed 25 Nov. Waiting to load at Wellington for the 10.30 sailing to Picton in the South Island. The sailing time is approx 3 hours.

This is one for the truckers. The curtain side B-Train, New Zealand’s answer to the 18-wheeler. Standard US 18-wheelers are too long to negotiate our tight roads. Single trailer units in NZ are shorter than US 18-wheelers and have 22 wheels.

Today’s sailing is on smooth seas so riders tie their bikes down more out of habit than necessity. When the sea is rough, as it often is, tying your bike to the deck is necessary. There are as many ideas on how best to do this as there are bikes and riders.

Looking over the stern at the gap in the rocks that the ship needed to negotiate in order to enter the Marlborough Sounds. When the sea is rough it is a great relief to arrive at these calmer waters. We have an hour steaming through the sounds before docking at Picton. As for scenery; think of British Colombia’s inside passage.

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