I went to Auckland on Monday morning hoping to be able to go to Tappers Transport and pick her up out of the Customs bond. The plan was to get her out of her crate, refit the windscreen and mirrors, reconnect the battery and ride south. The best laid plans.....
Everything went well on the flight up and the taxi ride over to Tappers which is in Onehunga, getting there at about 10.30. Then the major snag. I cleared Helga, got all the forms and then was asked: "Where have you parked your vehicle?" I explained that I had come over by taxi and all their alarm bells went off. As I discovered, Tappers can only release the bikes onto the back of a truck, crate and all to be taken somewhere else. For them it was an issue of heath and safety plus the fact that they didn't want to get left with all the timber from the crates! I could see their point of view but I did wish someone at the carrier had explained this to us.
The guy at Tappers was fantastic. He is a biker (so I guess it goes without saying!) and did everything he could to organise a truck. He even took me into the bond area so I could have a look at Helga and say hello. The biggest problems were that Dick was stuck in a Hubbards Board meeting and couldn't get out. And I couldn't get his bike released because I didn't have his paperwork. Finally I managed to get Dick out of his meeting (briefly) and he kicked Hubbard's logistics into action. At the same time I persuaded the carrier company to email his paperwork to the nice man at Tappers so I could sign it out. (Apparently I could be trusted because I am a biker! :-) What goes round....)
Hubbards sent over a truck at around 1.30pm and we got the bikes loaded.
The driver was another great guy and we took the bikes over to the Hubbards factory and got them unloaded.
It took a while to get Helga out of her crate and all connected up again but by 3.30pm I was raring to go. My motorbike clothing was absolutely disgusting! You might remember it was raining in Sydney and I loaded wet gear into the panniers. Well they were pretty bad - covered with mildew and smelly smelly smelly! But never mind, on they went and so did I. Quick refueling stop in Onehunga and then onto the motorway and heading south.
What a blast! I took the bypass route down from Ngaruawahia to Otorohanga. We loved those corners. I think we'd missed them!! Found a motel in Otorohanga and a meal and had an uneventful, though rather damp, ride back to Welly in the Tuesday. I parked Helga in the same spot as the cover photo so we could do a before and after:
Then a celebratory Cascade Premium Light (our favourite Oz beer) and that my friends, is that!
Thanks for all the support and encouragement. And thanks too to my family for putting up with all of this! On to the next one!