NZ Mail Run
29th Mail Run
17-18 March, 2018 – Napier, New Zealand.
This year’s Mail Run Rally nearly didn’t happen! Heavy rain, slips and flooding closed SH5 between Taupo and Napier on the Thursday leading up to the weekend event. Fortunately for us, the road reopened and cleared, enabling myself and other participants to get to Taupo on Friday for the start of the rally on Saturday morning. Saturday dawned fresh and clear with a good gathering of bikes and riders soon had a jovial atmosphere going anticipating the start. Riders’ briefing assured everyone that the road to Napier was safe and clear, with the oldest bikes, which included three Indian Scouts and an AJS K8 all pre 1930 leading off at 10am. A strong head wind and a substantial climb out of Taupo, ensured no speed records were broken on the first leg! The regroup at the Rangitikei Tearooms enabled the usual tinkering then away to the Tarawera Cafe lunch stop. The bikes, once again, assembled in ‘decade’ groups for voting by riders and Hawkes Bay Motorcycle Club members who joined us for lunch.
With the conditions near perfect, everyone set off for Napier. Once over the ranges, the ride down the Esk Valley was picturesque and enjoyable. Everyone regrouped outside of the airport before travelling into Napier for a public display outside the Masonic Hotel; this allowed a well earned drink for the riders! The evening meal and prize giving went well with first-time entrant, Dennis Palmer from Lower Hutt taking out the “Tin Man Trophy” – the riders’ choice – on his stunning WL Harley. Next year will be the 30th running of this event with hopes of a bigger turnout of bikes and riders.
Rally bikes soak up the breeze in Napier. ABOVE Gary Alve on his 1936 ES2 Norton. ABOVE RIGHT Mike Harris and his 1928 AJS K8. RIGHT Dennis Palmer won Best 1930s for his WLA Harley. Trevor Alve with his 1937 Norton ES2.