Shiny Side Up started as a relaxed, free and family-friendly event that would help Ride Forever engage with a wide range of motorcyclists. The aim was to increase awareness and spread the word about the coaching programme while people got to meet the people behind it all.
Find out about the Ride Forever coaching programme
That first event on the Kapiti Coast was a bit nerve-wracking. Would anyone turn up? What would they think if they did? As it turned out, loads of people attended, had a great time and gave us excellent feedback. So an Auckland event was added, then this year, Nelson and Hamilton.
Weather, of course, plays a big part when hosting anything outdoors. And this February has been a little unpredictable. So when the forecast was mostly fair, with just the chance of an isolated shower, it was about as good as could be hoped for. In fact, following the usual pattern, the forecast was more than a little off and there was plenty of rain to the northwest of Hamilton, which made its presence felt in the afternoon.
Turnout was good, with a steady flow of people throughout the day, and they were treated to some amazing stunt riding by KW Stunts and Jake Whitaker, a gymkhana display by James Riley and great talks by Brittany Morrow and Kevin Wilson. This is Kevins first trip to New Zealand, and his presentation on the science and psychology of riding is riveting stuff. Brittany, of course, is now a regular visitor to these shores and a passionate advocate for wearing All The Gear, All The Time.
Also present, and eternally busy, was suspension wizard Dave Moss. At times it seemed that half the 'bikes on site were queuing for Daves workshop area to have their suspension set-up and ergonomics diagnosed and adjusted.
Another feature of the day was the Show n Shine competition, which featured everything from custom Harleys to a Laverda Jota. The winner was a radical Louis Vuitton tribute bike created by Waikato Customs.
The laid-back atmosphere of the show was complemented by some great food choices on site. Brittany spoke highly of the Cheesy Wieners, and the steak sammies from the food truck next door were pretty good too!
It'll be interesting to see how Hamilton goes in future. It's of course an easy ride from Auckland and even enjoyable if you take the snaking State Highway 22 (SH22) route. But be warned: in places, SH22 has suffered terrible subsidence and not all the slumps have warning signs. There are still plenty of good stretches left though. If you missed out on the Hamilton event, the reverse is also true and the final Shiny Side Up of the year is coming up on 4 March at Alexandra Park, Greenlane, Auckland. See you there!