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Nice one Stuff, I’m already using the Stuff iPhone App!


25th Rusty Nuts Grand Challenge

I’m sitting in my motel unit watching Graham Norton try to suck hair off the heads of audience members.

This has no relevance to anything. I’m in Turangi for the annual Rusty Nuts Grand Challenge – riding a motorcycle 1600km in less that 24 hours.

There are 70 contestants this year, down on previous years – apparently due to the failing economy.

When I arrived at 4pm the route was already up on the board. Usually it’s only revealed at 7pm the night before. The start time had been brought forward to 1pm on Saturday (normally 3pm), due to the unavailability of petrol on the route that we were to be taking. So I had been surmising that we would be going up around the East Cape. I was not wrong.

Here’s how the route pans out:

Leg 1:
Depart from Turangi. Head north and go over the Napier/Taupo road, Take SH2 to Wairoa, on past Gisborne to the first check point at Tokomaru Bay.
Distance 463 km

Leg 2:
From Tolomaru Bay head around the East Cape via Hicks Bay, Waihau Bay and on to Opotiki.
Distance 236 km

Leg 3:
Head out of Opotiki and take the gorge back to Gisborne, from there retracing our previous route back through Wairoa . Our third leg ends in Havelock North.
Distance 367 km

Leg 4:
Leave Havelock North and take Middle Road, which bypasses SH2 through the back roads of Central Hawkes Bay. I have never done this road which is a bit odd given that I consider Central Hawkes Bay to be my turangawaewae. From Middle Road this leads us to Waipawa, and then back onto SH2 through my hometown Waipukurau (won’t be calling in to see Mum this time as it’s likely to be 2 in the morning). On to Takapau where we leave SH2 again and head inland to Ormondville and then on to Norsewood. This leg ends in the Wairarapa at Eketehuna.
Distance 186 km

Leg 5:
From Eketehuna we take the Pahiatua Track over the hills to Aokautere, then head north to Ashhurst. Eventually after some meandering around the Rangaetiki we emerge onto SH1 heading through Taihape and on up to Waiouru. Turn off towards Ohakune and then do a road called Fields Track which takes us to a small town called Kakatahi.
Distance 235 km

Leg 6:
From Kakatahi head north to Raetihi, then National Park, then SH46 through to Rangipo and back to Turangi for the finish.
Distance 124 km

Total distance travelled is 1611 km.

Here’s a bad pic of the map I took this afternoon – you get the idea.

I’ll be auto-tweeting updates on my location throughout the night – just go to and follow @borderdogstan.

Wish me luck!!!


John Key goes to the rugby while oil pollutes the Bay of Plenty

YouTube video: The last thing I need is a ship on a reef


Betty Turpin dies along with her hotspot recipe

Betty Turpin, of Coronation Street and The Rovers Return, died four days ago aged 91.

Her real name was Betty Driver and she had been on ‘the street’ since 1969. She unsuccessfully auditioned in 1964 for the role of Hilda Ogden.

Betty served behind the bar at The Rovers, but was probably more famous for her Lancashire hotpot that she served the pub patrons – a funny thing given that she was a self-confessed lousy cook and a vegetarian!

Check out the Meateaters website for a Lancashire hotpot recipe.

RIP Betty Driver.

Bad arithmetic

Spotted this beautifully hand-painted sign down Courtenay Place last night – something is wrong with the calculation…

Sign in Penny Farthings

Update to pre-cursor to the Rusty Nuts

Received a speed camera fine last week – caught doing 63 km in a 50 kph area in Patea at 8.01am in the morning. From what I can remember I was the only person on the road at that time -not that that’s a valid excuse.

I have graciously accepted responsibility and paid up.

Turned out to be an expensive one-day-jaunt!

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