If word got out to the good people of Auckland that one hundred and seventy five bikers were about to descend on their fair city, parents would no doubt be shuffling themselves and their children to a safer place to avoid the potential ensuing mayhem. Fortunately the Sunday Best Ride held just as much spectacle but was a somewhat more demure affair.
Mustering at Auckland Museum and held as a part of the Auckland Heritage Festival, this event was to prove itself not only wonderfully organised but well attended and thoroughly enjoyable for all involved.
It was a shaky start for some, but with a few wobbles, the tinkling of many bells and the hoot of the odd horn, the bike train got rolling, and by the time we arrived at the entrance to the Domain everyone appeared relaxed and ready for a gentle amble through the city. The Mean Streets appeared reasonably welcoming, and the run across Grafton bridge started to show how special the ride was going to be, with people waving, stopping to watch and shout encouragement to the participants. The marshals held traffic for the group at red lights and for the most part it appeared that drivers were quite happy to just sit and watch this elegant parade unfold before them.
Up Karangahape Road and through Ponsonby with cheers from the cafes and more iPhone coverage than a Papal Crowning, we headed for our first rest stop.
One more stop and we were on the final run for the Parnell Rose Gardens. In this final phase a MAMIL (yes its a 'thing', Googe it!) approached passing in the opposite direction, looking not unlike a streak of lightning, bespoked, day glow, lemon sorbet, he took it upon himself to provide the group with a public service announcement regarding the flouting of helmet laws. I don't think he got it really, any form of helmet simply destroys a perfectly good hairdo. I heard someone comment that, ''if we did happen to get hit by a runaway bus, at least we'd go out looking good!''.
From there it was a final uphill slog for some great period-correct finger foods, club sandwiches and the like, topped off with a well earned Gin and Tonic to revive the flagging muscles. To top it off, the hair do's had survived!.
There was no larrikin behavior, and people were grinning from ear to ear, pretty much the whole way through. The word is that this will be an annual event and I certainly hope so. It left myself and Im sure many others with a sense that the organisers have hit on something that could well be the hottest cycling ticket in town.