Battle of the Streets, Feb 2008 & 09

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One of my favourite drinks comes from New Zealand, and - to quote its slogan - it's 'World Famous in New Zealand'. I'm of course talking of Lemon and Paeroa - or L&P for short.

Paeroa Battle of the Streets Images

So what is Paeroa?

Is it a fruit? Or a flavouring of some kind? And what has it to do with motorbikes?? Well, Paeroa is actually a small town on the edge of the Hauraki Plains and the Coromandel Forest. For 363 days of the year its a sleepy little place - a typical New Zealand town with shops with a boardwalk, an RSA (Retired Servicemens Association) club and a bowling club.

But for one weekend a year Paeroa is 'World Famous in New Zealand' for something else - the Paeroa 'Battle of the Streets'.

The centre of town is closed off with wire fences, hay bales and barriers. Motorbikes of all ages, shapes and sizes come from all over New Zealand (and sometimes further afield) to race on Paeroas roads. Bikes roar past the RSA on the High Street at up to 300 km per hour - and there's not a speed cop in sight!

There are classic bikes, post-classics (not old enough for Classics, but not the newest), British, European, American Racing Series (BEARS), formulas 1, 2 & 3, and Juniors. And all this raises funds that goes straight back into the community through clubs, groups and local organizations. [racing ]

The Bikers splinter group of Botany Bottom Scratchers

(Scuba Diving Club) decided to take a day trip over there for the 2008 races. Steve, with son Alex and mate Rod met up with us at 10:30, and off we went on our five bikes.

The whole day was exhilarating - and totally different to the few days that I've spent at motorcycle events in the UK. For a start, you could actually stand right next to the track and see the races!! It was $20 to get in - that's about £8. Well worth it, and certainly better value than the $25 that we paid for a couple of hours at a classic motorcycle rally the previous weekend.

Although busy for Paeroa, it was a real pleasure to be able to stroll around the track, usually no more than 10 meters from the road (and quite often much closer). There was nothing to stop spectators from wandering around the various 'pits' where the competitors were getting ready, and you definitely had to watch your backs on the places where the pits and the race track met. All the local cafes, restaurants and organizations were serving up food at very reasonable prices. In fact, the whole day was very laid back.

There were NINETEEN different races

The main race was 'King of the Streets', where the fastest racers of the morning battle it out for a trophy (oh - and a bit of prize money too). There was a mix of bikes from formula 1, 2, 3 and a couple of the classics - very unusual to see them racing together. [sidecars ] But my favourite race was the sidecars. Those guys are mental!! There's one guy on the bike, and another one throwing himself around a metal platform on the side. What amazed me was no-one came off!

After a few hours of adrenaline rush (and a T-shirt to show we'd been there) we took a slow ride home, back along the Hauraki Gulf coast. The weather was superb - warm enough that we didn't need a fleece, but cool enough to be comfortable. A cup of tea at Kaiaua (we really MUST try their fish and chips sometime, which are supposed to be the best in NZ), then back through Clevedon and home to a dip in the spa. My idea of a good day out!

Revisted in 2009

Not much to add really, another scalding hot day, event went off smoothly and took different routes there and home. 2010 we were in South Island. Five week trip to South Island (Feb/March 2010) and 2011 we had visitors and in Kawhia Kawhia – A step back in time

Battle of the Streets Website

motorcycle_trips/battle_of_the_streets.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/13 17:13 by art
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