She was still disappointed that her sister had cancelled, it would have been the first time they all went for a decent ride together since she got her full licence. Her sister had been the one who’d taught her to ride and convinced her to get her own bike so it would have been really special to travel together on this first big ride out of town.
She checked off her list. He had the tent and sleeping bags in his panniers, all she needed was her clothing and toiletries. She admired her new leather pants and wished she’d been able to afford the new jacket at the same time. Her old leather would have to do until she could save some more money and collect the jacket too. She’d been sensible – she spent the money on a new helmet instead as her old one was a bit damaged from when she slid off her bike a few weeks ago on a patch of oil on the road. Thank God that had happened before she got her new bike – buying it had almost bankrupted her so the thought of spending money she didn’t have on paint work was not a happy thought.
She rang her sister at work and said goodbye, they were heading off shortly and were planning on being away 3 nights. As they spoke she hooked the phone under her chin so she could French braid her hair. She’d found this was the best way of keeping it out of her face while riding and stopping it from tangling in the wind. Her sister was bummed not to be coming but she just couldn’t get away from work right now.
Her boyfriend turned up while she was still on the phone so she said goodbye and blew her big sister a kiss. He checked how she’d tied on her bag to make sure it was secure and then she locked up the house and they excitedly headed to the gas station to check tyre pressure and gas up before heading south.
The plan was that they’d meet a group of friends in Cambridge which was just over an hour away, and stop there for lunch. The rally was on the Desert Road about 3 hours south of Cambridge so they planned to get there by mid afternoon and set up camp before commencing the weekend’s festivities.
The meet-up occurred as planned in Cambridge and they all munched fries and drank coffee before preparing once again to set off.
She’d enjoyed the ride that far but was worried that the speed he was setting was too fast for her. They talked about it and they agreed she should stick to a speed that was comfortable for her and he and his mates would go for a blast for the next 150 kilometres and then they’d wait for her in Taupo and they could all travel together the rest of the way.
3 hours later she still hadn’t arrived and he started to worry.
It wasn’t until hours later that they found out. Only 5 minutes out of Cambridge, on the Karapiro Road, a van driver hadn’t seen her coming around the bend by the Mobil service station and had pulled out. By the time a passerby got to her in the paddock next to the road, she was gone.
She’ll be forever 24.