An experienced Hawke's Bay motorcyclist says it "beggars belief" that two motorcyclists chose to speed at more than 170km/h on a stretch of road where he was almost unseated by a gang of turkeys the day before.
The motorcyclists were clocked by police speeding down Middle Rd on Sunday afternoon - one at 220km/h in Central Hawke's Bay, the other at 170km/h in the Hastings District - within about an hour of each other.
Central Hawke's Bay District Council says it doesn't have the authority to put in a speed camera on Middle Rd but says the notorious road's speed limit could be up for debate as part of a wider review later this year.
In the past five years, there have been 13 reported crashes across Central Hawke's Bay district involving motorcyclists.
Two of these occurred on a stretch of Middle Rd from Te Aute Trust Rd to the Patangata Tavern known colloquially as the "mad mile" - a fatal crash in February 2018 and a serious crash in March 2018 with speed as a contributing factor.
Waipawa motorcyclist Steve Beale said the two spotted speeding were "lucky to be alive".
"It's a scenic road, but it's not without its hazards."
On Saturday, the day before the speeding incident, Beale came across a gang of turkeys and a farmer moving a mob of sheep as he rounded a corner.
There was little warning.
Beale said such unexpected encounters were common on rural roads, and Middle Rd wasn't "great" to start with.
"You've got to be careful riding a bike," he said.
"If you hit something in a car, generally you are fine.
"On a bike it's a completely different story. Even a turkey will do bad damage."
He said he just shook his head upon hearing about the speeds the motorcyclists were travelling.
"What those guys were doing beggars belief. They ride they like they have nine lives."
Seeing two fatal motorcycle accidents unfold in front of him in more than 20 years of riding had changed his attitude, he said.
Asked what he'd say to those riders, Beale said it doesn't matter how experienced you are.
"Don't think it won't happen to you. It very well could happen to you riding at those sorts of speeds.
"Think about those who have to pick up the pieces left behind."
Central Hawke's Bay District Council land transport manager Shawn McKinley said it was "disappointing" to learn the stretch of road was referred to as the "mad mile" as it had not been brought to council's attention in the past.
"Most motorcyclists drive according to the road conditions and existing speed limits, however, there are always a few exceptions to the rule.
"The duo clocked by police at the weekend certainly fall into this category."
He said council had the authority to set speed limits on local controlled roads.
The current speed limit of 100km/h, which was set in 2005, will come up as part of a wider speed limit review later this year in November, he said.
The council did not currently have a bylaw that would allow it to erect a speed camera in the area, McKinley said.
Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Alex Walker said a "small few" pushing the limits were creating a bad name for the majority who stuck to the rules.
The district is popular with motorcyclists for its many scenic roads and beautiful landscapes, but Middle Rd was also considered a thoroughfare for freight and logging trucks as well as milk tankers, which travel at slower speeds, she said.
"Motorists travelling at high speeds not only put their own lives at risk but also the lives of others."
It's a message shared by Hawke's Bay-based police Eastern District road policing manager Matt Broderick who said the riders were "selfish".
"It shows an absolute disregard for anyone else.
"There's a whole lot of people that get affected by the trauma."
He said police wouldn't chase people caught going those speeds.
At such speeds, if anything goes wrong, "you're dead".
"They are challenging roads without excessive speeds."
While he understands there is a need for "excitement and gratification" from driving at high speeds, he said it was more appropriately achieved on a race track.
Broderick said those caught driving at such speeds risk losing their licence, vehicle, and even their job, in addition to the risk of injury or death.
Dr Urie Bezuidenhout, of Da Vinci Transport Planning Ltd, calculated that an average motorcyclist riding in average conditions would need 473 metres of clear road to come to a total stop at 220km/h and 298 metres if travelling at speeds of 170km/h.