From Brightside Media, via YouTube
After coffee at Winchelsea with a group of 11 riders, 5 opted to follow Geoff to a little cafe at Lake Purrumbete, at an out of the way spot near Camperdown (Vic). Geoff led us on a scenic route around the lakes out of Colac and then it was a short run up the highway to Lake Purrumbete. We came home via Cressy, Shelford and Inverleigh. A great run of around 300kms in sunny conditions with temps between 9C and 12C.
Geoff’s new T120 (1200) Bonneville
Halls Gap was the destination for the Geelong Ulysses Club branch Sunday long ride. A couple of days prior the weather forecast looked pretty bad with showers and cold winds forecast. However, after showers on Saturday it appeared that it wouldn’t rain again until Sunday night, although it would be quite a cold day. Eight of us gathered at Waurn Ponds Maccas for the ride led by Rob V and we then met up with another three at Bannockburn. The temp was hovering around 7-8C, until we hit some fog which made things difficult for quite a few kilometres, and the temp halved to around 4C in the fog. I cranked up my heated grips to keep my hands nice and toasty. The plan was for morning tea at Skipton, where we would be joined by the Ballarat Branch and the Grampians Branch – having ridden down (from Stawell) to meet us. Phil and Tanya met us at Skipton, boosting the Geelong Branch representation to 13, pretty good for a long ride (500kms) just a few days before the winter solstice.
It was a lovely day in Halls Gap and we all headed off to various eating spots, although the bakery proved to be the firm favourite – so good were the pasties that some went back for seconds! We socialised a bit and then said our farewells to the Ballarat and Stawell folk and saddled up for the ride home.
By this time the temp was around 13C and we rode quite a scenic route out. I noticed a mob of ‘roos and some emus in a paddock just as we left town and fortunately they were the only ones I spotted. Rob led us down the Yarram Gap Rd to Derrinallum via Vite Vite. At Derrinallum Foles was waiting for us, having ridden down from Wannon on his new BMW F800GS.
From here we made a good pace down the Hamilton Hwy to Inverleigh, where the ride finished. I had a really enjoyable day of riding. It was 515 kms all up which is a long day in low temperatures, made a little more challenging in the morning by icy fog. However, everyone had suitable gear for the conditions and we had an enjoyable, incident free ride with great comraderie within our groups and with the two other branches who joined us for some of the ride. Again, well done to Rob for planning and leading the ride and to Phil as TEC.
We were invited to a four day ride, staying in Mirboo North for three nights. The weather forecast was for excellent riding conditions for Friday and Saturday, a wet change with significant rain for Sunday and possible showers on Monday.
Well we made the best of the first two days completing 385kms (from our home) on Friday and about 370 kms on Saturday. Mrs T did really well riding pillion over these distances on a bike that is not very well suited for a pillion. Sunday dawned with drizzle that turned to showers and set in for the day. So Sunday was spent with some walking in the morning, including a visit to the famous ‘Inline-Four Café’, and an afternoon and evening by the open fire at the Mirboo North Golf Club – which they kindly opened for our use. Monday we headed for home on greasy roads and the threat of rain. When we pulled up for morning tea and consulted the rain radar the decision was made to cancel the ride home via the hills and take the highway home. As we hit the Monash it started to rain a little and just prior to the tunnel we were pummelled by a cold change, with pelting rain, gusty winds and generally treacherous conditions out over the Westgate Bridge and on the freeway back to Geelong.
All up it was a brilliant long weekend of just on 1000 kms door to door for us. Thanks to Ron (AKA Gentle) for all his work in planning the ride routes, organising the accommodation and generally ‘herding cats’ with good humor.
A diverse range of motorcycles
A great bunch of people – pictured here at Port Albert
Attack of the seagulls – aided by a handful of chips lofted into the air!
Coal Creek at Korumburra http://www.coalcreekvillage.com.au/
Mural at Mirboo North servo
Dodging the rain on Sunday at the Golf Club, which was kindly opened for our exclusive use
For quite a few years now we’ve headed to the Bike Bonanza at Broadford, and this year was going to be ‘make or break’ having left a bit disappointed last year. It was actually an excellent event which we thoroughly enjoyed, so I dare say that we will be back again next Easter. The road bike themes for this year were Moto Guzzi and Aussie Superbikes. Dorothy just loves 1970’s Le Mans Guzzi’s and has always lusted after one. The feature Guzzi was the 500CC V8 racer, which proved pretty temperamental to get running and we didn’t see it on the track at all. There were, however, two other V8 motorcycles present, the Drysdale 750 (see video at the end) and a PGM 2 litre. John Kaiser who has been the mechanic I go to for many years was there with his Kawasaki Z900 and friend Tim Kingston brought his T500 Suzuki along for a run. There were lots of old Pommie bikes in addition to the Guzzi’s, however, I most relate to 1970’s Japanese superbikes. A selection of pics below, but hundreds at this link BBB
JK getting a knee down
Highly desirable Norton 650 SS
The V8 Moto Guzzi being difficult
Quite by chance I was invited to the opening of the Torquay shopfront for Nevermind Adventure. They specialise in guided motorcycle tours of Rajasthan, the Himalayas and Nepal. The business is run by Matt Natonewski, formerly operating out of Perth WA. You can check out their website HERE
Matt – proprietor of Nevermind Adventure
Some of the guests at the opening of the Pearl St store, Torquay
Below is a picture of Hamish, who was the lucky winner of a trip for two, valued at $10,000
I was quite surprised at how much the Royal Enfields have progressed since I last looked at one. The bike pictured had Brembo brakes, good suspension and left side gear change.
It was a really interesting evening hearing about their tours, meeting the owners of some other motorcycle businesses based in Torquay and just meeting other local motorcycle travel enthusiasts – and the free beers were great as well. Thanks Matt!
Lots of pics from my recent trip to the Ikara Flinders Ranges HERE
Some text to follow when the spirit moves me. In the meantime, below are some sample pics.
….and can’t wait to see what riding 2016 has to offer.
Two up to Timboon ….. and home via the 12 Apostles
Mrs T and I were greeted with a beautiful sunny morning and a forecast of a pleasant 24C for our last ride for 2015. Our destination was the Timboon distillery for lunch via backroads and then home along a short section of the Great Ocean Road. Mrs T actually cheated and drove her car to friends’ place 70 kms away and then rode pillion for the ride loop. We wanted to keep away from the main parts of the GOR due to the recent and ongoing bushfires there.
I made a decision to travel to Timboon along the Carlisle River road which weaves through heavy bush that grows virtually up to the roadside, with just a very small margin of green grass on the road verge. Taking that route in the morning was a bit of a mistake as there were a number of small black wallabies on the road verge who were very difficult to see in in shadows. I didn’t spot the first two which Mrs T spotted and alerted me to. I then slowed down, kept my eyes peeled and subsequently spotted another four. Fortunately none hopped out in front of us!
We pulled up at a nice little spot in Simpson for morning coffee. In what is an otherwise unremarkable little township, there is a lovely little picnic area complete with a small man-made lake.
After a drink and reading some of the info about how the bush was cleared in the 1950’s it was only a short on some quiet back roads to the Timboon Distillery for lunch.
We enjoyed a tasty lunch and were offered a free whisky tasting, which alas we declined prior to riding. As we were leaving we met and had a chat with a great couple from Tasmania who have been touring Victoria for the last week or so. They were aboard a Triumph triple Explorer and were really satisfied with it as a two-up touring machine. Ride safe guys and smooth sailing back to Tassie on New Years Day.
We fuelled up in Timboon to avoid the mayhem of tourist season in Port Campbell and headed for the 12 Apostles in gorgeous riding conditions. The sky was blue, the sun was getting hot but there was a lovely sea breeze coming off the ocean. Tourists were all over the Apostles area, from a distance it looked like a swarm of ants crawling all over the place, so we kept going, hence no pics of the Apostles.
The last time I rode the twisty section of the GOR from Gellibrand Lower to Yuulong I had a brilliant run and didn’t encounter a single car going my way. Today was the exact opposite, and we saw two cars whose drivers exhibited some of the most dangerous and discourteous driving I’ve ever seen. One little Toyota virtually stopped on every curve and failed to pull into the overtaking lanes despite a line of cars following (and the SUV behind sounding its horn and flashing its lights). The other was a black Mercedes station wagon which weaved from side to side, frequently drifted across the double white lines and nearly side swiped a tourist bus! It was scary stuff to observe!
We had a brief pit stop in Lavers Hill and then a really enjoyable run down through the bush to Gellibrand and on to Colac to or friend’s place. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph Steve’s newest Norton single project now that he has completed the latest resto, a 1938 Norton, which you can read about HERE.
I took an easy run down the Princes Highway to get home, having had a great last ride for 2015 of approx 375 kilometers in perfect riding conditions. Roll on 2016 and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
DAY 1 – Wednesday 16 December
The Rawson overnighter organised by Graham A was a week later than usual this year, commencing on Wed 16 Dec. And we really benefited as the weather was excellent for both days, which was a nice change from last year’s day two rain. OK, below is a map to give an idea of the brilliant Day 1 route.
Nineteen riders gathered at North Geelong Maccas, with one of the Club’s numerous Peters (we had 5 Peters on one recent mid-week ride!) only riding until lunch time, but then collecting another two at Healesville.
We headed to Bacchus Marsh for morning coffee.
We headed to Bacchus Marsh for morning coffee, and then Graham led us on a really good route to Whittlesea, skirting around the north of Melbourne and avoiding all the traffic. From Whittlesea to Healesville via Kinglake and Yarra Glen the scenery just got better and better. And just to add to the enjoyment it was all blue sky and around 22C ambient for most of this section – perfect riding conditions. Healesville has a large ‘Beechworth Bakery’ franchise with tons of parking around it which was perfect for our lunch stop.
From here on the roads just got better and better. The ride from Healesville through to Powelltown, Noojee, Hill End, Willow Grove and then past Blue Rock Lake and beyond is motorcycling Nirvana. Some of us rode the twisty roads at a nice brisk pace whilst others just bopped along at their own pace and comfort level. This really was traffic free, week day riding at its best. As we neared Yallourn North for drinks, BBQ supplies and fuel the temp really picked up and was in the low 30C’s. From here it was just an enjoyable short run via Tyres through the bush up to Rawson. At Rawson bikes were unloaded, stubbies were opened and the good times off the bikes commenced.
Irish John (Honda ST1300) was unstoppable getting a big fire going, which served as the focal point for the evening. It was a really nice balmy evening for cool drinks in great company.
DAY 2 – Thursday 17 December
Some stayed up late and partied Wednesday night. However, most didn’t given that it had been a hot afternoon in the saddle and the departure time had been set for 8.00am on Thursday morning for those returning to Geelong with Graham.This departure time was based on the forecast 36C temps for Thursday. Poppy and Peter were heading on to Bright via Mt Hotham and left early. Bill and the ST1300 crew had decided to head for the coast and spend the night at Phillip Island and lingered longer. Another couple of riders just didn’t make the 8.00am departure!
We headed off in the cool morning air down through Erica and retraced our route through the bush to Noojee for early morning coffee. It was another absolutely brilliant ride at a ‘brisk’ pace with virtually no traffic around.
Downtown Noojee on a Thursday morning
Even though it was early, the sun already had some sting in it and there was no doubt it was going to be damn hot. The lovely old lady at the Noojee store dutifully made coffees, dispensed pies and sausage rolls from her ancient pie warmer and even offered a packet of mixed biscuits for free for the fellas. Talk of travelling back via the Reefton Spur was replaced as and the collective wisdom was to get home expediently to avoid the worst of the heat. Jimbo decided he would take a more scenic route home and the brains trust gathered around his map to assist his route planning.
Above: Men at work
Graham led the rest of us via Yarra Glen, Christmas Hills and Kangaroo Ground, I think, to Diamond Creek. At this stage I didn’t know that I was writing this ride report and I really didn’t pay much attention to the route! At Diamond Creek we had another breather and from there on it was home via the Western Ring Road and Princes Highway. The traffic on the Ring Road was actually quite heavy and the ride was less than pleasant, made worse by the heat and a couple of downright homicidal drivers. Once off the Ring Road it was a short run back and we pulled over for a hasty debrief in 36C heat.
Once again the Rawson ride was a great success and one of the best Club rides for 2015. A great bunch of people, brilliant roads and no rain or rider incidents, what more could you ask for? Thanks again to Graham A for organising and leading and to Phil R for tail-ender duties on both days.
Some high resolution pics HERE, then click on ‘Slideshow’.