Long winter ride to Halls Gap, 19th June

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.



2 thoughts on “Long winter ride to Halls Gap, 19th June

  1. That’s a decent distance for a winter ride Jules – nice one! Good variety of machines in the photos. I hate fog condensing on the visor but find that Rain-X wiped on the outside does help it to bead off a bit.

    How do you find group rides? Several of our IAM people are also Ulysses members/mentors and find the standard of riding in groups pretty variable. Not really surprising I suppose – just a normal cross-section of the riding community.

    Safe riding over winter mate!

    • Hi Geoff, certainly as with your recent post re your heated gloves purchase, quality kit is essential in cold conditions. I have never used Rain-X, so I will keep an eye out for it. The pinlock visor is essential on a Shoei helmet though to prevent internal fogging. My observation of skills of our Ulysses members would concur with your comment, namely pretty variable. We have two riders in their eighties who ride regularly with us. One is an excellent rider, however, both are an inspiration in their own way. There are one or two riders whose eyesight is probably not up to scratch, and I make sure that they are never riding behind me as I have concerns that they may not stop or take evasive action if I had to brake suddenly. Similarly, I keep well clear of anyone who has drunk alcohol at a pub meal as I consider that a significant risk. (Some may disagree “One light ale is fine” – I just don’t agree) Fortunately very few do drink and ride. Cheers Jules
      PS. This may make you laugh – but we do carry a defibrillator with us on every club ride!

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