Procrastinators’ New Year ride 2014

The 2014 New Year’s Day AGM of the West Coast Procrastinators was thwarted by an unfavorable weather forecast, which actually eventuated in a day of wind and rain of ‘biblical proportions’ as Marty described it. In a rare display of decisiveness, the ride, lunch & AGM were re-scheduled to 2nd January, 2014. Mind you, I packed my wet weather gear as I wasn’t 100% convinced that it would remain dry for the whole ride.

Marty and I met on the outskirts of Geelong then headed via the Cape Otway Road to Steve’s property just outside Colac.

When we arrived at Steve’s the team were found to be in good form, with Andy deriding the exhausts on my ZX14 before I even had a chance to get my helmet off. It seems that size does matter in this case! There were two very different generations of motorcycles present – the old 1970’s Brit bikes and the latest from Japan.

Two ZX14R’s and a Commando

Steve’s Norton Commando

Marty’s ZX14R

After some more good natured banter and New Year handshakes we headed off for a tour of the salt lakes near Warrion, then on to our destination at the Timboon rail shed distillery for lunch. Fortunately we had booked a table as the joint was packed and even getting a parking spot was problematic.

Tarsnakes’ ZX14R

The ambiance of the restaurant was only sullied by the presence of a former politician who had been at the heart of the “Children Overboard” affair (suggested by some as one of Australia’s great political lies) and who had condoned unprecedented strikebreaking measures during the Waterfront dispute. (Imagine security guards in balaclavas with German shepherd dogs used for the first, and only, time in Australia’s history).

Anyway, after a tasty lunch and an uneventful and mercifully brief AGM, we hit the road and headed for the 12 Apostles via the Great Ocean Road and then tracked inland to Beech Forest for a pit stop and photos.

Three of four at Beech Forest

And with no procrastination at all, rode Turton’s Track to Forrest. Turton’s was in excellent condition with none of the usual slippery wet bark covering the asphalt.

Here’s a file shot of Turton’s Track

Our last stop for the ride was the Forrest Brewery. Time for a drink, swatting the abundant flies, a bit of a debrief, some more New Year handshakes and we were on our way again – Marty and I back to Geelong and Steve and Andy back to Colac.

 

A really enjoyable day of riding and banter with mates – a great way to start the new year. All up, I’d done 390 very enjoyable kms for the ride – and it didn’t rain once!

A tale of two rides

I’ve had the days after Easter off as annual leave days and I’ve really been looking forward to a couple of decent day rides as Mrs T was working unexpectedly.  We’ve had lovely autumn (fall) weather. I took off Thursday morning to head inland to the historic town of Maldon, as the weather along the coast was not looking as good as forecast. I was just near the end of a bush section not that far from home and thinking that I was too late to disturb any kangaroos when a little wallaby bounced out onto the road. I braked safely and was never at any risk of hitting it. The rest of the ride was uneventful, though colder than forecast, but I just wasn’t enjoying it. I was indifferent about riding, which is quite out of character – though I have had it happen before. I just couldn’t get into the groove and headed home early, though I ended up doing 345kms for the run. The highlight of the ride was seeing a Wedge Tailed Eagle up close as it made a meal of a dead sheep, though I was unable to get a photo. All in all, a much anticipated day of riding that I just did not get to grips with and it ended up a being a disappointment really.

Observation tower at Mt Tarrengower, near Maldon.

It’s all a matter of perspective!

The next day (Friday April 5th) Marty and I met at 8.30 and headed towards the 12 Apostles via the inland route. We had a good run inland (straight and boring) and arrived at the Timboon distillery in what seemed like no time. After a drink and a chat, we headed along the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay. The bike and I were loving the twisties and the ride was thoroughly enjoyable, even though it was overcast and a bit chilly, again much cooler than forecast. After lunch in Apollo Bay we headed inland again, climbing up through the eucalyptus forests to the township of Forrest where we stopped at the brewery café for a short break. There were some other riders there who we chatted with briefly and then another group of three pulled in as well. We had a great day of riding, a nice pace and reasonably deserted roads. What a great day of riding and a huge contrast to the day prior.

Friendly owners explained their products to us.

Marty’s ZX14R

Despite our stops being booze vendors, we adhered to our zero alcohol when riding policy.

So there’s the story of two contrasting rides, only one day apart.