Free at last ……

September 27th … first day out of lockdown number seven – I think!

Travelled inland from Geelong and collected Stan K in Colac. We rode inland to Simpson and then hit the GOR near Princetown and travelled to Apollo Bay for lunch. The road was in pretty good nick which made for a really enjoyable ride with virtually no traffic about. From Apollo Bay we headed inland again to Forrest and spent some time at the South Barwon Dam before heading home.

The Aire River is a favourite spot to stop and take in the scenery and serenity.

Mac Park Historic Races 2021

The West Coast Procrastinators had a terrific weekend at the SA Historic Road Race Championships, January 1st to 3rd. The racing is all the better for having friends participating. Tim K was there for the first outing on the replica of the XS650 Yamaha that his Dad, Tom K, raced in the 1973.  Eric S was there with a few of his fleet of historic Hondas. Norm C was making a return to racing after decades away from it on his immaculate BSA Gold Star 350.

Here are a few of my pics. (Click on the individual shot to see it in full size & then use the back arrow to return to the page).

Tom K taking the replica of his early 1970’s XS650 Yamaha racer for a couple of laps. I only hope that I can do this when I’m in my eighties.

Below: race start for Tim.

Below: Norm C – first race start in many decades!

The shots above are my amateur pics. By way of comparison, the pic below is courtesy of S Cooper Photography  … who also has an unequivocal message on the lens of his main camera!

South Aust Historic Championships

Here are some random pics from a very enjoyable weekend in Mt Gambier, 27 – 29 December 2019 at the McNamara Park road race circuit. This is my third time camping trackside in the last 18 months.

“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go …………”

Deb & Eric S, and Norm C. The DOHC Drixton Honda had a good weekend.

Tim K – pit crew for the weekend for Eric

Very competitive, despite the smoke!

Perfect weather all weekend, even with a brief grass fire nearby that saw practice cancelled late on Friday arvo.


Early morning on the GO Road

It’s forecast to be 39 – 40C today, so I was up early for some riding on one of my favourite roads. Maybe because it’s only a week until Christmas, or maybe because of the weather forecast, the Great Ocean Road was all but deserted! Give it another week and you just wouldn’t bother trying to enjoy a ride there due to the (crazy) traffic volumes.

Lorne, Vic

Cape Patton Lookout. The sun is out and the sky is blue.

The Aire River

Laid to rest in the river.

The GOR without a car in sight!

Why not have another bike pic – it makes me happy!

From Lavers Hill I turned inland to Beach Forest and traveled along Turtons Track to my brunch destination in Forrest. I came close to a head on with another motorcycle on Turtons. Three fellas on big chooky’s – the lead bike on my side of the road!

I was the only customer, however, there were a few people dining across the road at the General Store.

A few kilomteres up the road and it was 30C already so I headed for home. It had been a magnificent start to what I plan to be a brilliant year ahead!

Master of Mac Park racing and camping

Steve, Marty and I, along with a bunch of Geelong Ulysses Club members headed over to Mount Gambier (South Australia) to the lovely McNamara Park race circuit. Last year I camped off the motorcycle for the first time in decades. This year Steve brought along the “Mothership” for a different approach to MC ‘camping’. The Mothership quickly became known as the Taj Mahal amongst the assembled tent campers.

John’s new-to-him outfit.

The ‘Mothership’ – exterior & interior setup. Note the kitcken sink!

This is what we came for

The serenity!

Race like a girl

Which is fair enough seeing that it’s a food preparation area and bar!


Ulysses National Rally – Guided Otways & GO Road

Twenty Ulyssians from the National Rally at Mornington, Vic, crossed the bay from Sorrento to Queenscliff, where members of the Geelong Branch led by ‘Gentle’ took them on a guided tour to take in a little sample of the Otway Ranges, a section of the Great Ocean Road – locally referred to at the ‘GO Road’, Bells Beach, Torquay and 13th Beach. This was one of three trips offered this week. We ran in a perfect temp of 24C and plenty of sunshine.Tomorrow (Friday 29 Jan) might be a doozy with temps of 36 -38C forecast. We had a smooth run for the most part and had the tourists back at the Queenscliff ferry terminal for the 4.00pm sailing.

Some of our team of seven guides / cornermarkers below.

Bevan on the 1975 Kawasaki Z900





The ride was a great success thanks to the planning and leadership of Ron Howell (AKA Gentle), our terrific Tail End Charlie Phil Long and the commitment of the Geelong Branch Members  – Dennis P, John G, Garry F, and Jules P not in the photos.

Annual ‘Boy’s Ride’ 2019

Once again I was lucky enough to be invited along on an annual run that “Gentle” organises for some of his mates. Instead of the Snowy Mountains, this year’s run saw us taking in SE South Australia and some of country Victoria.

DAY ONE:  Fri Feb 1st  2019 – Geelong to Nelson via Hamilton (Wannon)

We met at Waurn Ponds, the Melbourne contingent having spent the night at Gentle’s. Quite an assortment of bikes present and one Spyder.

We headed via various backroads on a scenic route to Terang for morning tea and then on to Hamilton and Wannon to meet up with Gary (AKA Foles). Foles was riding his BMW 800, however, he has a couple of other bikes that I wanted to see.

C’mon Foles, put this bloody TZ250 back together will you – they are worth quite a few shekels currently! Anyway, people wanted to ride so the nostalgia trip was cut short and Foles led us on a scenic run to the Nelson Hotel. Unfortunately, the wind was howling when we got there and the accomodation was not as advertised – very shabby and filthy! For the toilets, just think ‘Train Spotting’ and you will have a reasonably accurate image. Anyway, we made the most of it and the mealss and beers were good, but I can see why all the folks in Nelson for the big fishing competition were staying at the caravan park!

DAY TWO 2nd Feb 2019 – Nelson to Milang, SA

The next morning we were all up bright and early, saddled up and took a short, scenic run into Mt Gambier for brekky. In contrast to the evening before, there wasn’t a puff of wind no a cloud in the sky – though a tad chilly initially. I certainly had the heated gips on and Max sheepishly confessed to running his heated under jacket!

Get off that bloody ‘phone Ron – oh wait – it’s the wrong Ron! Let me explain – we have two Ron H’s in this group and one of them has his phone permanently connected to his body!

Near Beachport we stopped off to inspect Murray McCourt’s Winewoak Cutting, you can read about it HERE

That’s one way to drain a swamp!

After Beachport we made our way up to Meninge, via the Coorong. We had pulled in to Salt Creek along the way, only to find the store there had closed down.

Meninge is a pretty little oasis of greenery, and was a great spot to stop for lunch and a breather.

In no time at all we arrived at the ferry crossing over the Murray at Wellington

We had a slow fuel stop here, (only two pumps) and the temperature had really climbed. I was in the stopped in the sun in full riding gear for approx 10 minutes and I was beginning to overheat.  We got rolling and a few kilometers later we could see Lake Alexandrina and our motel for the night at Milang. 

Everyone was as dry as chips and ready for a beer at the local pub – with its magnificent outlook over the lake. It started off pretty quietly, however, some hours later things developed with little Ron pulling off a terrific stunt – getting the staff to help us celebrate a wedding!

What happens on the roadtrip stays on the roadtrip – so no pics of the happy couple will be shared! Our waitress was a great sport and even went down to the local shop to buy cake and sparklers for the occasion.

The perpetrator of the stunt having a great laugh – but remember the old proverb – vengeance is often more satisfying if it is not extracted immediately!

DAY THREE 3rd Feb 2019

Remarkably, everyone was up bright and early and ready for more riding on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Sadly, we rode right past some excellent vineyards around Langhorne Creek. We had a nice early morning run to the picturescue town of Victor Harbour for brekky on the waterfront. Only thing is, I can’t find my pics of lovely Victor Harbour!

From here we headed to Delamare and then Mount Barker for lunch. And it had become hot – really hot around 37C, but there was worse to come. Quite a few of the fellas took up the offer of the chicken shop owner for a cool hose down outside. Here’s Max cooling off!

I was doing OK, having swapped my usual riding jacket for a Draggin Jeans kevlar lined denim jacket in the ‘camo’ colour scheme. This along with a wet bandana around my neck made the conditions tolerable.

We headed to the Birdwood Mill National Motoring Museum at Birdwood. Mal & Richard decided not to visit and headed off via the shortest route for our next accomodation at Murray Bridge.

The museum has some excellent cars and old motorcycles, however, their collection of 1970’s Japanese bikes is mediocre at best. Namely, some poor examples of GT750’s, CB750’s etc is wrong or incomplete paint jobs. The Yamaha XS1 was about the best of the Jap road bikes. Anyway, it was lovely and cool inside, a nice respite from the heat.

The ugly thing below is worth a few bob apparently!

I liked the huge photo below.

We came outside into blistering heat and decided to ride on to Mannum to cross the Murray River on our way to Murray Bridge. As we crossed the river my ambient temp read 42C, Phil’s read 44C and Max’s between the two. Academic really – it was bloody hot! Too hot for enjoyable riding. But you have to be careful what you wish for. We rode on into a cool change – accompanied by a massive dust storm! The pic below shows what came out of my air filter that I cleaned when I got home (and it was cleaned and oiled prior to leaving on the trip).

We had a relaxing evening in single airconditioned rooms at the Bridgeport Hotel, Murray Bridge with some going out for Thai food and the rest of us eating in. The cool beers were magnificent after such a grueling day in the heat.

DAY FOUR: Mon 4th February

After breakfast at a nearby cafe, we fueled up and headed to new ‘The Bend’ motor raceway complex.







Stormy weather

You may have seen news reports about the ‘extreme’ weather event that hit Victoria last week causing storms and flooding. In the interests of product testing (Michelin Road 5 tyres and Aldi waterfproof jacket & pants) and because of a pre-booked getaway at Bright (the real reason!) we were out in it – and in the Vic High Country when the extreme weather hit. Here are some pics:

From this …. sunny and approx 32C on Wednesday

To this…. at the top of Mt Hotham the next day when the torrential rain hit

Our route Days 2 & 3 Mirboo North to Bright the day 3 Bright to Geelong

Mark led us from Mirboo North to Bairnsdale via Heyfield and then I led the three of us on motorcycles from Bruthen, to Omeo and then up to the sumit of Mount Hotham. (Billy was in his tricked up turbo MX5 Mazda & gradually pulled away from us). The road from Bruthen to Dinner Plain was quite wet but the rain had stopped and I marvelled at the grip available with a new set of Michelin Road 5’s fitted. We set off with some trepidation but before many kilometers had passed I was really enjoying the ride and marvelling at the pace and lean angles Marty and I were achieving, perfectly safely, on such a soaked pavement. Mark, on dual sport tyres on the Super Tenere, was not enjoying the sure footed ride that we were. As we passed Dinner Plain the bad weather rolled in. When we stopped at Mount Hotham for some pics the fog rolled in and the visability rapidly diminished to just a couple of metres. After a couple of hasty photos, we headed off just ask the skies opened and torrential rain fell. The descent from Hotham, a series of tight hairpin bends, was taken quite slowly as there were literally 2 cm deep rivers of water running down the road – thankfully the fog disappeared the more we descended. Now these really were EXTREME conditions. However, I actually began to enjoy the challenge and the ride to some extent. At no time did I feel the ZX14R step out of line, nor did I feel unsafe at any stage. Other than good tyres and a pinlok visor insert that prevented visor fogging – I believe that a catalogue of years of riding experience to draw upon really helps build confidence riding in these sort of scenarios. Nevertheless, we were all pretty pleased to arrive at Harrietville and then make our way to Bright. After we checked into our digs I peeled off my el cheapo Aldi plastic jacket and pants that I was wearing over leathers and not a drop of water had seeped through – I was completely dry. The only downside is that the plastics are not breathable and I was pretty hot as the temperature rose to mid 20C’s  as we arrived in Bright. My gortex lined Alpinestars boots kept my feet 100% dry. Heavy rain continued all evenening and overnight. Bright received 150mm of rain in less than 24 hrs and the nearby Hume Hwy was closed, with plenty of stranded cars and even some helicopter rescues of occupants required. Marty and I opted not to ride home via the Whitfield to Mansfield High Country route and had an event free ride home via the Hume. Unfortunately for Mark he acted upon incorrect info on the Vic Roads website that said the Hume was still closed and he encountered more tough conditions on the Whitfield – Mansfield run. He’d left 2 hours earlier than us, but arrived in Geelong at roughly the same time.

Day two of our ride was amongst the most challenging I’ve ever done. However crazy it sounds, I really quite enjoyed it. For a full report on day one of the group ride authored by Stan K and some great pics CLICK HERE