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.