Short Sunday mystery ride

We had a near perfect winter’s day for today’s ‘mystery ride’ led by Mac MacB. There were 20 motorcycles with 26 people (and one canine) aboard for the run out through Ceres and up to the Inverleigh Bakery for morning tea and then on to Colac for lunch, via the Cressy Road, Eurak Road and Ballarat-Colac Road. From Colac it was a quick run out to Deans Marsh for another stop and then on to Moriac where the ride finished. It was planned as a low kilometer day, with lengthy breaks and plenty of time to chat as the order of the day. Well done to Mac for an enjoyable route and thanks to the sidecar trio of John, Lauri and Storm for Tail-End-Charlie duties.

Greg’s ‘new-to him’ mint condition Beemer.

Downtown Inverleigh on a Sunday morning

“Go forth and multiply your motorcycle collection Jim….”

A nice arvo for socialising in Deans Marsh

Tough job to pick the brothers in this shot!

The Tail-End-Charlie team back in Moriac


St Arnaud run Sunday July 24th

Twelve motorcycles with 13 participants headed off from the Corio Roadhouse to St Arnaud to sample Dave & Colleens BBQ lunch. It was scheduled as a ‘long ride’ of around 520 kms. It was a pretty chilly ride with the morning temps averaging around 4C – 7C and the afternoon a little warmer, but still under 10C. Gentle led us on an excellent range of backroads, with a morning tea stop at Creswick, and a fuel stop at Maryborough on the way up. In addition to the (non) burning of snags, Colleen received her 10 year membership badge. Both DaveThe Bastard & Coll made us very welcome at their unique and incredibly energy efficient home. After a great desert and hot drinks, and just as the afternoon drizzle started, we headed for home. The route was via Moonambel, Amphitheatre and down to Beaufort for a fuel top up, then to Rokewood via Carngham and Smythesdale. It was a great winter run and I wound up doing 565 kms for the day door to door. Thanks to Ron for leading a great ride and Rob for being Tail-End-Charlie.

A warm up with hot drinks at Creswick

Group shot at the Black Duck

Some of Dave & Colleen’s parking lot

Still cold and a little wet at Beaufort on the way home

Jimbo collected some firewood!


Long winter ride to Halls Gap, 19th June

Halls Gap was the destination for Sunday’s 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.

Rob did a great job of leading the combined large group to Halls Gap via numerous back roads – I had no idea where we were most of the time! Thanks also to Phil R as Tail-End-Charlie.

Warming up in Skipton.

This thing flew! 

It was a lovely sunny day in Halls Gap. Riding into town I realised that I had forgotten just how pretty this place is. 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 of town. I noticed a mob of ‘roos and some emus in a paddock just as we left, but 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. The new BM, Foles’ prior exploits on his old GS1150 (including cracked ribs) proved to be the centre of conversation and banter.


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 camaraderie within our group and with the two other branches who joined us for some of the ride.  Again, well done to Rob for planning and leading his first ride and to Phil as TEC.





Mid week ride 15 June

Peter T led a terrific ride for lunch at the Beeac Hotel via Forrest for morning tea. It was a perfect winter’s morning. Although chilly at first, there was not a breath of wind and the sun shone virtually all day. We had around 20 riders depart from Geelong, and were met by Phil & Tanya and Bill & Lynn at Beeac.

Photo credit Graham Aitken

A fuel stop in Colac, though few needed it.

Some of the bikes at Beeac. Look at all that blue sky!

Photo credit Graham Aitken.

The meals at the pub were great, as was the riding. Thanks to Peter T for planning an interesting route and leading the ride, and also to Graham A for TEC duties.

Timboon mid-week ride 16 March

Twenty three riders, including three from Colac, rolled into Waurn Ponds for the mid-week ride to Timboon. The weather gods smiled on us as is was a mild start and the forecast top was 29C. The map below just shows the loop  route from Birregurra.

Click on the map (or pics below) to see a larger version, then use your back button to resume.

We headed out to Ceres and then to the end of Barrabool Road and on to Birregurra for morning tea via the Cape Otway Rd and Dean’s Marsh.

From there were skirted around the back of Colac and then out along the Irrewillipe Road and a few twists and turns to Simpson. From Simpson is was a lovely run through the bush to Timboon. A feature of this section of the ride was a number of classic cars coming towards us who, by their signage, were obviously part of a rally. Geoff Lenten was delighted to spot three of his beloved Rileys amongst them.

I’d booked a table for us at the pub and although the food was good it took a hell of a long time to come! Some ate at the bakery and they were fueled up and ready to roll at the appointed time, whilst back in the pub the meals had barely hit the table. This put us behind schedule quite a bit unfortunately, however, the sun was shining and it was a glorious day for riding. The Colac fellas and John A from Apollo Bay headed off on a different route and Michael B headed home solo at this point as well.

The rest of us rode to Carlisle River via the Cooriemungle Road and the Carlisle Road. The Carlisle Road is the scene of Mac’s unfortunate encounter with a bull. The bitumen for about 14 kms along here is in a terrible state of disrepair with bike swallowing sized pot holes and substantial bumps. We barely averaged 75 kph along that rough section, which was then followed up with a couple of kilometres of gravel. I swear I heard a few less than complimentary comments about my road choice during our brief pit stop at Carlisle River!

From here it was a nice, scenic ride up through the bush back to Colac. Other traffic was virtually non-existent and I was sure I could hear the sound of banjo’s at one stage! Again we skirted around Colac and this time I headed back along the Prince’s Hwy to make up a little time. It was about 30C. The ride was completed in Winchelsea which gave those who needed to re-hydrate and to take a breather time to do so, whilst others headed straight off. All up we covered approx 360 kilometers. Thanks to Don W for being Tail-End-Charlie. Someone who deserves a special mention is Rob Ashmore who rode really well all day and seemed to enjoy how both he and his old Yammie handled some of the challenging sections of road – pretty impressive for a fella who recently celebrated his 83rd birthday! Congratulations Rob, you are an inspiration.

Great Western overnighter

Jan 30th and 31st was the weekend for a social overnight stay at Great Western for the Geelong Branch of the Ulysses Club . We stayed at the Shearers Quarters of the Allanvale Homestead ( a few also camped onsite) and did a tour of Seppelts underground champagne cellars on Saturday afternoon.

All up 25 people attended, some drove cars, though most rode, with three of us two up – not bad as the weather forecast for Sunday was not pretty! I led the ride up from Batesford to Great Western via Rokewood, Smythsdale, Snake Valley and Beaufort. It was a pretty straightforward run up, although we were under the pump a little for time as we had to be in our digs and at Seppelts by 2.00pm. A big thanks to Don W for tail end Charlie duties both up and back.

Unfortunately Seppelts are closing the Great Western vineyard in June which is a shame as it has a lot of interesting history and still has a quarter of a million bottles stored in the underground cellars, which are very extensive.

Saturday night consisted of a BBQ and then cool drinks and much socialising! It was a perfect, balmy evening and the Shearers quarters were quite comfy. The countryside up there is bone dry with no grass in the paddocks at all. However, that all changed when we awoke to heavy rain Sunday morning and it continued to pour non-stop which made the first part of the ride home less than pleasant. However, we splashed along the Western Highway and by the time we reached Beaufort it began to clear up.

A big thanks to Gentle and Colleen for all the work to organise and cater for such a successful weekend away. Also, thanks to Richard for donating (and installing) the battery from his camper which got Debbie’s Triumph going when its battery failed and couldn’t be started.

13 January mid week ride

Graham Aitkin’s Midweek Ride Report 13.01.2016
The January Midweek Ride was a hot one. The weather forecast was for 42 degrees. The ride was planned for Talbot however the ride leader was unavailable and Richard Scarff kindly volunteered to lead the ride. Due to the hot weather it was decided that a shorter ride to a cooler destination was a better option. Sixteen riders assembled at Maccas Waurn Ponds on a very warm morning. Richard explained the change in destination and that morning tea would be at Deans Marsh and lunch at Lorne. We headed off through Ceres, Inverleigh, and Winchelsea to Deans Marsh where a leisurely morning tea was enjoyed by all.
It was then off through the twisties to Lorne, a few slow cars slowed our progress however we were all pleased to feel the sea breeze about 5 kms out of Lorne. Richard got top marks for finding us undercover parking at the Lorne Life Saving Club. Members enjoyed lunch at various locations, a few of us dined at the Bakery.
Due to the hot weather it was decided to end the Ride ended at Lorne. Some wanted a longer ride home and went via Apollo Bay, the rest either along the Ocean Road through Angle Sea or back through Deans Marsh.
Thank you Richard for leading the Ride at short notice. It was an enjoyable day with excellent company.

Below: Deans Marsh

From Jules

Richard, Jimbo, two Peters and I rode from Lorne along the Great Ocean Road to Skenes Creek then home via Forrest. The ride along the coast was great with the temp around 26C and hardly any traffic. It was interesting to see the bushfire devastation first hand as we rode past. Once we turned off at Skenes it just got hotter and hotter although the ride up through the twisties was at a nice pace knowing that all the corners were dry. We stopped at the Forrest brewery for a drink. Once we stepped out of the airconditioning to head home it really hit us how unbearably hot it was and the fun aspect of the ride was over. The ride home was bloody awful in the heat, the ambient temp gauge on my bike hovered between 40C and 42C the whole way.


Rawson overnighter 16 December

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.

Graham leading off at Maccas. 

We headed to Bacchus Marsh for morning coffee.

Graham then 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 and roads 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. This is where Stan and Marlene joined us, having come down from Bendigo I believe.

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 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.

OK, just some random pics of motorcycles that were of interest, but also illustrate the diversity of machines that ultimately all serve the same purpose.

John’s new Honda ST1300 – what an awesome long distance touring machine.

Below: Stan’s Triumph triple

Marlene’s Beemer – I’d never seen one of these with ? Ohlin’s suspension and Brembo brakes

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.











Another Michelin PR4

I had another Michelin Pilot Road 4 fitted to the front of the big Kwaka as I have a few multi-day rides coming up. Check out the aerodynamic shape of the fairing with the front wheel removed.

Wednesday we took a club ride to the Mill Market at Daylesford via Steglitz and Ballarat. It was a great run in perfect riding conditions. Well led and well done Jim.

A pic from the post ride ‘defrag’.