Warburton overnighter

Just a few pics at this stage. Day 1. A brilliant ride to Warburton via Whittelsea, Kinglake, Yarra Glen, Healesville (for lunch), then the Black Spur to Marysville and then along the  Reefton Spur to our digs at Warburton. The Reefton run was probably my favorite part of the day’s riding – though not everyone shared that view.

Day 2 we headed for home through Healesville and up the Melba Hwy to Yea for lunch. At this stage the temperature had risen to the high 20’s. After a pleasant lunch stop under the trees in Yea we headed for home via Strath Creek, Broadford and Bacchus Marsh. The last part was a bit tedious and quite hot on the bike with the temp hovering around 32C in Bacchus Marsh. All up a terrific weekend with 16 motorcycles (5 that were 2-up), lots of good riding and fun – and not a drop of rain! Door to door, we did 648 kms on the ZX14R.

A quick break in Gisborne.

Some Italian exotica at the Healsville Bakery

After a break at the end of the Reefton Spur.

Dorothy and I took a stroll around Warburton. It is really picturesque, however, the township seems as though it has seen better days.

Yarra River flows through the township

A rare occasion when I was on the wrong end of the camera (iPhone 6S actually)

Socialising at the hotel

Photo credit above pic: Gentle

The most handsome beast there!

Below: Lunch stop in Yea on the way home 

Try a little tenderness

Much thanks to Gentle (Ron) for organising a terrific weekend and leading Saturday’s run. And thanks also to everyone who attended and contributed to making it a successful, fun couple of days.

Post Script: This entry from 2008 on Wikipedia regarding the Black Spur made me smile

In March 2008, the Victorian state government has allocated $547,000 to improve motorcycle safety on the Black Spur. Stage 1 of the works has involved reducing the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h, effective Thursday 29 May 2008.[4]

Annual Memorial service – Mt Macedon

A good turnout of members gathered at the Corio Roadhouse for the annual ride to the Ulysses Memorial service at Mt Macedon. There was plenty of good cheer and banter prior to heading off to Centennial Park, via Bacchus Marsh and Gisborne led by Jim and Henny, guest riding Mal’s big Beemer. And it was great to see Mal back on a motorcycle for his first decent ride since his surgery. Phil, Lindsay and Gentle drove their cars and towed trailers to take the Geelong Branch chuck wagon and catering gear for the event.

Although a bit blustery on the way up, we didn’t have any showers as forecast, and a nice sunny day greeted us at Mt Macedon.  Members from the various branches began to roll in and by lunch time there was a crowd of several hundred gathered ready for the ride up to the Memorial Cross for the remembrance service for those who have ‘Ridden On’ during the past year. Lauri did a great job selling raffle tickets to the assembled crowd. Around midday the ride leader led everyone a few kilometres up the road to the memorial cross.

Peter Baulch from NATCOM read Helena Gritton’s message.  During the service the names of each member who had passed on from every state were read out. Perry Stevens recited a poignant passage from Tenyson’s ‘Ulysses’, and ‘The Rev’ Barry conducted a brief service with a prayer, a quote from scripture and a blessing – along with a joke! ‘The Rev’ let it be known that he is 86 yrs of age, still riding his BMW with over 450,000 kms on the clock and that his wife has ridden pillion for more than 60 years!

“The Rev” Barry in beanie

Peter T and John T photo bombing the service! Peter Baulch from NATCOM speaking

The crowd leaving

After the service most people rode back to Centennial Park to enjoy the lunch put on by the Geelong Branch and enjoy the socialising. The catering crew had done a brilliant job and everything seemed to go like clockwork preparing and serving hundreds of meals. A big thanks to Gentle, Mac, Phil, Lindsay, Willie, Jim, Mal, Henny, Janice, Dorothy and Lauri for an absolutely brilliant effort. A table had been set up for selling more raffle tickets and the two painted vests and a concept drawing of Tony’s painting was on display.

Jim led an uneventful ride back to Anakie where the ride concluded. Thanks to Jim for leading, Geoff as Tail-End-Charlie on the ride home and I missed who was TEC on the way to Mt Macedon – my apologies!

 

Bendigo Dragons

Sunday saw the annual running of the dragon boat racing with combined Dragons Abreast and Ulysses Club branch teams from Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo – except the Ballarat Ulysseans were missing from the action. Lindsay led the ride with John G as TEC. It was a great day, made all the better by the Geelong Branch winning the event! The ZX14R has a worn out chain (52K kilometers) so Dorothy & I drove the car. We were staying in Bendigo until later in the day visiting friends, a good move as it turned out when the heavens opened just out of Castlemaine and it continued to rain all the way back to Geelong. When we stopped at traffic lights in Castlemaine Jim and Henny pulled up beside us on the Harley. I didn’t envy them the trip home on the bike in pretty crappy conditions! (You can click on a photo to see it full size, then hit the back button in your browser)

There’s a gallery of pics if you CLICK HERE

 

 

Wednesday Otways Loop

Last week’s planned mid-week ride through the Otways had to be postponed due to the severe weather and torrential rain that most of Victoria copped. Things were not looking a whole lot better in the weather forecast for this week. However, the weather gods smiled upon us and we enjoyed a brilliant Spring day for the ride. We left Waurn Ponds McDonalds and travelled to Gellibrand for morning tea via Deans Marsh. From here, we rode up to Lavers Hill then turned on to the Great Ocean Road and really enjoyed the twisty roads through the bush to Apollo Bay. We ‘dined’ at the Apollo Bay bakery in beautiful sunshine, the fuelled up and headed for Geelong via Forrest. (The GOR is closed at Skene’s Creek due to land slides) All up, the roads were dry, the traffic was light and the company was great. Thanks to Don W for Tail-End-Charlie duties.

Click on photos to see them full size, then use your browser back button.

Photo credit Graham Aitken

At Apollo Bay – photo credit Graham Aitken

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.