"Twas the night before Wednesday, when all through the shed
Not a motorbike was stirring, hope the battery’s not dead;
The fuel tank was primed and topped up with care,
In hopes that fine weather would all find us there
The riders were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of cambers danced in their heads;
With tyres all checked and their gear laid out neat,
They just couldn’t wait for the morning to meet."
I don’t know about you but Wednesday’s midweek ride to Crookwell and Gunning felt a bit like Christmas to me. The sun was shining, there was barely a breeze and the BP in Watson greeted me with a plethora of bikes of all shapes and sizes. I arrived upon my trusty Guzzi just in time to interrupt Warren’s plan of attack for the day. I knew I was really late as Noel was there ready and primed which is something I had not seen before.
We welcomed Rohan (R.E. Himalayan), Ken (BMW R1200RS), Ian (KLR650) and David (BMW 1250RS) as new riders to the group and then mounted our trusty steeds for a wonderful day’s ride. Warren led the charge up the Federal Hwy towards Sutton on his Triumph Thruxton followed by the rumbling of a Moto Guzzi California, Kawasaki KLR650, Royal Enfield Himalayan, Suzuki DL650, Harley 500 and a Luftwaffe of BMW’s. I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of BMW’s is but it sounds right. A ‘Class’ of BMW’s was suggested (by a BMW rider) but that just sounded pretentious. Of course, like day comes after night, Kevin played tail-end Charlie on his raucous Indian Scout.
The group expanded and contracted along the Sutton and Gundaroo Rd like an accordion playing ‘That’s Amore’ outside a Sicilian café. We regrouped at Gunning to then head up the fantastic Grabben Gullen Rd to Crookwell. A relaxing time was had at Paul’s Café and it was good to have a chat with our fellow riders over a cappuccino. With coffees drunk it was time to leave Andrew behind with his battered savs and head off to Gunning for lunch.
Once again, the Grabben Gullen Rd proved to be a hoot as we twisted our way among the hills of the Upper Lachlan Shire. I enjoyed riding behind Warren and his café racer. As if channelling the spirit of Barry Sheene, Warren would take the perfect line through each and every corner making my ride easier and more enjoyable. We were greeted at the Old Hume Café in Gunning with open arms as they were pleased to have our business. We made ourselves comfortable in the garden out the back. With the burgers consumed, the drinks downed and the world’s problems solved it was time to head for home.
Most of the group headed off through Yass and back home via the Wee Jasper and Mountain Creek Rd. A word of caution was given by our trusted leader about the dangers of this road as the lack of lines, corner speeds and the odd kangaroo have been known to make some riders become unstuck. I, on the other hand, headed up through the giant wind turbines along the old Hume Hwy towards Breadalbane and then on the Breadalbane Rd to Collector. The Breadalbane Rd would have to be one of the worst sealed roads in the Shire. Full of potholes and patches that would make my grandmother’s patchwork quilt blush, I bounced and bottomed-out my way along what I then discovered was once quite a road. You see at the northern entrance of Collector there is now a memorial to what was Australia’s first Tourist Trophy motorcycle race. This race was held over three laps of a 33 mile course (100 miles) that ran between Yarra near Goulburn to Breadalbane then Collector. The event was held during the Easter of 1914 and was won by Harry Jenkins of Victoria riding a 7hp Indian. It’s worth a visit next time you are riding or driving by Collector.
Thanks must go to Warren for leading a brilliant ride. In a way the variety of bikes we ride is reflective of the riders that make up this great club. We all come from different backgrounds and differ in our riding abilities but we all share the same love of riding our bikes on a warm spring day in what has to be one of Australia’s most beautiful regions. Bring on the next mid-week ride!
- Warren Richer Triumph Thruxton R
- Rohan McCarthy Royal Enfield Himalayan
- Andrew Carley Harley 500 Street
- Ken Dal Broi BMW R1200RS
- Kevin Sherman Indian Scout
- Scott England BMW R1250RT
- Robert Apps BMW R1200GS
- Noel Bentley BMW F800GSA
- Ian Krebs Kawasaki KLR650
- David Mossman BMW 1250RS
- John Dean Suzuki DL650
- Steven Bardwell Moto Guzzi California
- Andrew Campbell BMW R1250RS