Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ride Report – Crookwell and Gunning, 21 October 2020

"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!

Steven Bardwell

 
Riders

  • 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

Monday, October 19, 2020

Wednesday Ride, 21st October; a "Chomp n Chat" to Gunning,

 Looking for something to do on a Wednesday?

Wednesday Ride Co-ordinator Warren encourages Members to join in on the Branch Mid-Week Rides.

More Info:             Contact: Warren Richer 0409 836 595

This Wednesdays ride (21st Oct) is now a Chomp & Chat to Gunning for lunch at the Old Hume Cafe. 

The ride is expected to cover 250km and will leave from BP Watson (please note there is no Super 98 fuel available at this servo) Note: Briefing 9:20 am, departure 9:30am

The Ride Leader will be decided on the day, and the route can be also up to the group to decide.

Warren plans the latest Wednesday adventure!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

October RO2 now available!

 Happy Days! The October RO2 is now available for your reading pleasure!


>>Click here<< for the magazine.

>>Click here <<  for the online archive.

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Joe Rider, riding for safety in Biketober

Just in from our friendly Road Safety Officer in Queanbeyan-Palerang is this news item about the 2020 October "Joe Rider" campaign. It's a key part of  Motorcycle Awareness Month

"Joe Rider Motorcycle Safety  – Report Sightings and go into the draw to win fuel vouchers

Council’s popular motorcycle safety campaign Joe Rider has returned for 2020.  The evidence shows being aware of motorcycle riders on the road is a key factor in ensuring their safety.

This campaign kicks off just as the weather is warming up and we see more local riders hitting the roads to commute to work or take a leisure ride on weekend.

Council has partnered with rider training centre Stay Upright and other motorcyclists in the area who will be wearing high-vis Joe Rider vests while riding the roads from 10-25 October to increase awareness of motorcycle riders.

If you notice a motorcyclists while you’re driving, whether they were wearing the ‘Joe Rider ‘ vest or not, report your sighting once you have reached your destination at www.qprc.nsw.gov.au/joe-rider and go into the draw to win fuel vouchers.

There are five $50 fuel vouchers to be won and one $150 fuel voucher to win for the person that reports the most sightings.

We can all help keep motorcyclists safe by checking twice for bikes

Regards

Joanne Wilson Ridley
Road Safety Officer
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council"

 

 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Ride Report, Grenfell, 4th October 2020

I’ve been to Grenfell many times, but I can’t resist the place and love going back. Not only was one of my ancestors on a farm not far from town back in the 1890s, but there are also some lovely back roads to explore on the way, and the service at the Albion Hotel is always friendly and welcoming and the food is good.
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny, and the promise of a warm though windy day lured eleven eager riders to Caltex Nicholls. 

Daylight saving had started the previous night so here was proof that at least a few senior citizens had remembered to put their clocks forward. It was also the Sunday of the Labour Day long weekend, threatening double demerits and ensuring a relaxed, leisurely ride. 

It almost got off to an inauspicious start for me – 100 metres after I pulled out of my driveway in the middle of Hawker a big roo leapt out in front of me and took off down the street. Fortunately, it turned left where I turned right, and that was the last I saw of it.

 

Predictably, there was quite a bit of traffic heading out of Canberra but we took it easy and were soon at Boorowa, downing pies and coffee in the Superb Café. Here, Maritta announced that she was feeling crook and needed to head home. Oh well, shit happens.

As she left, Janet and Kerry walked in, claiming they had slept in and had raced to Boorowa to catch up with us. Magically, I did the sums in my head: 11 – 1 + 2 = 12 riders now.

From Boorowa we headed north-west to Murringo. Instead than turning left towards Young, we continued north on the delightfully winding but narrow road through Murringo Gap and along the delightfully straight and even narrower Chews Lane to the Olympic Highway. 

We turned right and rode a few kilometres to the hamlet of Bendick Murrell where we turned left and followed an assortment of back roads to the top of the range. As the first few of us pulled over to admire the view, it became obvious that someone had either (a) forgotten how the rolling corner marking system works, or (b) simply forgotten to mark a corner, for the rest of the crew were nowhere to be seen.

While we waited and wondered if we would ever see them again, we took time to scan the scenery – and it was stunning. Everything was bright green apart from the canola, which was still in bright yellow flower, and the purple Paterson’s curse, which was reaching a spectacular (though feral) peak.

 The temperature had risen to 27 degrees, which was very pleasant after the damp and Covid-infested winter, while the promised winds had turned out to be pretty mild. And the roads we took were definitely those less travelled, which made for a traffic-free, stressless and very enjoyable ride.

As we stood and gazed upon our vision splendid, the silence was broken by a distant roar, like an F/A-18 blasting its way up the valley. Yes! It was Kevin’s thunderous Indian, making steam as he and the rest of the team, having found the right road, headed up the hill to join us.

From our vantage point it was less than half an hour to Grenfell via Iandra Castle, the outskirts of Greenethorpe and the Mid Western Highway. Here, Mike said he was feeling crook and needed to return home. Again, I engaged my mathematical brain: 12 – 1 = 11 for lunch at the Albion. 

We spent a pleasurable hour or so dining and shooting the breeze before riding down to Grenfell’s grain silos, which have been decorated with beautiful murals portraying the region’s agriculture. Kerry and Janet had gone for fuel and reached the silos just as we were leaving, so unfortunately you won’t spot them in the photo. 

The team in front of the lovingly decorated Grenfell grain silos.

We headed south on Mary Gilmore Way with the Weddin Mountains on our right before turning left onto Old Forbes Road, right onto Henry Lawson Way and into Young for fuel. 

Then it was via the Moppity Road, Galong and Binalong to Bowning, where seven of us pulled in for a farewell coffee at the Rollonin Café (which is still on the market, if anyone is interested). Chas had an iced chocolate that was almost big enough to count as dinner. 

I got home at 4:35pm, having ridden 435 km. This had echoes of the Rosehill back roads ride back in March when I got home at 4:20pm after riding 420 km. Spooky.

  • Ian Paterson          Honda GL1800 Goldwing
  • Kevin Sherman      Indian
  • Mark Sayer           Kawasaki Z900RS
  • Warren Richer       Triumph Thruxton 1200R
  • Chas Towie           Honda ST1300
  • Mike Kelly             BMW R1200RT
  • Maritta Heiler        Kawasaki 900 Vulcan
  • Robert McNeilly     Honda VFR800
  • Dieter Walter        Ducati Multistrada 950
  • Steven Bardwell    Moto Guzzi California
  • David Burfoot       Suzuki Boulevard C50
  • Janet Mulgrue       Suzuki Burgman AN650
  • Kerry Mulgrue       Yamaha T-Max



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Club ride to Grenfell, 4 th October

This Sundays (4th October) will be to Grenfell. Its a 400 km adventure which will be ably led by Ian Paterson (0427 291 728). 


It will leave Caltex Nicholls at 9am followinga 8:50am riders briefing, for a lunch destination at the Albion Hotel.

The route notes are: Out via Boorowa (coffee), Murringo, Bendick Murrell, Iandra Castle & Grenfell (lunch). Back via Young (245 km, fuel), Galong, Binalong & Bowning (coffee).


Warning:  Daylight saving will have started!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Chomp & Chat - Boorowa Wednesday, 23rd September 2020.

I am unsure what sins I have committed but it seems the price to be paid is to write my second ride report in 3 days.

According to the rumours I heard, this mid-week ride was a trial run, with the view to such rides returning to the calendar on a regular basis if they prove to be viable. As a club member without midweek work commitments I can certainly see the benefits.

The ride starting point was the Caltex service station at Weston. Our outbound route was to head west over the Uriarra Crossing to join the beautiful Mountain Creek Rd then Wee Jasper Rd to the lovely township of Yass before taking the Hume Highway for the short run to the Burley Griffin Way turn off.  From there it was on to the hamlet of Binalong where we took a right hand turn onto Queen Road through the township to join up with the flowing rural Hughstonia Rd beyond. This eventually connected to the Cunningar Rd and on to our lunch destination at the Pie Shop/Bakery in Boorowa.

As the departure time approached a total of five riders had gathered - an encouraging start. Despite the blue skies immediately overhead with scattered fluffy white clouds, I couldn’t help recalling my reputation as a rain magnet as I looked out along our planned route towards the Brindabella Ranges that had already formed a thick layer of ominous clouds overhead with multiple scattered showers falling. I commented to Warren Richer, our ride leader, that the weather was looking “interesting.” A fairly stiff breeze had also sprung up to add to the potential interest levels of the ride. Warren seemed completely unconcerned.

Right on time, Warren gathered us around for the ride briefing. Our objective was to avoid major roads where possible and enjoy some of the lesser travelled country farm roads. As usual his briefing was concise and very complete. He talked about the key features along the way, how to recognise the different turn points and potential hazards on the different sections of road. Great information that in hindsight proved to be very accurate. The final, “Are there any questions?” was met with silence. Pretty hard to improve on a Warren Richer briefing.

As we headed for our bikes I noted that I was not wearing full wet weather gear as some of the others. My DriRider jacket is water proof to a certain point but I usually throw a spray jacket over the top in really foul weather. Likewise my comfortable Draggin Jeans are most decidedly not water proof, so overpants are required. Both sets of waterproof gear remained firmly installed inside my seat bag along with my quilted jacket liner and spare gloves, just in case a blizzard blew in. I don’t know why, but I decided to risk a drenching. The ride group consisted of Warren Richer on his Triumph Thruxton R, Anthony Hanson on his Honda Goldwing Aspencade, Andrew Campbell on his BMW R1250RS and myself on the decidedly undersized Ducati Monster 659. That was the case except Jenny Carlin on her bright red Honda 300 had also joined us for the short ride out of Canberra as far as the Uriarra crossing. It turns out that the most difficult part of the whole ride was negotiating the multiple traffic lights and road chaos that seems to prevail through these newer western suburbs around Weston and Denman Prospect. Once we cleared the urban sprawl the ride started to be fun again.

With one eye still very much on the rain showers falling all around us, the first part of the ride was along the stunning but at times challenging Mountain Creek Road. It has a wonderful combination of tight and sweeping bends that undulates through native forest and neat farm lands towards Yass. As Warren had predicted there were a few pot holes, patches of loose gravel, fallen branches and sections of broken, bumpy road surface to be negotiated, more often than not on the apex of a blind tight curve or just over a crest. One of the highlights for me was crossing the steel framed Taemas Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River that was flowing well after recent rains. The narrow, twisting ride up the hill beyond was superb, but challenging in the cross winds and the added distraction of the stunning views.

During this section of the ride I was doing my best to keep Anthony, our tail gunner, in my mirrors but often had to slow until he caught up. It turns our he was slowing down at times to take in the beautiful scenery or hanging on to the Goldwing as the crosswinds tried to hurl him into the adjacent paddocks or guardrails.

As our group approached Yass we finally found the edge of a localised shower. Fortunately it only lasted a minute or two before we were out the other side. Superb skills from the rider leader to steer us along the course and avoid the worst of the showers. As we rode through Yass the road was showing signs of recent heavy rain. Another bullet dodged.

The run down the Hume Highway and onto the Burley Griffin Way was fairly straight forward and uneventful on a good road surface as you would expect. At Binalong we turned right onto Queen Street through the township and out the other side onto Hughstonia Road before eventually joining Cunningar Road for the short run into Boorowa. Hughstonia Road despite being a minor farm road had a surprisingly good road surface with the exception of a few scattered rough patched and pot holes that were easily avoided. What a great choice of road. What made it even more enjoyable was the unfolding canvas of rural beauty and colour. The sky was a stunning blue that contrasted with the dark grey and black rain clouds scattered throughout. The fields were a mass of colour including multiple shades of rich green pasture lands and cereal crops along with the bright yellow of the canola. There were also hillsides and some paddocks filled with a blanket of yellow and black Cape Weed flowers and the vivid purple of Paterson’s Curse. There was even some wattle still in flower amidst a variety of green foliage. Once again we had a few spots of rain on the visor and I must admit to turning on the heated grips for the last few kilometres of this leg. The temperatures enroute ranged from a low around 12º to a high of 16º but felt colder in the more exposed windy sections and when the sun was behind yet another rain cloud. By the time we reached the bakery in Boorowa I think we were all ready for a good feed. A lunch of delicious meat pies and coffee certainly filled the spot along with the usual diverse topics of conversation mingled with the odd tall tale. 

 

 

Feeling refreshed and refuelled it was soon time to tackle the return leg. The plan was to backtrack along the Cunningar Road then to follow the Galong Rd back to the town of that name before rejoining the Burley Griffin Way and Hume Highway back to a coffee stop in Yass. From there it was the Barton Highway back to Canberra. At this point both Andrew and Anthony decided that they would take the more direct route back via the Lachlan Valley Way. I took one look at the sky and decided it was time to pull on the waterproof trousers for the return.

With our group of four now become two, Warren led the way once more. If the Hughstonia Road was a smooth flowing delight, the parallel Galong Road was definitely not. No sooner had we turned off Cunningar Road we struck the first pot holes and bumps. At first it was a case of ducking, weaving and dodging the ever increasing pot holes until eventually the pot holes became so numerous and closely spaced that there was no chance of avoiding them. Funny that the two riders equipped with touring bikes and plush suspensions opted for the highway whilst we two on bikes with much more rigid, unforgiving sports suspension had opted to tackle the rough stuff. Large sections of the road had been marked off in preparation for much needed roadworks in the near future. However, it wasn’t all bad and the scenery was stunning as we wound our way through rich farmlands. The weather continued to become more threatening. You know that something is going to happen when all the sheep in a paddock crowd together under some trees with their backsides all pointed to the wind. We ended up making two stops on the way back to Yass. The first was to take photos of the two bikes on the Galong Road with the amazing backdrop of colour and me doing my best Stig impersonation. The second was a tactical pause at Binalong for a short while to allow the rain system in front of us to move away from our track. Another top job by Warren as ride leader as we encountered no rain all the way into Yass. What we did encounter was the drenching clouds of road spray being thrown up off the wet road surface by passing trucks. Good job I had put on those wet weather trousers after all.



I later learned that our two renegade riders  got caught behind wide, slow moving heavy prime movers and were further delayed by slow roadworks sections along the Lachlan Valley Way, after which it began to rain quite heavily on them. That downpour might well have been the same one we waited to pass in Binalong.  



In another feat of ride leader genius, Warren was able to find two absolutely perfect parking spots for the bikes right outside the Roses Cafe in Yass. If you haven’t been to this Cafe before it is worth adding to the list. Fabulous food, cakes and coffee with friendly and prompt service. We ate, we drank coffee and chatted as you do on a Chomp and Chat ride. Just as we were leaving, a shower of rain kept us sheltering under the cafe awning for a few minutes before striking out for home. The run back along the Barton Highway was remarkable, not because of the NSW Revenue Raisers camped on the side of the road in the 50kph zone at Murrumbateman, but because there was practically no inbound traffic of any kind heading into Canberra. It was a dream run, free of any slow vehicles or other annoyances usually associated with the Barton Highway.

Thanks to Warren for his thorough preparation and the excellent job he did as ride leader. And thanks to Andrew, Anthony and Jenny for being good company and joining us on what was a fabulous ride.

Peter Ongley

  • Peter Ongley - Ducati Monster 659
  • Warren Richer (Leader) - Truimph Thruxton R
  • Andrew Campbell - BMW R1250RS
  • Anthony Hanson - Honda Goldwing Aspencade
  • Jenny Carlin - Honda CB300 (red bikes do go faster)