Saturday, November 9, 2019

Ride to Bermagui – 3rd November 2019

Our ride left from the Bungendore Caltex petrol station - the weather was mild but with the hope of rain to relieve the parched conditions of recent months. Before starting off, the group gathered for the ride briefing discussing the need to ride responsibly, keeping within our abilities, keeping to the road rules and to look after each other.  I had ridden the ride route to Bermagui on the previous Thursday just to check out the road conditions – all was good.  It was nice to see a new rider with us this morning – Paul had travelled from Yass to join us. He is new to the country having crossed the ditch from Island of the long white cloud - we hope to see him again on other rides in the future. 

Our small group travelled along the Kings Highway riding towards our first coffee stop at Nelligen, where we enjoyed the peace of the river while having a coffee.  We continued after the short break checking out the new bridge construction at Nelligen and Bateman’s Bay on our way down the road towards Moruya for our first petrol stops. The biggest surprise was the weather - it was a constant warm temperature as we rode along the coast. The reduced amount of traffic added to the enjoyment of a lovely stretch of road with a great selection of curves dotted along the way. We rode through beautiful sections of coastal towns and estuaries with scenic stretches of water views to admire as we passed. 

Bermagui had put on a fine display with the clear translucent colour of the water in the river reminding me of our past holidays. We pulled up in the car park and walked upstairs where Tim the proprietor of the Sundeck café greeted us showing us to our reserved table with views of the harbour.

It was only fitting, as we were in a fishing village, that the fish of the day was the unanimous decision for our meals.

It was great to sit back and enjoy the environment and join into the diverse conversations, tales tall and true, over our lunch break.  

We checked out the weather front before leaving and decided to continue out to Cobargo where some of the members stopped to put on their wet weather gear. I on the other hand decided to brave the elements and just see how protective the fairing on the Trophy actually is. We made our way up the Brown Mountain with rain falling from time to time. I must thank the Snowy Mountains Council as when I travelled between Nimmitabel and Cooma on Thursday afternoon large patches of the road were still dirt but they were sealed for our ride home today.

We stopped at Cooma for our last fuel stop and to thank each for a great day of travelling safely and enjoying each other’s company. On our last leg of our journey the heavens opened up between the outskirts of Canberra and Queanbeyan. I was impressed that I had stayed dry most of the way only getting slightly damp.

It is a shame some people did not get out of their comfy chairs to join us on our ride – they missed the excellent roads and views and impressive food but best of all the friendship of similar minded people.



  • Michael Winters            Triumph Trophy
  • Paul Woodward             FJR 1300
  • Kevin Sherman             Indian Scout
  • Dave Jones                   XT1200
  • Butch Wills                   K1100 BMW

Sunday, November 3, 2019

For Sale - 2004 Honda ST1300

Shane has just written in to say that he is selling his Honda, a 2004  ST 1300

If you are interested there are more details on the "For Sale" page. 


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Get out your door and get going - on your motorcycle!

Over the years I have enjoyed vicariously traveling the world through the eyes of various motorcycle adventurers who put their tales and photos into print. I think this started with Charlie and the Bear (Peter Thoeming) on an overland trip from Oz to the UK but then followed on to Ted Simon's "Jupiters Travels", Charris and George Schwarz travels on their R60 BMW from Europe to Australia and recently Elspeth Beard.

These were perilous trips especially done without the benefits of modern technologies be they GPS and the modern mobile phone and host of apps to navigate and translate. Some of the countries traveled are even more difficult now due to war and politics, and some were not much different then. They had these adventures without backup and modern tech ( yes I'm looking at you Ewan and Charlie) :-)

This morning, Hobart Radio (I do like this internet AM) introduced me to Heather Ellis who has ridden through Africa, Central Asia and later traveled from London to Hanoi over the Silk Roads. So there's more reading adventure for me (and now you).

There are a host of other folk who have followed these wheeltracks or forged paths of their own. If you too are interested here are a few links or details about the folk mentioned above.

  • Peter Thoeming needs little introduction having produced Australian motorcycle magazines for many years, along with his travel maps ( conveniantly spiral bound for the motorcycling traveler). Peters link to the Ulysses Club is apparent whenever we look at our logo.

  • Ted Simon inspired many a traveler with his book "Jupiters Travels" about his 1970's 4 year solo around the world trip on a 500cc Triumph Tiger. Ted visited Canberra on his second world trip and a signed copy of Jupiters Travels which may still be found in the ACT Library system.       

  • Elspeth Beard at 23 set off on a two-year solo journey around the world on her beloved BMW R60/6 motorcycle, before returning to England and completing her architectural studies. She still has the R60, and lives in a restored water tower.

  • Heather Ellis as noted earlier has ridden through Africa, Central Asia and later traveled from London to Hanoi over the Silk Roads. There's so much more to Heather as her second trip was under the cloud of what she believed was a terminal illness.

What can I say - our weekend club rides and Annual Rallies are calling us for much more comfortable mini adventures of our own on our own doorstep! Some of our members have gone further afield! So get some inspiration from these adventurers, and then get out your door and get going - on your motorcycle! 
There's no time to lose!

Gary Mac

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Sunday 3rd November ride to Bemagui for lunch at Fishermen's Wharf Cafe.

Mick Winters (Ph: 0412 134 376) leads the Sunday 3rd November ride to Bemagui for lunch at Fishermen's Wharf Cafe. 

The ride will commence from Caltex Bungendore (42 MALBON STREET, Bungendore, New South Wales 2621) 

The briefing will be at 8.50 am and departure at 9.00. 

The route in short will be: Braidwood, Clyde Moutain, Nelligen (coffee), Princes Hwy and Bermagui (lunch and fuel). Return via Bemboka, Brown Mountain and Cooma (coffee). The ride is 520km ex CBR.
Warning: As noted above this ride leaves from Bungendore.

 1. Assess your own skill level and choose your rides accordingly.
 2. Be there with a full tank in time for the ride briefing.
 3. Ride responsibly - your safety (and that of your fellow riders) is up to you.

Facebook users can register their interest at

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Rockley Pub Loop Ride Report 20 October 2019

“If anyone has a burning interest in doing the Ride Report, then let me know.”  The air of disinterest was palpable, so it came to pass that I found myself in the invidious position of ‘Scribe’ once more. There was always the faint possibility that something exciting would eventuate on the oft-ridden path.  Alas, nothing exciting whatsoever occurred, so this ride report could finish right here, and my job would be done.  We went to Rockley by the way.  That’s important.  It was a longer ride than usual, well-advertised as such and attended by a great group of ten eager riders. It included a couple of new bods keen to test the water and a few old bods who have been in hiding for a while.

For those still with me I shall continue with my diatribe.  I will attempt to enlighten you on the intricacies of turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse, or whatever the saying is.  I shall endeavour to create something out of nothing and if that’s not possible, then I shall attempt to create something interesting out of something not terribly exciting, of little consequence to those who failed to attend, and reflective of nothing more than a good day out on the motorcycle. Sometimes, the motorcycling takes precedence over the socialising. It’s a rare thing, but today was all about the ride.

This wasn’t expected to be a ride that would generate reams of commentary even though the roads were interesting to the point of being tricky in places.  The briefing was brief and I didn’t bother explaining the problematic process of getting from ‘Point A’ (the Advertised Starting Spot or ‘ASS’) to ‘Point B’ (the Morning Sustenance Stop or ‘MSS’) to ‘Point C’ (the Designated Lunch Location or ‘DLL’), thence returning directly to ‘Point D’ (the No Coffee Going Home Option or ‘NCGHO’).  Unless of course we all, or some of the we all, stopped at the alternate ‘Point D’ (the Afternoon Refreshment Stop or ‘ARS’) and then went on to the original ‘Point D’ which then becomes ‘Point E’ (the Have Coffee Then Go Home Option or ‘HCTGHO’).  Congratulations if you followed that explanation.  Your prize is in the mail.

Three paragraphs down and we haven’t even left the ASS yet.  I’m doing well.  It’s always a quandary about when to join the conga-line of bikes departing the ASS.  Do you join in behind the Ride Leader with the likelihood that you will have a cleaner run and faster ride?  The downside is the requirement to undertake Corner Marker duties if these have been called for by the Ride Leader.  Then you end up right at the back of the pack and can either stay there or ride the wheels off the bike getting back towards the front.  Some plead ignorance and ignore the Corner Marker bit, thus requiring rider three to do the duty.  Given the lack of requirement for fixed corner marking on this ride, we had few problems.  I prefer the Rolling Corner Marker System, or RCMS.  Phew.  Andrew was volunteered as tail, but even that wasn’t really

Opting for a middle position means you are unlikely to get lost but may end up behind a newer or less confident or less capable rider.  That’s ok for most of us, most of the time.  The real downside is that this is where the elastic band effect takes place and you will often find yourself in a too-close pack of bikes, or suddenly scattered along several kilometres of road with no idea whether you are still playing ‘Follow the Ride Leader’ or some other game like ‘Lost in Space’.  The middle can be fun sometimes.  At other times, it’s just plain old ‘interesting’.

Those who opt for the tail-end group sometimes do so to just drift along and enjoy the scenery.  The downside is that you may get voluntarily stuck behind a slower rider and lose sight of the middle pack as well as the Ride Leader.  So long as you know where the next stop is, that’s ok as well.  As it was, everybody jockeyed for their preferred position like new starters at an orgy and we rolled out of the ASS in quick succession.  I led the procession, mainly due to my place as Ride Leader for the outing.  So far, all was going well.  It stayed well for the whole ride, excluding some apparently dubious overtaking manoeuvers back in the pack at one point.  Lots of cars have dash-cams these days, so it’s best to avoid such things.

The MSS was only a short distance away.  Short?  Well, by my calculations anyway.  Given the weather conditions of too cold, just right or too hot depending on starting attire, we all made it safely to ‘smoko’ at Taralga.  That’s an old term when it was acceptable, and often encouraged, that workers take a break from their toil and have a lovely refreshing cigarette.  There is nothing like going outside for a breath of fresh air and having a durry to fill your lungs with toxic smoke.  I’m a non-smoker.  Smoko at Taralga was a pleasant break from the still crisp morning air and we all partook of a warming brew at the Tangled Vine.

I heard no grumbles about the quality of the beverages, so I’ll assume that everybody was delighted with the selections they made.  Surprisingly, we were back on the bikes in quick time and heading deeper into the wilds of NSW and some fast and flowing roads.  Given the warming air and coffee-fuelled bellies, I was on the lookout in my mirrors for sleepy riders heading into the bushes for a nap, but none eventuated.  Most seemed to be awake for the run to lunch, or they simply closed their eyes and followed the noise from the rider in front.  That was very tricky given the twists and turns we negotiated.  The bugs were out, so visors were down on the full-face helmets to prevent additional post-smoko sustenance from ingested bugs, beetles and other semi-liquid but delightfully crunchy goodies.

Arriving at the DLL was a lesson in how to undertake synchronised parking as we all peeled into the reserve opposite the Rockley Pub and lined up in an almost orderly fashion.  Andrew opted to park over at the pub, perhaps fearful of being associated with rest of the rabble.  Lunch at the DLL was, by most accounts, awesome.  That’s an Amazingly Well Exhibited Selection Of Marvellous Eats – A.W.E.S.O.M.E.   I had spotted some roadkill by the edge of the parking area as we pulled into town.  It was once someone’s favored pet cat, or small dog, or wild possum, or something equally inedible and thankfully unrecognisable.  No, I didn’t munch on the roadkill for lunch.  The Rockley menu was far more appetising.  I chose something quick and easy.  It turned out to be quick, easy and delicious.  It was also much better than road-kill, but I should have chosen the bangers and mash instead of the burger as that looked even better.  Maybe next time.  The coffee was nice too.  I like a good coffee.

The lunchtime conversations flowed easily as we discussed anything and everything bike-related, retirement-related, road-related and socially-related.  Then, with lunch over and a scant few crumbs left on the plates, we headed for the bikes.  Departing was as easy as arriving.  Only the direction had changed.  Somehow, we all successfully negotiated the correct departure path to the so-called highway and headed for our respective NCGHO or HCTGHO via the ARS, only interrupted by the Perthville refuel.  See paragraph three if you have already forgotten what those acronyms stand for. There will be a test.  The plan was to travel back south via equally tricky roads as the ones we had headed north on.  Fuel at Perthville took a while but the run from there through Trunkey Creek, Tuena and Binda was delightful with a big D.  I do like this particular loop.  Everybody decided to have a farewell brew at the Gunning ARS before heading home.  That’s always the sign of a good ride.

This was a good run.  There were no dramas that I know of, unless someone had a problem as we split up after the ARS and the HCTGHO.  If so, apologies for not reporting it and taking photos.  I went directly from the ARS to my HCTGHO via Mulligans Flat to give me time to wash the bugs off the bike, have a quiet beer and unwind.  A few went the same way, while others headed in different directions.  My choice of lunch tucker was a highlight of the day for me.  I think it was up to scratch for everyone else, so that’s a good thing.  It was also a great group to lead and there were no aberrations in the cosmic vortex as far as I am aware.  That’s so much better than a wayward bee in your undies.

Ride Leader (that’s me!) did a great job (apparently) and everybody behaved themselves because it was too hard to behave each other.  My mirrors showed a continual expansion and contraction of the little group throughout the ride.  No big deal, but the old DR650 definitely lost all cobwebs keeping up.  The rolling corner marker system seemed to work ok and is my preferred choice outside the city limits.  Well folks, it’s time to end the drivel and finish here.  Catch up next

Attendees were:

  • Ride Leader and Scribe Mick Beltrame   (BMW R1250 GS).
  • Follower Paul Woodward                       (Yamaha FJR 1300)
  • Follower Dave Jones                             (Yamaha XT 1200)
  • Follower Bill Henshaw                           (Triumph Explorer 1200)
  • Follower Paul Arranz                             (Suzuki DR 650)
  • Follower Donna Crowther                      (BMW K1600)
  • Follower Andrew Campbell                    (Yamaha FJR 1300)
  • Follower Kevin Sherman                        (Indian Scout)
  • Follower Craig Fraser                            (Yamaha FJR 1300)
  • Follower Rob Jones                               (KTM 1090R)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Chomp and Chat – Murrumburrah, 13 October 2019

Perfect riding weather greeted us as we set out on a fairly straight forward ride to our lunch destination, Murrumburrah.  

We covered the less interesting stages of the route without incident; taking the Barton Highway to Yass, and the Hume Highway to Jugiong. 

The riding became much more enjoyable when we turned off the Hume onto Jugiong Road and headed towards Harden. This is a very pleasant, winding road with undulating hills and magnificent rural scenery.

Our lunch venue was the Barnes Store Emporium and Café in Murrumburrah. The staff were very welcoming and friendly, and the food was perfectly acceptable lunch-time fare. 

We enjoyed a long, relaxed lunch with pleasant conversation – just as the Chomp & Chat is intended to be. We welcomed a new Ulysses member to the ride – Noel Bentley.

After lunch people decided to take various different routes back towards Canberra. The mild, warm sunny weather made us all reluctant to miss the opportunity of riding some country roads. Damon, Jen and Steven decided to ride back on the Wee Jasper Road, Mountain Creek and Uriarra Crossing. Noel and John headed back through Boorowa, Rugby and Crookwell.
John Grace

Riders were:

  • John Grace           Triumph Tiger 1200
  • Kevin Sherman     Indian Scout
  • Steven Bardwell    Moto Guzzi V7
  • Damon Hatchett    BMW R850R
  • Jen Hatchett            "
  • Noel Bentley         BMW F800GSA

Saturday, October 12, 2019

October 2019 RO2 now available!

Here's a short note to advise that the October 2019 RO2 is now available for your perusal.

This link will take you there (

And of course, next Tuesday is the Branch meeting date - see you there?!

@ Canberra Deakin Football Club
3 Grose St Deakin ACT
6.00pm to enjoy a meal or a drink before the meeting which starts at 7.30pm.