Tuesday, September 17, 2019

22 Sept Ride - Burrill Lake to the Fish Shop (for Fish and Chips!)

Date:                    Sun 22nd September
Destination:         Burrill Lake
Distance:              425 km ex Canberra
Leave:                  Caltex Bungendore
Time:                    Briefing 9:50am, departure 10:00am
Lunch:                  The Fish Shop (best fish & chips on the coast)
Leader:                 Chris Dietzel 0432 632 667‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Warning:              This ride leaves from Bungendore

 ( Extracted from the Ride Calendar )

Friday, September 13, 2019

September 2019 RO2 now available

Just a short note to advise that the latest (September 2019) RO2 is now available for your perusal.


And of course, that 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. 


Next Ride: Chomp & Chat at Marulan; Meridian Café 15 Sept

Date:                    Sun 15th September
Destination:         Chomp & Chat: Marulan
Distance:              250 km
Leave:                  BP Watson
Time:                    Briefing 10:20am, departure 10:30am
Lunch:                  Meridian Café
Al Munday 0438 510 137

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Canberran Branch Ulyssians on the Women Riders World Relay - WRWR

The WRWR relay is a world-wide women’s motorbike relay, and so far it has covered the remote, the daring and the vast parts of our world. The relay currently has 19000 members globally. Each country carries the baton which contains the scroll and participants sign the scroll – contained in a handmade wooden baton with a GPS monitor. 

The mission statement of the relay is to bring fun, experience, confidence and a sense of unity to women riders globally – encouraging them to be adventurous, courageous, inspiring, real and united. 

The other goal is to raise awareness among the motorcycle industry that women are a force in motorcycle riding, and need proper gear, less pink, a better fit and more functionality. The baton started its journey in Europe in February 2019, and has since travelled across the world landing in Australia in August. In early September, the baton arrived from Newcastle in Batehaven for its final Australian leg.

On September 6 it was transported up to Sydney for handover to the New Zealand contingent, and 4 Canberra Branch members were ‘guardians’ for its journey. 

Some of this group also participated on other routes, and one held responsibility to carry the baton on a leg of its journey. We felt privileged to meet and ride with a few brave women from around Australia and overseas who completed every leg of the Australian Relay.

For those who missed out on an official relay route, there is a Ripple Relay (passing a flag from state to state) across Australia, with a Canberra route planned for 1 December – details can be found here, let me(Kim Tito) know if you are interested in participating! https://www.facebook.com/events/parliament-house-canberra/act-ripple-relay/1098525713681082

Kim Tito 


  • Chris – Honda DN01
  • Genelle – BMW 700GS
  • Karen – Honda Africa Twin
  • Kim – BMW F700GS

Saturday, September 7, 2019

National Memorial Day Ride to Cordeaux Dam (8th September)

Tomorrow's (8 Sept) ride is the National Memorial Day Ride to Cordeaux Dam.

The overall distance is approximately 430ks. leaving from BP Watson .

The briefing will be held at at 8:20am, with departure 8:30am

Lunch will be a Sausage sizzle at the Dam.

The illustrious ride leader will be Darryl Palin (0412 213 764 ).


Sunday, September 1, 2019

Social Club Dinner at Gungahlin Lakes Club (30 Aug 20019)

The latest social dinner was held at the Gungahlin Lakes Club on Friday 30th August. 

As we assembled, our reserved tables stood suitably vacant but obscured by a long line of fellow diners queuing to order, so we wisely elected to sit near the bar and enjoy a drink and chat as a few more of our numbers arrived. 

It was an effective strategy and the queue shrank and it was only a  short wait before we were down to serious matters of drinking, chatting and eating.

Thanks to all who attended!  A good night out in good company!

(and a Big thanks to Kyla for organising it; bring on the next one!)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Ride to Moruya – 25th August 2019

Our ride left from the Bungendore Caltex petrol station - the weather was cool but with the hope of warmer temperatures on the coast. Before starting off the group gathered for the ride briefing discussing the need to ride responsibly, keeping within our abilities and to look after each other.  I had ridden the ride route to Moruya on the Friday before just to check out the road conditions – all was good. It was nice to see a few new riders with us this morning - Nadaav only took a short ride to Braidwood as he was running in his new Ducati - we hope to see them again on other rides in the future.

We started off travelling along the Kings Highway riding towards our first coffee stop at Nelligen, where our group enjoyed the peace of the river while waiting for our food and caffeine hits.  

We continued after the short break weaving our way down the road towards the Adelaide Hotel at Moruya. The biggest surprise was the different weather and reduced temperature as we came down the escarpment. This possibly contributed to a reduced amount of traffic which added to the enjoyment of a lovely stretch of road with a great selection of curves dotted along the way. 

We rode into the carpark at the rear of the Adelaide, walking into the hotel to find our table reserved for us. Anticipating what was on today’s menu we started off with cold drinks to cool us down while listening to the diverse conversations, tales tall and true, over our lunch break.  

We traveled back to our homes in different groups with some of the off road bikes taking the alternate route through Araluen. Others went via Nerriga to add a different spin to their journey.

As usual for a Sunday we encountered some traffic traveling west with us, slowing the ride back to Braidwood. I left the group at Bungendore and trust that everyone made it safely home.

Once again we had a great day out with good food and friends - we hope to see more of you on our next ride. 



  • Michael Winters            Triumph Trophy
  • Neil McRitchie               GTR 1400
  • John Howell                  R1200RT
  • Bill Henshaw                 Ducati Multistrada 950
  • David Dawson               Explorer
  • Scott England               R1200RT
  • Garry Mc Curley            VRF 1200
  • Robert Jones                Suzuki Bandit
  • Mick Beltrame               R1250GS
  • John Grace                   Tiger 1200
  • Chris Dietzel                 GTR1400
  • Andrew Campbell          FJR 1300
  • Dave Jones                   XT1200
  • Nadaav Thiry                 Ducati Panigale V4S

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Chomp & Chat Sausage Sizzle at Burrinjuck Dam. Sunday, 18th August 2019

Sunday morning saw ten intrepid riders gather at the Caltex Nichols awaiting our fearless leader who may or may not be coming due to a flat battery. Maritta did arrive on her bike and she proceeded to brief us on the epic but highly dangerous journey to the mostly deserted and most likely haunted township of Burrinjuck Dam. She painted a picture of moss covered icy and twisty roads, unpredictable rock falls and wildlife hell bent on causing havoc and mayhem by ambushing unwary riders from the forest shadows. And not to mention the speed limits changing every thirty metres or so along the Burrinjuck Dam road.

Suitably inspired and galvanized, we headed west along the Barton Highway after Jenny Carlin farewelled us and then south on to the Hume to the turn off seventy five kilometres from our start. The ride along the Burrinjuck Dam road was lovely. Long straights were raced before the road narrowed and hairpins, stylishly decorated with mirrors, slowed our pace. Several boat towing vehicles made us drift towards the perilous drop to our left but no casualties ensured. A few malevolent macropods were passed before the final hairpin and ride up to the township.

We parked our bikes in the Emergency Assembly point for the town and wandered back down the street to Jeff’s place. Jeff was waiting for us with the BBQ befittingly flashed up and sausages sizzling contently on his patio which overlooked a rather depleted Lake Burrinjuck. While we waited for our snags, Jeff regaled us with tales of some seriously weird comings and goings that happened in the hamlet. For instances, one night about a year or so ago someone stole all the pews from the village church and another time a couple of youngsters from the nearby caravan park had decided to take one of the dam’s trucks for a spin as someone had left the keys in it.

Sausages were served up on buttered bread and Maritta distributed soft drinks to all before elegantly decorating the front of her jacket with tomato sauce. Then she produced a wonderful orange sponge cake in honour of Doug’s birthday which we only discovered after Maritta produced the cake and we needed a volunteer to cut it.

Aptly replenished, we remounted our trusty steeds for the perilous return journey back to the relative safety of the Hume Highway at various levels of rapidity. We departed ways here as several felt the need for caffeine and Gunning was chosen as a suitable venue while nearly everyone else headed home. Maritta said she was turning off at Murrumbateman to take the scenic route back to Queanbeyan.

It was a lovely day’s ride and a big thanks to Maritta for orchestrating it and Jeff for supplying victuals.

Peter T.

The Riders were:
  • Maritta Heiler             Kawasaki 900 Vulcan
  • Mark Micallef             Suzuki M109R
  • Warren Richer            Triumph Thruxton R
  • Doug Cawley             Honda VT750 Shadow
  • Peter Thomas             BMW F700GS
  • George Attard            Triumph Tiger XRT
  • Jeff Heiler                   Bunnings Gas BBQ
  • Mick Beltrame            BMW R1250GS
  • Andrew Campbell       Yamaha FJR 1300
  • Jeff Jarvis                  Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe

Friday, July 26, 2019

Ride Report (Cowra Again) 21 July 2019

Cowra again?  We must be running out of venues and have to keep recycling the old tried and true destinations.  It’s a nice ride out to Cowra via Frogmore.  I probably do it half a dozen times a year on my way to somewhere else.  Never mind.  It was my choice to turn up for the social aspect rather than the ride excitement.  The company for this ride was good and the weather was brilliant, so I was pretty sure it would be fine and dandy.  Not cloudy with a chance of meatballs.  In fact, it ended up being a balmy 17 degrees or more.  Winter is going, as they say.  I had a camera and offered to do the Scribe duties, so here it is folks.  A brief interpretation of our Sunday sojourn into the late-winter
greenery of New South Wales.

Most of the ride participants looked a little bemused as we stood in small groups at the Nicholls starting station.  Perhaps it was the mildly early start for a slightly longer ride that had them puzzled, or perhaps it was just the brisk morning air that had them wondering why they hadn’t stayed in bed. 
Ride Leader Ian rose from the mist of bedazzlement to let us know that we should follow him,because he was Ride Leader.  That bit made eminent sense, but the rest of the explanation appeared to contain too many legislative requirements for rolling corner markers and maintaining spatial awareness and individual responsibilities that the assembled menagerie simply nodded robotically and started dressing for the parade.

I am desperately trying to think of something good to say about that short stretch of road between Canberra and the Boorowa turnoff.  Alas, the best I can come up with is that it is indeed short-enough to be tolerable.  Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.  We all safely negotiated 30 minutes of utter boredom to the Boorowa turnoff.  Ride leader Ian was still leading, the followers were still following, nothing exciting had occurred so far, so the world was at peace and I was deep in thought about other things.  My thoughts wandered on the track to Boorowa.  Or did they wander off the track to Boorowa?  You shouldn’t allow that when riding a motorcycle.  Dangerous things you know.

Anyway, I remembered a conversation I overheard recently.  It goes like this:  A bloke called Ian was feeling a bit sick a few weeks back, so he went to see his doctor and decided to get something else checked out while he was there.  Ian tells the doctor, "Every time I fart, it sounds like a Honda Goldwing”.  Surprised at this revelation, the doctor tells Ian to pull down his pants and bend over.  As
he does so, Ian farts and sure enough, it sounds just like a Honda Goldwing.  The doctor immediately says to Ian, "I know the problem - you've got an abscess up your arse."  Ian was clearly shocked! 
"What?” he says.  “Surely an abscess can't make my farts sound like my motorcycle?"  The doctor leans closer and quietly says to Ian, "Didn't you know? Abscess makes the fart go Honda!"

Munchies and brews were good at Boorowa.  They seem to have picked up their game at the Superb Bakery lately.  It was busy, but the service speed was ok, and the quality of coffee has definitely gone up a notch or two.  Pies, pasties and sausage rolls washed down with a caffeine fix.  How good is that!  We finished our morning repast and slowly wandered outside to the waiting bikes.  I wonder what our bikes would think about the time spent outside eateries if they had a mind, heart and soul?  Built to travel, they probably wonder why they have so much stationary time away from home.  Fill me up and run me until my tank is empty!  But then, inanimate objects don’t have a mind, heart or soul, so that’s a silly thought.

We snaked our way along the sweeping roads to Cowra via the convict-built cobblestone road through Frogmore.  Well, that’s what it feels like in places.  Rough or not, it’s always a welcome change to be off the beaten track a smidge.  Do you know what a ‘smidge’ is?  It’s an abbreviation for a ‘Smidgen’ which is half a pinch (1/32 of a teaspoon) of something.  You can actually purchase a Smidgen measuring spoon.  Trust me.  I know stuff.  There was no need to jostle for a parking spot at the Japanese War Cemetery.  Visiting dead people from decades past is clearly not a crowd-gathering exercise.  Lovely spot though.  There are lots of beautiful trees and walkways.  We all had a quick
look around and fell into small groups to chat about stuff.  Bikers are good at chatting about stuff. 

The recent influx of new and returning members means lots of new stuff gets talked about.  My neighbour often talks about stuff too.  Last week he told me that one of his dogs ate all the Scrabble tiles.  For days he kept leaving little messages around the house.  We eventually toddled off to the Railway Hotel for lunch.  Most of the stuff discussed over lunch was better than that.  We are a social lot.  Andrew regaled us with more California stories until we made him sit in the corner and be quiet. Jealousy is a curse.

The food was up to the usual standard.  I’m not saying that it was great all-round, but it served its purpose for me and most cleared their plates.  That’s a bonus.  Unfortunately, it became clear that the staff are dyslexic and possibly blind, have painted-on ears and zero concept of luncheon etiquette.  Some got their meals early, some a little bit later, and one not at all.  It was also pot-luck if the meal received was exactly as ordered!  Ian’s Mexican burger was not made by any Mexicans, had absolutely no Mexican ingredients in it, and did not remotely come from the instructions associated with any Mexican recipe.  However, he did eat it all, so I don’t know what he was whining about.  It was a lengthy break, so a refuel on the way out was called and we embarked on a much busier ride home via the main track between Cowra and Boorowa.

Ian considers the consequences of one too many jalapenos

There was little excitement for the ride home.  It was just a lot of traffic that spread the group far and wide all the way to Canberra, so here ends the Ride Report.  Great company, well-behaved bikes, top Ride Leadership from Ian (of course) and no Honda farts or little messages made it an excellent day
out.  Its nice to see a few new bods joining in the fun, but it seems to be many of the same old faces on these rides.  Where is everybody?

Participants for this journey were:

  • Ride Leader Ian (Honda GL1800),
  • Kevin Sherman (GL1800)
  • Mike Kelly (R1200RT)
  • Neil McRitchie (GTR1400)
  • Les Robinson (Triumph Trophy)
  • Andrew Campbell (FJR1300)
  • Dave Jones (XT1200)
  • John Grace (Tiger 1200)
  • Helen & Jo Dutton (VW Polo)
  • Scribe Mick Beltrame (R1250GS)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Ride details for Xmas in July (Sat 27 July)

Details for travelers* to Xmas in July at Wellington,NSW:

Date:            Sat 27th – Sun 28th July

Destination:        Xmas in July, Wellington

Distance:        350 km each way

Leave:            Caltex Nicholls

Time:            Sat 27th: briefing 9:50am, departure 10:00am

Lunch:            First stop will be at Cowra for lunch (about 2 hrs ride)

Leader:            Al Munday 0438 510 137

*As we don’t have a ride leader planned for those going on the Friday (most seem to be going in cars anyway), Friday riders should make their own arrangements.


Ian Paterson, Ride Coordinator

0427 291 728

>>Wiki on Wellington<<


Club Ride: Pie Festival (Bowral), 30 June 2019

Pies anyone? Five of us braved the cool wintery conditions, and gathered at BP Watson for a 9AM departure. Ian Pie Man Paterson must still be crook, to have missed this ride. The route taken was Tarago by way of Macs Reef Road and Bungendore, switching onto the Hume Highway at the Big Merino Goulburn exit. We travelled on the “Ho Hum” to the Service Centre at Marulan, where we stopped for a coffee break. The coffee was hot but average – even so a relief for the cold bones we were all feeling. Mick advised us at this point that if the crowds were huge he would give the PieFest a miss.

On departure we determined that we will use corners markers from here, as the route took us north, and almost immediately right, along the Highland Way (Tallong, Wingello, Penrose and a few zigzags around Bundanoon), and at Exeter we stayed on the Werai Road, and left onto Mount Broughton road at Currawarra. A short 20 minutes later or so we arrived Mossvale, where the Sunday recreational traffic was somewhat frustrating. Clear of Mossvale, we travelled along Argyle Street as we entered the southern outskirts of Bowral (this is the little area known as “Bong Bong”). A hard right and a few km further on, we arrived at the destination “Bong Bong Picnic Racecourse”.

Crowds were there, but none too much to keep Mick away. We begrudgingly paid our $10 entry fee to see what the pies are like. And the first food van we see is a “german sausage van”. Hmmph, not authentic, simple kranskys with no sauerkraut to be seen anywhere. That's not what I’m here for anyway, I’m in for some nice pies. We decided to settle on a 2.30 meet for the return ride (unless we individually choose to leave early and make our own way back), and broke away to mingle independently. *

I found a few different pies – some savoury, some sweet – but my favourite was the Alpine pie made by Heatherbrae (you know the one, the pie shop near the Illawarra Hwy (Eling Forrest) Service Centre – with the green FJ Holden in the front of the shop?. No?. Well, you should definitely try it next time you go through there). 

The weather had not warmed up one bit, so I chose to have a nice mug of Porter with my pies. About this time (and it was only 1PM or so) I caught up with (most of) the others, and we decided to head home by way of the same route. Mick had already left by the time we got back to the bikes. Errol was going to peel off in Goulburn and make the journey directly home along the highway.

Alan suggested we take the “back roads” out of Goulburn to get to Gunning. Little did any of us know it’s a bit of a challenge to find this back road out of Goulburn. Essentially, it means getting onto Gurrundah Road, winding back and forth toward the wind farm at Cullerin Range. The road surface is a bit dubious, but eventually we cleared the problem area and the run into Gunning. A quick rest stop was had, and as it was by now beginning to get late (and colder), we headed straight home by way of Gundaroo. At Sutton, Al, Chas and Tony broke off onto Tallagandra Lane / Mulligans Flat Road, while I continued onto the Federal and home.

Thanks for a great day (despite the wintery conditions).



  • Chris Dietzel (Kwaka GTR1400)
  • Alan Munday (FJR1300).
  • Mick Beltrame (BMW GS1250)
  • Errol  Pentland (FJR1300)
  • Tony Henderson (Tiger 800) 
*Not just Pies at the Pie Fest! Here are Al and Tony discussing the ladder option with the vendor. Not hard to get home in the bike? Alas the report does not mention if a laddery purchase was made.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

The July RO2 is now available

President Maritta has sent out an email to remind us that the July 2019 RO2  has been posted. You can duck over to the RO2 page and find it there.

Marittas email also included a timely reminder for anyone who has forgotten to renew their membership:

" For those of you who are not currently financial, now is the time to renew your membership and continue to receive these updates. Click Here! "

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Lap of California – May/June 2019

Andrew Campbell has just come back from a very interesting tour of California. He describes it as "a wonderful motorcycle touring destination full of spectacular coastline, marvellous redwood forests, gorgeous mountain peaks and lush green valleys."


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Is this your bike?

Jim Lavery, Member 71, came to the Tuesday 18 June meeting  to let us know that he had found some handbooks for his old K75 BMW which he had sold a while ago.

He'd sold it to a fellow Ulyssian who he has lost touch with. If you recognise the machine, let Jim know as he would like to pass the handbooks on to the machines new owner.

Jim can be contacted on 0262916901


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ride Report - Green Grocer Chomp and Chat 16 June 2019

Sunday June 16 started off cloudy and cool, but there was no rain forecast. 8 riders met at BP Watson, with Tony arriving on the bell because his 'Check Engine' light had been on ....  he felt confident it was a false alarm, so we started out right on the money at 10.30.

And lo there was a plan of going!
We travelled down the Fed to the Macs Reef Rd turnoff, only to be overtaken by a hopped up Sunday driver in his fully sick machine on the double lines - right after the turnoff. He overtook most of us, including a few cars and nearly had a head on with a Land Rover - and nearly got the opportunity to meet Gary - before moving to the left lane. He overtook the rest of us at the next opportunity that presented itself, scaring the crap out of an old man in a red Camry - and positioned himself right behind the ride leader. Luckily, he turned off down Denley Drive to go and harass someone else.

We rode down Smiths Gap turning left onto the Tarago Rd to head to the Collector Rd, and then it started to spit - you know that annoying kind of rain that is just enough to annoy the crap out of you ?  And that was pretty much how it stayed all the way to Goulburn. Fearless leader missed a turn after going under the little bridge to take the short cut, but got us to the warm confines of the Green Grocer without incident where we all took up a warm seat by the amazing pizza oven, operating at 272 degrees. As usual, the food was great and the pizza looked the goods - those that had it, loved it.

The intrepid ones!

After we ordered, Mick Beltrame appeared at the cafe fresh from riding through the rainy southern highlands. 

Our numbers swelled to 9 and Gary led us to the servo on his F6B and out of town to the Gurrundah Rd. This fun detour is a mixture of goat track, potholes and smooth tarmac. Riding through Gunning and Gundaroo we noted a lot of new housing development, Gary saw a beautifully white sheep on the roadsid and a Sharpei that tried to attack as we passed it. 

As we made our way into Sutton a HiLux driver tried to wipe Gary out at the intersection just before the Sutton Baker - full circle with bad Sunday drivers and left Gary believing he really is invisible on his massive motor.

The return route.

We regrouped at Sutton Baker for a warming beverage, following the cameraderie that Chomp and Chats should be known for - everyone riding back together and saying their goodbyes before heading north, south, east or west to home.

Top temp on this ride was about 8 Degrees, and the rain was a pain in the butt but the company and the riding were not.

  • Ron Tito - BMW R1200GS
  • Kim Tito - BMW F700GS
  • Mark Mitchell - Triumph Tiger 800 XC
  • Garry McCurley - Honda F6B
  • Neil McRitchie - Kawasaki GTR 1400
  • Doug Cawley - Honda VT750
  • Les Robinson - Triumph Trophy
  • Tony Henderson - Triumph Tiger 800
  • Mick Beltrame - BMW R1250GSA

Monday, June 3, 2019

Roadworks advice - Tarago to Lake Bathurst

Just a quick heads-up from Mick Winters that the road between Tarago and Lake Bathurst is under roadworks . That will be dirt rather than tar; for those who need to know.

Ride Safe!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ride Report: Gerringong, 2 June 2019

Today’s ride began with a sort of poetic symmetry. A week previously, the Ride Leader had been unable to attend and Ian stepped into the breach; this week, Ian was designated Ride Leader but he was unable to attend himself due to an inconvenient respiratory infection. So there we were, six riders at the BP in Watson, and no leader. Amongst our number was another newcomer, Jerome Hitchings and his Triumph Tiger Explorer; welcome, Jerome!

I was on just my second ride with the club, but foolishly admitted that I had Ian’s planned destination programmed into my GPS. Naturally, it was unanimously agreed that I now qualified as leader. Oh, and by the way, scribe. Something like “There’s the deep end; now swim!”. I had a destination, I had a GPS; how hard could this be?

So, in sunshine, no wind and five degrees, we set sail for Gerringong via Bungendore and a coffee stop in Nerriga. It was there that Kris admitted to the rookie error of departing on a ride with her fuel tank half full of air, so the next stop was Nowra for a top-up. No problem, we all tanked up and no further fuel stops were necessary for the day.

From Nowra to Gerringong seemed to be one continuous roadworks, and the temperature was now 20 degrees - hardly suitable for the layers of clothing with which we had all departed. Time to stop at the Sea Vista Cafe in Gerringong. With a name like that, we all ordered seafood, and none of us were disappointed; good food, good service and good company, and a pretty good view of the coast as well.

The next leg of the journey was what we had come for; the ride up Jamberoo Mountain and on through the Southern Highlands. Initially we were stuck behind an L plate driver doing, oh, about the pace of a horse and buggy on Jamberoo Mountain Road. I was pottering along wondering how to get six riders around this obstacle when Mick demonstrated correct passing technique to the learner  unleashing the mighty torque of a BMW 1250.

We were also mixing, at this point, with a group of young gentlemen on Harleys. They seemed to be in some sort of hurry to pass us, only to stop at Jamberoo where, presumably, they had a libation then returned down the hill. We continued up the mountain on our journey of around 500 km; try doing that distance with ape hangers and a hardtail!

No more stops; we continued home through Robertson, Fitzroy Falls, Bundanoon and Marulan, where Kris peeled off to take the highway home; then through Bungonia and Tarago to Bungendore, where Mick peeled off and the remaining four of us said our goodbyes.

There was something for everyone today; tight winding mountain roads, fast sweeping corners, country lanes, and a bit of highway. The road surface wasn’t too flash in places, but those on adventure bikes claimed not to have even noticed. Many thanks to Mick B for assisting my novice leadership by ‘leading from behind’, and thanks also to today’s other riders for their patience and cameraderie.


The Team:

  • Dave Jones Yamaha XT1200
  • Jerome Hitchings Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200
  • Kris Jirasek Suzuki GSXR1300
  • Mick Beltrame BMW R1250GS
  • Robert McNeilly Honda VFR800
  • Scott England BMW R1250RT

Monday, May 27, 2019

Ride Report: Gooloogong, 25 May 2019

The designated Ride Leader was unable to make this one, so Ian stepped up for the job and led us on a merry path to Gooloogong for lunch. Garry McCurley had arrived early with his F6B, closely followed by the volunteered Scribe (thanks Ian) Mick Beltrame (that’s me) on the shiny new R1250GS. It wasn’t long before stand-in Ride Leader Ian Paterson arrived on his GL1800, and lucky-last newbie Scott England rolled in on his R1250RT. It was a dearth of riders, probably due to the distinct possibility that rain, hail or snow might block the roads out west. A dearth is like a large pack, with very few of the pack turning up.

This was the maiden voyage of my new RR, so I was looking forward getting some miles under the tyres and some bugs on the windshield. RR is not a Rolls Royce. It’s a Roo Replacement. After several long weeks of being bike-less, I finally had the new bike under my bum and ready to go. The weather was crisp but enjoyable on the bike. We left in 13 degrees on lightly moist road, saw a low of 11 degrees near Grenfell, then 17 degrees after Gooloogong, and 11 degrees again re-entering the Canberra environs. The rain stayed in the clouds and we had a great run.

The dearth of riders meant that tail-ends and corner-markers were not required, so we just followed the leader and switched positions at the back whenever one of the dearth decided that a gap was too big or it was time to slow the pace a bit. It was clear that Garry had played far too much BP Spotto in his youth (Do you all remember that game?) as he was the only one that spotted the second tortoise, the house on the hill built over the top of the big rocks, the emu wandering aimlessly in the bushes, and the gentleman running from the bushes back to his car after he had clearly been disposing of a body (or having an urgent leak). We all saw the first tortoise and the rather humongous Wedge-tail Eagle munching on the dead roo, but decided that Garry just made all the other stuff up to make us look unobservant.

Apparently, still in NSW despite the dominant beer sponsorship from up north?
The rest of the ride was pretty straight-forward. It was an unexciting run from Nicholls to Murrumburrah where we had a good coffee and some munchies at Terra-Cotta, then departed just as another larger dearth of riders arrived for their coffee break. Away we went to Grenfell and then Gooloogong, the zigging and zagging along the back-roads being a great recipe for running in the new engine on my bike with a mix of fast and slow speeds and numerous rev-changing gear-shifts. We joined a local Harley-riding character on the veranda of the old Gooloogong pub and learned about the locals praying for rain and the influx of Hamish people into the region. They drive cars by the way, a dispensation from the parent group in the USA that reflects the larger distances and dearth (that word again) of towns adjacent their settlements. The old horse-and-buggy doesn’t cut the mustard in country NSW.

Canberra Ulyssians enjoying the abundant sunshine
Lunch was fine for a back-water pub. It was nothing too special, but very enjoyable over a lengthy chat about bikes, life, red trains and other non-essential things. The sun was warming and it was tempting to linger, but we all knew that the cold settles early around Canberra and Sunday traffic in the early dark of a cold evening was not all that enthralling as a prospect. As the GoT saying goes, ‘winter is coming’! We waved farewell to Scott as we entered Boorowa, trusting that he had enjoyed the day out as first run with Canberra Ulysses. Ian, Garry and I opted for a warming brew at the Superb Bakery where the coffee actually lived up to the name. It was a final chance to review the day’s ride and say farewell before heading home.
Ian's 'Wing
Overall, it was a good run with a small group. The highlight for me was running in my new bike. I loved my last R1200GSLC, but this machine seems to be even sweeter. I hope I can keep the roos away this time! Thanks to Ian for being Ride Leader and for Garry and Scott for attending and being good company. Catch up on the next one. Cheers, Mick B.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Ride calendar for July to September has been posted

The new ride calendar for July to September 2019 has been posted.

Our Ride Planning Team have ensured that there is something for everyone coming up over the next few months.

Click here to view the upcoming rides.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Ride Report: Festival of the Falling Leaf - Tumut 27 April 2019

This was a strange – but strangely wonderful – overnight ride. What with accidents, injuries, back-seat boycotts, dog pickups and caravans, there were equal numbers of bikes and cars on this excursion to Tumut’s Festival of the Falling Leaf – our first since 2012.
Damon & Jen, Andrew and I turned up on two-wheelers, Derek & Margaret on their three-wheeler, and Kim & Ron and Catherine & Sally in their four-wheelers. We picked up Maritta in her four-wheeler on the side of the road in Murrumbateman (perhaps she had slept there all night after a wild evening in Yass), while Butch and Jan were already at Tumut, ensconced in the luxury of their tin-plated mansion on wheels.
This was the last weekend of the school holidays, with double demerits for so much as picking your nose, so we took it easy out along the Barton Highway in slightly chilly but otherwise perfect weather.
Our first stop was Jugiong, where we joined a host of locals and travellers taking refreshments at the Long Track Pantry. Despite the plethora of patrons and the seeming chaos, our coffees and sourdough toast with butter and Vegemite arrived promptly and without fuss, as is usual at the LTP no matter how crowded they are.
From there it was a short hop down the highway to Pettit, a tiny collection of houses just off the freeway that prompts an obvious question: why is it there? It is only 4km from Coolac and it is so small and insignificant that it doesn’t even have an entry in Wikipedia or on Google Maps (or anywhere else on the internet).
Anyway, leaving aside the existential mystery of Pettit, it was there that we turned left off the freeway and tootled south-east on Gobarralong Road till we crossed the Murrumbidgee River at Gobarralong, a rural locality that does make it into Wikipedia and onto Google Maps with a mere 52 inhabitants (plus an unknown number of cattle and sheep not interviewed for the census) spread over hundreds of square kilometres.
Between Pettit and the river we rode over some of the roughest, most rutted roadworks I’ve ever encountered but, amazingly, no-one fell off (it could have been a different story if the water truck had just been through) and even Maritta’s MX5 made it through unscathed.
We crossed the river on the luxurious new bridge and turned immediately right onto Darbalara Road, which is narrow and unfenced for the first several kilometres. At times we shared the road with sheep and the odd cow but they were obviously used to traffic and nonchalantly ambled out of our way.
Beside the Tumut River, where the road to Gundagai turns off, Darbalara Road became Brungle Road and we followed this through the pretty village of Brungle, up the Killimicat valley, up the steep, twisty climb at its head and through some lovely rolling country to the Wee Jasper Road. Here we turned right and in a few kilometres were in Tumut. Apart from the one section of roadworks, the roads are all sealed and in good condition, though often narrow and winding.
Most of us checked into the Merivale Motel, though Maritta was in a motel around the corner and Butch and Jan were in the Riverglade Caravan Park, sited amidst spreading elm trees on the bank of the Tumut River.
A few of us had a pie for lunch at the Pie in the Sky Bakery before watching the 2pm street parade. I have to say it was a little disappointing compared to the one five years earlier. Back then there were at least two bands, this time there were none. However, there were plenty of historic cars, including dozens of Minis, and a torrent of trucks that kept the kiddies entertained with blasts on their air horns. Paraders from a real estate agency and a couple of NDIS providers only added to the feverish euphoria.
After the parade, needing to calm our frenzied nerves, some us walked to the Tumut River Brewery (I had a pint of dark, delicious smoked porter) and had a quick wander through the obligatory markets, then retired to the motel. We were all settling in for a nana nap when one of our number (who shall remain nameless) started cooeeing, whooping and hollering that it was time for pre-dinner drinkies, so we all dragged ourselves out of our snug beds and into the parking lot, lugging tables, chairs, food and wine, and got stuck into socialising.
The only person not enjoying the moment was the lady in room 6, who was woken from a deep sleep after the rigours of a two-day family reunion and thought maybe the motel was on fire or something. We moved our party a bit further up the parking lot and made our peace with her the next morning.

Maritta had booked dinner for us all at Kinnaree Thai in the Commercial Hotel in Tumut’s main drag. The food was good and plentiful and the conversation was – how can I put this – wide-ranging (what is said on a ride stays on a ride!). Let it be said that no-one left hungry or with their brain unscarred.
From there we made a 10-minute dash to the Bull Paddock for the 7:30pm fireworks, which were pretty bloody good. Everyone had front-row seats and there were no untoward cock-ups by the pyrotechnics professionals. Even better, the fireworks weren’t set to wanky music, so you could lie back on the grass and let the laser-like flashes and blasts sear their way into the Stone Central part of your brain.
After such a big day, we slept well. On Sunday morning I and a few others shuffled down to Macca’s for an egg & bacon McMuffin and a large coffee to kick-start our seedy brains. Catherine & Sally, Ron & Kim, Butch & Jan and Maritta in their tin-tops headed back home via the freeway but the rest of us on our bikes rode south on the Snowy Mountains Highway.
And it was a fantastic ride! After winding along above Lake Blowering, we detoured into Talbingo and the Tumut 3 hydro power station, then climbed up steep, winding Talbingo Mountain, past Yarrangobilly Caves, Kiandra and Adaminaby and on to Cooma for lunch.
There was almost no traffic, perfect sunny weather (the temperature varied from 6° near Yarrangobilly to 19° at Adaminaby before settling down to around 15° at Cooma), spectacular scenery, a smooth road surface with plenty of both tight and sweeping bends … it was paradise! However, not wanting to earn any double demerits, we took it easy and gently cruised the whole way. Margaret said it was the first time she had been across the mountains without having to hang on for dear life!
We lunched in Cooma at Under the Elms café, across the road from Centennial Park, before joining the traffic on the Monaro Highway back to Canberra.
Ian Paterson

Ian Paterson Honda GL1800
Kim & Ron Tito Isuzu DMax
Damon & Jen Hatchett BMW R850R
Derek & Margaret Titheradge Spyder
Andrew Campbell Yamaha FJR1300
Catherine Campbell & Sally Paterson Mazda 3
Maritta Heiler Mazda MX5
Butch & Jan Wills Mazda BT50

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Next Club Ride: 12 May - Adventure Ride to Tumut (via Wee Jasper)

Date: Sun 12th May
Destination: Adventure Ride to Tumut via Wee Jasper
Distance: 270 km
Leave: Caltex Nicholls
Time: Briefing 9:20am, departure 9:30am
Leader: Al Munday 0438 510 137‬
Warning: Twisty dirt roads most of the way.