‘Welcome to Winter’ ride
This ride report was originally published in the July 2010 issue of the Motorcycle Tourers club magazine, ‘Chain Lube’.
The day had to come, that Parrington would convince me to actually lead a ride for MMT. I had led a few non-MMT rides before with just a handful following, so I took the challenge and organised a ride. For a true winter event with rain, cold and whatever else Mother Nature would throw at us I would be lucky enough to get 10 riders. To my shock, 18 riders started the day, ready and eager to get going. Most had wet weather gear on or with it close by at the ready and who could not miss Moff with his “Official” Marshalling bright orange rain gear on.
We left South Yarra on time, over the Bolte then around the Ring Road to Greensborough. Then left to St Andrews and up to Kinglake for a re-group and a loo run for those with small bladders. At the start of the ride Max’s lovely shiny new BMW was just that, but by Kinglake it was used and abused with Max laying it over on a slow right hand corner, both rider and bike back on the road and able to complete the ride.
We pushed onto Healsville where we were greeted by heavier rain and every Tom, Dick and Harry in their nice warm, dry cars all doing 20 below the limit. The Black Spur was its usual self, choked with slower moving traffic but with the mix of cold, rain and mist with the always promise of heavy Police presence in the area making it all the more exciting… but I think the boys in Blue had decided to stay home in the wet conditions as not one was seen. With an Agusta MV making his way up the group and hot on my heels soon turned a dull ride into a fun ride on the Spur. We chased, caught and over took another group of BMWs and a Harley sidecar and to my joy Max decided to stay with us and not join the other group.
With a refuel before lunch we met a strange little grey-headed fellow riding a T-max with his Pussy, Yes it was Gary V and Garfield from Castlemaine who had made the solo run over to meet us just for lunch. With another dropped bike, this time the CB of David W, not sure what happened but the bike and rider was stationary at the time so thankfully no damage. Lunch at Butters Café was wonderful, with great fresh food made with passion didn’t make for an easy decision on what to order. With its rural setting, Straw dwelling and warm fire place its well worth a look in if you are ever in the area. A big Thank you to DP for the lead on the venue and for organising it.
After lunch saw us at Maryville, then over the Reefton Spur, where it was re-named the Reefton Spur slippery slope. This was largely due to Fridays storm blowing all the bark, leaves and anything else not nailed down onto the road, at times making it slippery and just a challenge to see. However I saw this as a great time to sharpen your reflexes and get to know your bike better, however I’m not sure those following me saw it the same way. A quick re-group at the end of the Reefton Spur slippery slope saw all riders still up right, and gave us the opportunity to inspect just what that burning smell was and for John to admire his once clean almost new CBR600RR and take more pictures of it.
What should have been a quick run back to Lilydale took longer with Vic Road lowering the Speed limit from Marysville to Warburton from 100km/h to 80km/h. Lilydale saw the ride conclude at around 4.30, giving John H more time to complain about more dirt on his nice new bike and then commissioning Brett to take pictures of said bike with him on it.
All in all, I had a great day and by the looks of the smiles and excitement from my fellow riders, I could safely say it was enjoyed by all. Big thanks for DP for all his assistance in my first ride as leader and also to Tim H and Moff for rear riders.