As the months were rolling closer to our own month to lead a MMT ride, both Adz and My schedules were looking rather busy, so we decided to elect for an easier Day Ride rather than an overnight weekender. I’ll store the idea for the weekender for another time maybe.
Ride routes that I have arranged in the past that I loved get stored in my Dropbox account which can sometimes in part give me inspiration towards legs of other rides. I remember Nigel Hughes started this concept in a Lever Arch Folder to help other members organise their rides. Maybe the Club should revisit this concept again online in electronic format as there are so many good GPS apps that record your route for you. Anyway, we agreed that we would use one of my great rides that I lead back in 2012.
I figured that anyone who came on that ride would have surely forgotten it by now, with exception to Paul Spiel possibly as those days I was a lot greener in both age and my ability to remember small unobvious country roads where my brakes had suddenly been applied with Paul right on my tail and had to initiate an emergency manoeuvre by departing the roadway with pillion on back to avoid a collision with me. I figured this was the real reason Paul departed company with us this time before revisiting this section of the ride?
I made my way down too South Yarra, minus my proposed pillion for the day as she didn’t put the date in her calendar/diary as I advised, and made other arrangements which then clashed. It did make my day a lot easier though only having to worry about which direction my bike and I were going to be heading at any point in time (sometimes these feel not entirely aligned). One of the luxuries of my newish BMW is that it has tyre pressure sensors and I needed a little top-up before the ride. This is where I discovered a little dent in my front rim right near the valve. I suspect I got it the day prior when I also did the entire route (Pre-ride No. 2) with my friend from work as pillion to check parts not covered in Pre-ride No. 1, and see if a section of my planned route had been re-opened as there were bridge repairs happening when Adz and I went first time around a few weeks before.
I pulled up at South Yarra to find Stephen P and Nick S waiting, but was shortly joined by Rolf F and Mark R. A few quick chats about my rim, Rolf’s new stubby exhaust alignment and how it might likely help install some rather unwanted ventilation points on his right side pannier before we departed to head out to meet others at Whittlesea. Upon arrival, we met up with Adam H (Adz), Paul S, Gary Van D, John M, Wayne B and John C (JC).
I was made aware by one of my work colleagues that the Whittlesea show was also on across both days of the weekend, but assuming how light the traffic was when I did the pre-ride No. 2 the day before, I wasn’t worried about us getting out of town with any degree of difficulty. Well, obviously for those attending the Whittlesea show, Sunday was their pick of the days, as the traffic was backed up right out of town which in turn made us getting out from the United petrol station and then out of town a bit slower than I was hoping, but we made it before too long.
As we were climbing up into the hills, I was thinking we were very lucky with the weather as it was turning out to be simply perfect. With very little traffic on the road as we made our way past the quite familiar village like towns of Hazeldene and Flowerdale before we had a bunch of bikers pull onto the Whittlesea-Yea Road before us. They were picking up good speed, so that was fine, but before I knew it, some dopy mid-life crisis dill in his BMW Pretend 4WD (The only off road these cars see is a nature-strip to get a bucket of soapy water splashed across to wash the settled dust) slowly pulled right in front of me and our group with no desire to use his accelerator more than the 1st 10th of its capability. While braking extremely rapidly to avoid a collision with my thumb firmly on my horn, he remained oblivious to his level of sheer stupidity. I always question ‘Why The F*ck’ am I the one paying a ‘Safety Levy’ on my Motorcycle Rego when the message is clearly ‘Not Getting Through’? I firmly believe we should have the right to kick their door as we pass them as a keep-sake reminder of how close they came to almost causing serious injury to someone on a motorbike… but I then find it infuriated me even more when you pass them blowing your horn that they just smile and wave at you.
The other bikers ahead of us were making good speed through the twisty hills, which was great not to be getting held up further by them. We made it into Yea a little after our scheduled arrival time of 11:30, so we made good time considering the unexpected delays we had experienced.
Lunch at ‘Marmalades of Yea’ was lovely and relaxed with our orders arriving without delay. It was the perfect weather to sit outside in their courtyard garden as we enjoyed our meals and refreshments. Our plan was to leave by 1pm at the latest, but with everyone fed and watered, we started getting ready a little earlier.
We scheduled a couple of photo opportunities along the way, and our first was to be as we climb the steep and nicely curved road towards Ghin Ghin. Our group pulled onto a siding, as Adz rode ahead to set up his cameras on one of the nice sweeping corners. We then made our way towards Seymour along the newly re-opened Highlands Road which has always been a great stretch of twists and hills through the Highlands Region. I had pre-warned our riders that there was still a number of potholes and bumps to be aware of along this stretch, which I then wondered if this is where I got the dent in my rim from the day before?
After clipping the outskirts of Seymour, we made our way back towards Yea before diverting off through Strath Creek and up some more tight twisty 25km/hr corner climbs before stopping in at the Murchison Gap Lookout with lovely views looking out across the surrounding rolling hills. A few group photo shots before Stephen and Rolf headed back down the hill for more fun coming back up again before we proceeded on to Broadford. Paul S and Nick S departed company here, while the rest ventured on out the back of Broadford across to Pyalong where we had a quick look at the decaying old historical Trestle Railway Bridge over Mollison’s Creek.
We then headed across to Lancefield before our eagerly anticipated stop at the Woodend bakery. After a good chat over coffee & cake, we headed off for the last leg of the ride with a slight diversion via another lovely stretch of road through the ‘Upper Coliban Reservoir’ and ‘Lauriston Reservoir’ across the front of the dam wall on our way over to Trentham before making our way down to the Western Highway via Blackwood and Greendale.
Thanks to everyone who came along for the ride. It was a long but fun route, and was great to catch up with everyone for some more twisty corners through our great country areas.
Brett & Adz