Kate’s Great South-Western Ride
This ride report was originally published in the August 2011 issue of the Motorcycle Tourers club magazine, ‘Chain Lube’.
“Round the You Yangs and off up the bumpy road to find one-way bridges ride”
Getting out of bed on a Sunday is not the easiest thing to do these days, however on 5th June with a ride planned and ready to go, I leaped up and got away to the cafe in South Yarra with time to get a pastry and a coffee before others arrived. Given it was the start of winter the weather was promising to hold out for a good day albeit a bit windy.
But there were no ominous clouds early on and the sun was even promising to give us a good ride. Pete H, Tim B, Moff, Rolf, Ken and Ross K joined me shortly and thinking that Pete and Tim might rock up, (they didn’t), so 6 of us set off a fraction after 9:30 to head over to the second pick up point at Point Cook Shell servo. We were met there by Max & Brett, and a group of about ten vintage Indian motorcyclists. Seeing the Indians took me back to the vintage motorcycle ride days with my dad… sigh.
Anyway we headed off with nine bikes southward on the Geelong Rd to the Little River turn off and then to the You Yangs. We circuited around to the north and after a moment of worry spotting a closed road (was I meant to turn there?), we hit the intersection with the Bacchus Marsh – Geelong rd. (So I hadn’t forgotten where I was going!! Phew) South to Granite Rd and then over to Anakie where we took DeMotts Rd – this is the only road that is fully made around the Brisbane Ranges to get to Steiglitz, and a oneway bridge. Morning tea stop was at the Peppercorn cafe with the biggest Anzac biscuits you have ever seen. I was envious because I can never get my Anzacs to go that flat!
After coffee we shot off to Meredith and then north towards Morrisons and Gordon, and at least two more one-way bridges. I was a bit concerned about this leg as it had had some road works on it that I was hoping would be complete. The section was laid but of course covered in gravel, so a slow gentle ride up about an 800m stretch was required. Everyone cleared it safely. Now we had a straight road good for high speed save for the fact that it was ‘the bumpiest piece of road’ in Victoria, I was flying along high on the pegs avoiding pot holes, but Moffie didn’t quite manage to avoid the really big one (oops)… and from what I can tell the Majesty now needs a wheel alignment! I have to say, if the lead rider avoids something, you can probably tell that it’s a good thing to do the same!
After Gordon we went down some back roads (another one-way bridge) to Daylesford, passing the Hepburn community wind farm on the way. The turbines are 2MW each in size doubly fed induction motors, with partial inverters (30%) if anyone is interested. It’s wasn’t running on that day despite the high wind due to a bureaucratic hold up on the commissioning. We were a bit late to the Daylesford Hotel for lunch where we caught up with Gary and Michael plus a friend. A convivial chat in a warm hotel with a nice lunch and we all started to relax, but all too soon it was time to head homeward.
We decided before heading off that some of us would go home via Mt Macedon and others would take the direct route from Woodend, after a petrol stop. Rolf, Brett, Max and I headed off over Mt Macedon with clouds threatening rain, we made it down the back roads to Riddells Creek, then into Sunbury where we cut sideways into Wildwood rd for a meander over a another one-way bridge and back to watch the big jets taking off at Tullamarine. The weather held off for us, we had some strong winds but it was a great day finishing before the sunset. I just need to remember to put my earplugs in!