Kate’s reverse figure of eight ride
This ride report was originally published in the December 2010 issue of the Motorcycle Tourers club magazine, ‘Chain Lube’.
With so many wet Sundays of late, we were very fortunate to have sunny weather for our ride on the 21st November. The mild conditions contributed to the great turn out of twenty riders and three pillions who met at the usual spot in South Yarra for a 9.30 am start. Traffic and tram tracks dominated the first 15 minutes or so as we headed down Toorak Road to the Monash Freeway. From there, most of the group made their way to the Princes Freeway and on to the second pick-up point at the Officer North BP service centre. However, a small breakaway group took a detour down the South Gippsland Highway, almost reaching Hastings before realising their mistake. Meanwhile, the rest of us filled in time drinking coffee and discussing whether to wait for the tailenders or leave without them. Club spirit prevailed and we waited for the stragglers to join us.
The next leg of the ride involved a relatively boring scoot down the freeway to the town of Trafalgar. At that point we turned off the freeway and onto some more interesting back roads which wound around the undulating hills. A sharp left turn towards Narracan was almost missed by Kate, and was overshot by some of those following. (You can check out this turn on the Google map. It is virtually a hairpin bend off to the left of the main road to Thorpdale).
Some lovely windy turns followed, which, despite some gravel on the road, were loads of fun. A vehicle towing a cage trailer with a bull in it soon slowed us all down and reminded us that we were truly out in the country side. The poor bull was bewildered by us too and tried to turn around in the cage to see where all the noise was coming from. Eventually the driver pulled to the side to let us past, and after another 10-15 minutes of winding roads we pulled into the Brewery at Mirboo North for lunch.
Following a relaxing lunch and a fuel stop, we headed towards Leongatha, detouring north to enjoy more fun on the Grand Ridge Road. As its name suggests, the road follows the ridge line with some grand views over forests and farms. A short stretch on the South Gippsland Highway brought us to Korumburra. At this point we took a turn to the north, heading back towards Warragul. The road out of Korumburra and up to Warragul provided some beautiful riding, with gentle rhythmic curves around the hills.
Crossing the freeway at Warragul, we continued travelling north with an afternoon coffee stop at Neerim South. With only one poor woman working in the cafe (until one of her regular customers decided to help out), the service was slow but the coffee and cakes were good. From Neerim we headed towards Noojee, then turned west towards Powelltown and Melbourne. After a rendezvous stop at Launching Place, the group split in two. A large contingent led by Pete Ho headed towards the Eastern Freeway, while a smaller group followed Kate back south to Gembrook, then via Cockatoo, Emerald and Wellington Road back to the Monash Freeway at Mulgrave. Unfortunately Pete and his group hit heavy traffic going into the city and it seems they arrived home about an hour later than those of us who took the longer trip back through Gembrook. Something to remember for the future.
All in all, it was a great ride, even if my bum took a few days to recover.