Road to Ruffy
This ride report was originally published in the November 2011 issue of the Motorcycle Tourers club magazine, ‘Chain Lube’.
After the past few club rides being a bit on the damp side with rain and storms the week leading up to the Ruffy ride, the weather forecast of 27c and sunny seemed a bit optimistic for the day of the ride. A quick check of every weather site on the iPhone in the morning confirmed that it was still going to be warm and sunny for the day.
David and I arrived at South Yarra and where greeted by 8 other enthusiastic riders for top days riding around the Strathbogie ranges and lunch at the famous Ruffy Produce Store before heading back through the ranges and on to Yea, Kinglake and Whittlesea and then heading home to Melbourne. After a quick coffee and checking out Rolfs new Honda VFR and Dewy’s new BMW-K1200S, we departed for Lilydale, the second pick up point. Here we were joined by other members swelling our ranks to 16 bikes.
We headed of at 10.30 and rode through Lilydale, and for a change turned off onto the Melba highway at Coldstream instead of our usual route through Healesville and the Black Spur. We passed through the towns of Yarra Glen and Dixons Creek before the heavy traffic subsided and we could open the throttle a little more as we rode through the Toolangi Mountains and forest before arriving at Yea.
From here we went to Molesworth and a scenic detour off the highway through rich green rolling hills and valleys to Alexandra where a quick regroup and fuel stop was called for. Just as well we did because David received a call from Hosko who had electrical problems with the R6 and needed a push start after his bike died while corner marking. It was decided that he would try and limp back home to Melbourne and call an end to his ride for the day. At Alex, Justin and John H also headed back home due to other commitments and we asked them to keep an eye out for Hosko in case he was broken down on the side of the road.
A few of us where getting a bit hungry by now as the sun was warm and bright when we left Alexandra. The group continued onto Yarck where we turned off to Ruffy, the narrow country lanes lead us through Gobur and Caveat before the climb up the ranges to our lunch stop. The roads where quiet and scenic as we passed farm land and vineyards and finally into Ruffy.
There was a huge community clearance sale on at the old Ruffy school as we rode into town with just about every Toyota Landcruiser Ute in the area in attendance, clearly the vehicle of choice in the district. We had a bit of a leg stretch before being seated at our table for lunch in the beautiful gardens at the store. After a couple of hours of fine food, sweets and ales it was time to head back towards Melbourne.
While at lunch David had received another call from Hosko who had made it to Yea before the bike conked out again and was stranded and needed help. So off we set to complete the ride and try to help Hosko out. We rode through Terip and Highlands before descending the mountain range and joining the highway just out of Yea.We found Hosko sitting in the local park as we rode into town and a few guys went to check on his bike, it was decided it couldn’t be coaxed back into life and was kindly locked up at the local service station by the owner until Hosko could come back with a trailer. Dewy offered to pillion Hosko on the back of the BMW to Whittlesea before Glen took Hosko the rest of the way home to Melbourne.
We set off again from Yea as the temperature really started to climb, what a beautiful day as we rode towards Kinglake and the final stop for the day at Whittlesea. We pulled into the service station, topped up our fuel tanks, said our good byes and Hosko changed to another bike for the journey home with Glenn. The last part of the ride was basically straight roads to Donnybrook before joining the Hume Hwy where everyone headed their own separate way home. I really hope everyone that came had a great day and fantastic ride in the glorious weather.