Monday, November 07, 2005

Meet the Campers - Maldon (Nov Ride Day)

For some lucky campers the overnight stay at the Loddon Valley Park became a reality. Unfortunately, the cabins were all booked out so for those with no capacity for carrying camping gear, the overnight stay was no longer possible – so there were a few that didn’t get to play Boy Scouts & Girl Guides this time!
By all accounts the overnight stay was a huge success and all 6 campers had a great time – there were even a few tales to tell the next day – PJ might be able to give you more details!!
For the others the trip to Maldon started off from the Wharfshed Café on Sunday morning. It was good to have a new rider join us on his Speed Triple – hopefully we’ll see Ashley riding with us again soon. With Murray leading the way we headed out of Geelong on the Ballarat Road and then on to Anakie and through the Brisbane Ranges.
It was just coming out of Anakie when the first incident of the day occurred – Pete & Leone on the Speed Four were hit by a flying mud-flap! It tore the right hand indicator off its mount and left a black mark on the radiator cowl. Pete didn’t know what had hit him!!
Resurfacing on the side of the road through the Brisbane Ranges was dodgy and meant little stones flying around everywhere – a few more chips on the paintwork! As we closed in on Ballan the wind picked up and it looked like we were riding in a head wind. Even with ear plugs the wind noise was deafening.
A stop in Daylesford was needed for a quick coffee and a visit to the toilets. That was the intention anyway – 15 minutes after ordering the coffee it arrived – don’t think we’ll go there again! Luckily the toilet didn’t take so long…
Once out of Hepburn Springs it was a quick ride to Newstead passing by a 3 ft long Colin the Copperhead snake that had met his end on the bitumen. I wondered was it one of the bikes in front that had ran over him – could be dodgy if he got tangled in the wheel or thrown up on the rider coming behind! Imagine doing 120km/hr and trying to wrestle with a 3 foot long injured copperhead…
We were soon in Maldon and quickly spotted the Thunderbirds and Speedmaster with trailers attached. The campers had already found a table in the café and it was time for lunch.
Then the second event of the day – Rodney had a puncture in his rear tyre. A self-tapping screw had lodged itself in the side of his back wheel and it was as flat as the snake we’d see earlier! After filling the tyre with weld and several attempts to fill it with air Rodney gave up and decided to ride home with Shirley to get the car & return later to pick up the T’Bird.
Time to set off home back to Geelong and as we headed out of Maldon we were tailing another group of bikers that certainly weren’t hanging around! As we approached Newstead the flashing lights of oncoming motorists warned us that the cops were somewhere up ahead – in the bushes with a radar gun we suspected. But this time they were in the middle of the road with a breathalyzer stopping traffic in the opposite direction.
Then, just a little bit out of Newstead and there he was – Colin the Copperheads cousin Bobby the Brown snake – only he looked about 6 inchs to a foot longer!!! Luckily he had already crossed the left hand side and was moving on the ride hand side – he was on a mission – revenge!

It was bumps all the way on that tankslapper of a road to Hepburn Springs, then a quick stop for refreshments at the Hepburn Springs pub and it was onward ho! Again, we were getting warnings from oncoming traffic of police ahead – again a Police breathalyzer just out of Daylesford. Ironic really, we had just come from the pub and the police told us to keep going without a single breath being blown!! As it was we're a sensible bumch and were all safe anyway!

It was a hot & sweaty ride back to Geelong and we were all grateful to Pete & Leone for providing cold drinks, refreshments and great hospitality back at their place.

During the day there was some discussion of having a Xmas breakup ride – details to follow soon.

It was another great day – look forward to the next one & hope to see you there.

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