Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sunday 9th April 06 Ride Day

It looked like it was going to be an average day from a weather point of view when we all gathered at the Wharfshed for the April Ride Day. Nine bikes and 12 RATs rocked up for the ride with another two that couldn't come along popping in to say hello & wave us off. Then the first dilemma, do we stick to the plan and ride to Ballarat for lunch and have the calendar planning session or go to the motorcycle show & shine being held at Riddells Creek. Anyway, we decided to stick to plan and ride to Ballarat via Inverleigh, Shelford and Rokewood. We would also meet Mal & Cheryl on the way and Rod & Shirley in Ballarat at the Grapes Pub. Getting out of Geelong had it's usual dramas with lots of traffic but once out on to the Hamilton Highway the coast was clear for a cruise to Inverleigh.
Just after Inverleigh there's a little road that cuts through a valley to Shelford. It's usually an amazing little road for bikes with great visibility & awesome corners. It was still as good as ever for me out front but not so good for those behind -my back wheel was ripping up & throwing loose gravel at the bikes coming behind! I wondered why they were backing off...
The ride from Shelford to Rokewood was boring & straight but we cruised along at a reasonable pace. We had just stopped in Rokewood when we were joined by Cheryl & Mal on the TT & Trident. It was time for a coffee and we pulled up at a lonely little Milk Bar where the owner looked slightly nervous as 14 bikers started rolling in looking for coffee, tea, egg & bacon rolls and hot cross buns!
Now with a total of 11 bikes we headed for Ballarat and The Grapes Hotel. Leigh reckoned it was somewhere near Sovereign Hill but PJ was confident he knew the location and led us confidently to The North Star Hotel!! A quick chat to the barman and we were back on track - and it was close to Sovereign Hill after all. Rod & Shirley kept the Triumph theme going and rocked up in there beautiful little Triumph Herald - leaving the Bonnie & T'Bird at home for a change. Now with 11 bikes and a Herald and 16 RATs we sat down for a well-earned Sunday lunch.
The girls quickly volunteered to be in a photoshoot for next years calendar and we got a bit worried when PJ was volunteering for September! Anyway, I don't think they were too serious - or maybe the boys got the wrong idea about their outfits in the photos!!
Leigh was a champion and managed to control the rowdy crowd as he persisted to get ideas and document a draft calendar for the rest of the year. A couple of trips were included to The Grampians, Marysville and Talbot.
A couple of RATs are also doing some research on a Tassie trip next year and will bring details to the next monthly meeting.
As soon as Leigh has all details for the calendar confirmed a copy will be dstributed at the monthly meeting.
The ride back to Geelong was via the Midland Hwy to Meredith and then cutting off through the twisting road via Steiglitz and the Brisbane Ranges. Once again some safety concerns as several of the group got left behind and the lead riders waited at the junction with Anakie Road for the others. Again the importance of having a more experienced tail end rider to account for all riders at the back was highlighted.

It was a good day even though we didn't get to the show & shine - maybe next time.

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