Monday, June 19, 2006

Talbot (Winter) Week-end Trip - June 17-18 2006

Story & Photos by Mick - Red Sprint

Saturday 17th June and 4 Geelong Rats with 1 Ballarat departed for the central highlands area with Talbot being the destination of a Saturday night sleepover.
The usual route was taken out though Anakie and the Brisbane Ranges (which appears to be recovering well after the fires) and toward Ballan, but no Ballan stop this time as we turn of and head towards Gordon, Wallace and the old Western Highway.
It is a deteriorating road but still some nice scenery as we travel through and cross the freeway at Bungaree (the Spud Frawley town for those of us Aussie rules followers) past a country footy game then on through nice spud and cattle country to the bush of Creswick. Nice smooth roads and open flowing corners led by Rod, speed limit and a little bit more was on the agenda (Good Fun).
Found a nice warm café run by a couple of very nice chaps and settled in for bacon and free range eggs with runny bright orange yokes just like we used to have on the farm. All sitting on some high tin toast with tomatoes (mouth watering yet well it should be) washed down with a steaming mug of Cappucino.
We then headed of on some back roads to avoid a push bike race (thats what Rod said but I think he just like seeing me squirm on those narrow roads with the sandy corners and intersections). We then joined the main road at Smeeton and road through Campbelltown and Newstead to Maldon where it was a drovers lunch (pee and look around for the city people). Filled up the hungry Thunderbirds and off the Dunolly because we could.
Dunolly is a similar town to Maldon but not much traffic and not many tourists but a very nice bakery and apparently a biker friendly pub. We later met some natives which has aroused the interest to return for a better exploration of the site. So after a pie and coffee and a walk up the street, so we didn’t all feel like poisoned pups, it was of to Avoca and time to do some top box product testing!

The roads were good and flowing but at times some bumpy sections a bit like the Ballan road. This is where my unnamed top box decided it was time to bail off at SL + 20 KPH - Mick and Murray were the audience and were amazed that it stood up so well with only the badge going missing and a few scratches. Remounted the box after deciding I mustn’t have clipped it in properly and headed of again. Got about 10 kms down the road and it decided it was off again this time at SL + 20kph and a big bit got Leigh this time the observer.
I spied the shadow of it just before launch and this time it bounced quite well as before except after the 4th or 5th bounce, as I watched in my mirror, it cried ENOUGH and exploded with gear being deposited all over the road. I found everything but a pair of jocks (I think Leigh may have already changed them before I got back sorry mate either that or there is a Koala out there in a pair of black Bonds briefs). Reading glasses a bit twisted and boots a bit scuffed but all ok. Repacked the gear and off to meet the other three intrepid travellers at Avoca and another drovers stop as well as much laughing at my ill fated top box. I wonder why nobody wanted to ride behind me.
After Avoca we headed of to Maryborough and then to Talbot arriving at about 4 pm. Rod headed back to Ballarat and work. The bread must be delivered. I really don’t think he wanted to go - we offered to ring in sick for him but he trudged of into the sunset as we headed for the bar.

We were joined the by Colin and Lorraine who had ridden up in the arvo via Ballarat and Colins family. After a few rasberrys it was off to the open fire heated dining room and a welcome and traditional country pub meal (they just cant get much better except for Leighs lambs fry and bacon), a few more raspberries and off to play pool which was the cause of much laughter and excuses. They had minor earth tremors every time I lined up a shot as the balls keep on moving around down the other end of the table.
We were joined by the Jackaroo 4WD club and had a few tall rooster stories happening. Off to bed and lovely leckie blankets were most welcome. Leigh had chained the Thunderbird up nice and snug with my Sprint and I think we may have a Thruxton on the way - see pic - the T'Bird appeared to be looking longingly at the red thoroughbred!
We awoke to a brisk central Victorian morning and the sound of livestock as the Farmers market was setting up in the CBD. The town was buzzing with people selling and looking (work socks at one stall 5 pair for 10 bucks were a bargain till we got round the corner and it was 6 pair of the same socks for 10 bucks ripped off again).
Much looking and reminiscing led us to a corner where we saw a strange and interesting trike pull up and decided to investigate. The rider was an older woman and the trike a 1200 BMW with a Grinall conversion independent rear end and a top box that doesn’t come off. It was a great piece of workmans ship and the lady who rode it was fantastic.

We didn’t get her name but she came from Dunolly hopefully she will read this and we may catch up with her when we next ride up that way. She was an exceptional grandma who rides to Perth and Darwin for a coffee because she can. I think she mustn’t get much shopping done as there was soon 15 or so people around listening and asking question which she answered with a quibble. She told us she had seen us the previous day but was doing grandma practice and didn’t stop.
We were wearing our Triumph gear and were approached by many people who had bike interest and it was amazing how many were Triumph people there were some from Werribee that Leigh spoke to as well as many local district people (maybe we can start a branch in Talbot).

Then it was back to the Court House Hotel and one of Kyles mums Sunday roasts with a glass of Brown Bros Cab Sav just to die for.
We said our goodbyes to our new and old friends and hit the road about 1.30 after the bikes had thawed out heading back Creswick then back to Ballan on the same roads we went over on (well sort of found a couple of new bits).
Stopped at Ballan for a coffee cake and debrief and decided it must be done again (may have to get a Rocket though if we keep stopping for pastries and cakes) then back to Geelong and the cold.
A great weekend, good company, good food, good to great roads, no policemen, great weather, a few bargins, a few things to follow up and a few new stories to embellish as we get older.
Remember when………………………

All up we covered a total of 465 kms return trip.
Have a look at the Rocket 3 trike at this site

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ride Day - Sunday 4th June 06

Well it was the first ride of Winter and the weather was certainly looking after us. Eleven RATs rocked up on 8 bikes to take part in the monthly ride day. Spirits were high and after a bit of jostling about the route we should take it was a slow getaway (traffic lights were all red) heading south away from Geelong toward Ceres and the Barrabool Hills.
As we approached Ceres the cobwebs were blown off and it was a steady pace through to Winchelsea. The roads were dry and it was more like a Spring day as we got on to the Cape Otway Road and made our way into Birregurra for breakie.
As we pulled up at the little cafe there was already a group of bikers nervously watching us ride into town - funny that they mounted up not long after we got there! Anyway as it turned out they were a friendly bunch and they had some of the best resored bike I'd seen. A Suzuki GS1000 caught my eye and it was unbelievable - looked like it just came out of the showroom - took me back to when I was 18! There was a Honda 400 four and a couple of Triumph bonnies.
Leigh had some info on the Grampians and we all started getting excited as a few ideas started to come out such as mountain climbing, bike riding, abseiling & mini golf - more details on Grampians Trip soon. Another idea that we talked about was getting photos of RATs in their younger years with their bikes and having a "Who are they now" competition on the Blog - I'll send you all an e-mail soon asking for photos and story.
We heard from Leigh that the Wintergarden was cancelled as there wasn't enough people going but some of us had an idea that we should approach Craig again about having a Xmas breakup dinner there for Geelong RATs - will keep you posted.
From Birregurra we rode back to Martians for a coffee and as the black clouds started closing in it was time for a brisk ride back through the twisties and home.

Remember that the Talbot Trip is in two weeks time so you need to book now if you're going. The best accommodation left is Chesterfield House as the Court House Hotel is full.