Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gippsland - ride weekend (non-RAT event) - 7/8 Oct

A few things have happened since I last wrote to the site and some of you may have heard about the ride some of us did with friends of Ollies in Melbourne. There was about 11 from Geelong (including a couple of jap bikes) and we me up with Ray and the group from Berwick at Yea on Saturday morning 7th Oct. It was going to be a big ride going from Yea to Marysville and then via the Reefton Spur to Warburton and then on towards Moe in Gippsland and ending up in Rawson for the night.
After breakie we went to mount up and the first bad omen was the ambulance parked in front of the bikes. One of the guys commented - "That's good, we've got the escort vehicle"!
The second was when the BMW rider that was the tail end charlie for the group was no where to be seen! After waiting about half an hour in Marysville we decided he was lost - he turned up later in Yarra Valley. It was a beautiful ride into Marysville and at times it felt like we were in a different country - the grass was green and the countryside lush. Then on to the Reefton Spur.
It all started out okay, then we came on to loose gravel and it was rattling around the brake caliper, chipping the paintwork and bouncing of the radiator cowl... no good. Grant got a piece of bark caught up in his back wheel. On stopping at the bottom more dramas - Pete had a piece of wood bounce up from the road and pierce his leather boot - he was okay but had a leaky right boot!
Anyway it was on to Yarra Valley for lunch and a well earned rest. With a full tanks of juice we headed on for our last stage of the journey to Rawson.
Everyone was looking forward to a hot shower and a beer at the bar, putting our feet up & sharing tales of the day.
Then the biggest disaster of all - we were riding downhill on the road to Moe and as we rounded one of the corners we could see what no one ever wants to see - a rider down! A few of the bikes had pulled up in front - we still weren't sure if it was one of us.
Then someone said it was Len that had been riding the VTR - he was on the roadside getting assistance and it was obvious he was seriously injured. His bike was nowhere to be seen!
Then the pieces started coming together and we saw his bike about 6 metres off the road in amongst the trees & scrub. Even though he needed his arm pinned (multiple breaks + wrist broken) Len was lucky that day! We all looked at the bike in misbelief - it was a mess!
Anyway we put it behind us once Len was safely in the ambulance and carried on to Rawson. The guys from Melbourne were great company and even though the day was a disaster, everyone enjoyed the riding and friendship.
The next day was wet - and slippery. At one point the Sprint took a bit of a slide and after that it just didn't want to go round corners - that's my excuse anyway (or maybe it was the passenger!).
The Geelong group parted ways and headed for a relaxing cruise on the Queenscliff ferry.
Ray from the Melbourne group is going to keep in touch with Ollie and let him know the next one - it was a great week-end dispite the mishaps - look forward to the next one - thanks Ollie for arranging it.

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