Ride Report - Ballarat Overnighter

Ride Report - Winter Overnighter - Back to Ballart 25 to 26 June 2014

Twelve Frontline Tourers booked for the overnighter to Ballarat this year.   Four were to meet us at the resort at Sebastopol.  The wild weather on the Tuesday with floods and terrible winds meant it was always going to be a test of fortitude to see who would have the courage to make it on the ride to Ballarat.  To cut down the travel on the ride day, I rode to Eric’s the night before.  That meant I was committed and therefore Eric and Bernie, who was also at Eric’s, was committed as well.

On Wednesday morning we turned up to Maccas in Diamond Creek to find no bikes.  Dale was a late scratching, Kev could not get away till later, and we found Nathan sitting inside in his shirt and tie, obviously with plans to ride up to Ballart with us.

At the appointed time, Dave Cutting, Eric, Bernie and I headed off up the St Andrews Road.  After a long wait at Kinglake we found out that Bernie’s bike had the mother of all backfires and he had turned back to Eric’s to try and get it fixed.  We continued on to Broadford for morning tea and by this stage we had endured only ten minutes of light drizzle, a good start for the winter overnighter.

After morning tea, we made our way to Pyalong then over to Lancefield for some fuel and then up the Burke and Wills track before cutting across to Kyneton for lunch.  No more rain at this stage.

While we were inside eating pies the rain started, but by the time we were ready to leave the rain had already stopped.  We headed out to Springhill and then over to Hepburn Springs and a nice loop back down to Creswick.  From there we used the highway to Ballarat.

As you’d expect, 1km into Ballarat it started to rain, however, by the time we hit Sebastopol, just three minutes later, the rain had stopped.   We made a quick fuel stop and then purchased supplies at the local bottle shop before heading on to our accommodation.  Just at that moment Bernie sailed past with his shiny new spark plugs and his bike firing al both cylinders.

Arriving (close to) on time, we cleaned up and spent over an hour in the common room before walking to the pub for dinner.  After dinner back to the common room to chat until bedtime.

Day two started with blue skies.  After having brekkie at the local bakery, we headed south (kind of) making our way past Colac.  We got about ten minutes of drizzle before emerging at Apollo Bay for lunch.  Then a great ride along a clean, damp Great Ocean Road to Anglesea.  Kev, Dave and I took the ferry to Sorrento to finish up while Eric and Nathan took the low road home.

All in all we had a great trip, and even our riding gear escaped almost dry.

Hope to see you all on the next Ride.

Ian Marr

Ride #253 Report - Friday 13 June

Ride Report – Friday 13 June Ride # 253

Originally there were six riders on our winter run, however, Alex Wallace had to bail at morning tea (Alexandra) to return to Melbourne for an appointment.

Our ride stared at Bayswater and from there we made our way across to Yarra Gen, on to Healesville, up Chum Creek Road to Toolangi, across to the Melba to the Murrindindi side road, back out onto the Melba to Yea and then on to Molesworth on the Whanrewargen Road, and finally across to Alexandra for morning tea.  What a mornings ride.

From morning tea it was down the Maroondah Highway to Buxton, through Marysville and past the Lake Mountain turnoff, on to Cumberland Junction and down the Reefton Spur for lunch.

Those on the ride were: Scott Papeneux, Craig Murray, Kevin Bridle, David Weller, Alex Wallace and myself (Sotty too Hotty).

Despite being a winter ride there was no proper rain (well not for BMW riders) - just some very light drizzle.  Reefton spur was in great condition and even though the road was damp it wasn't wet and didn't really present any handling issues.

We had a good lunch at the McMahon's Creek pub, and we headed home from there.

It was a great mid-winter's ride and well done to the real men who came along (despite the heavy showers just a couple of hours prior to the start of the ride).

Hope to see you all on the next run...


Ride Report Sunday 25 May 2014

Ride #252 Report - Sunday 25 May 2014

For those of you who just poked their heads out from under the blankets to be greeted with a few light showers and then rolled back over to sleep again, you missed out on a great FLT Sunday ride.  By the time Sunday’s ride had started, the rain had gone and we were left with damp roads, clearing skies and five eager Tourer’s ready to tackle the winding roads to Healesville and Diamond Creek.  Eric leading on the VTR, Scott and Griff on their GS BMWs, Darren on his trusty old XS850 Yamaha (first FLT ride) and Steve as tail end on the Hayabusa.

As the morning wore on the roads quickly dried out and we were treated to a fantastic ride though Gembrook, Launching Place, and as promised, onto the bakery at Healesville for a latte and a bite to eat, how civilised.

By this time the sun was shining, and even Myers Creek road up to Toolangi was dry.  Eric warned us about a bit of the gravel on the top section of Chum Creek road due to resurfacing, but once clear, the road back down to Yarra Glen was up to its best.  From Yarra Glen we made our way towards Sugar Loaf Reservoir, turning off at Clintons road to begin our mystery tour of the lanes and back roads that are hidden in the Nilumbik Shire and known only to the locals. 

We arrived on time at our lunch destination in Diamond Creek, where we were joined by Brian, Shirley, Nola and Kerry.  Lunch at Platters was fantastic and topped off a great day. 

Hope to see you all on the next ride.


Ride Report # 251 16 May 2014

Ride Report- #251 Friday 16 May 2014

Beautiful one day and perfect the next.  Maybe not this time of year, but we did manage to snag a good on Friday, with eleven bikes, clear sunny skies and clean dry roads. 

Out through the back of Wonga Park, on to Healesville, Chum and Myers Creek roads, with a little gravel thrown in for good measure.  Smoko at Beechworth Bakery, a quick fuel stop for the sports bikes, then up and down the Black Spur and over to Kinglake via Toolangi and Mount Slide.  Down the billy goat track to Mittens Bridge, then a guided tour around my back yard on some of the minor roads and laneways that have been sealed following the devastating bush fires that swept through the area on black Saturday.  Lunch was at the St Andrews Hotel for a bit of bench racing and a chance for a chat over a good meal.

It was good to catch up with some of the founding members who had not been on a ride for a couple of years.  Time sure does change a man, I actually saw him pay for his own lunch and a cup of tea!  I won’t mention his name but his initials are B1.  The ride finished at about 2.30 and we all made it home before the late afternoon showers.

See you all on the next ride.  Eric Belot.

Ride Report # 247, 28 March 2014

Ride Report Twilight Ride #246, 19 March 2014

Wednesday's Twilight Ride started from Diamond Creek with Nathan (BMW 1150), Leah (Yamaha Café Racer), Les (Triumph Daytona  675), Rod (Ducati Super Motard), Sandi (Triumph Daytona 675) and myself (Triumph Tiger 1050) - not a GS in sight.
With perfect weather and great roads, we rode to Yan Yean and then via Greensborough and Ivanhoe to Carlton where we all enjoyed some fine Italian cuisine at Café Cavallino with late-comer Bob on his new BMW K1300.  It was an easy and relaxing way to end the working day, and the company wasn't bad either. 
I look forward to seeing you on the next ride, scheduled to leave from Bayswater, Friday 28/03/14.
Clayton Bickerton

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