Sunday Ride Baw Baw March 24 2013

Front Line Tourers
Ride 233 – Sunday Blast to Baw Baw
Ride Report
Golden Arches Canterbury Road Bayswater is the meeting point – There’s a theme here with all FLT rides starting at McD’s – is it the loyal customers that FLT members are – or is it something to do with all that half price quick fixes some of us indulged in over the years?
Our intrepid ride leader Greg was there bright and early on his screaming Suzi.  Eric on his SP2 toy bike, Steve on the Black ’Busa,  Simon on his nice classic registered Honda CBR 1000F, Dale with his son Tom on a nice Aprilla and Smurf – that’s right Adam Smibert and Bijana rocked up on the monster White with iridescent yellow Honda V4 Tourer -  It made my old BMW Adventure look small (sort of).
A beautiful Sunday morning – just perfect to clear the cobwebs out of exhaust pipes.
The obligatory coffee – some photos with Bijana admiring my rugged good looks – she couldn’t herself and had to plait my beard!!!
Greg lead us out through the Dandenongs – 7 Bikes made corner marking and making headway through the Lycra clad lunatics huffing and puffing uphill a breeze.
The familiar back roads out to Gembrook, crossing the old puffing Billy rail line a couple of times and we hit the magnificent Gembrook to Launching place Road – remember when it was dirt?   A right onto the Warburton Highway and we cruise into Yarra Junction.   The Sports Bike throttle jockeys are calculating if they’ll make it up to Baw Baw and back.  The old petrol Station at Yarra Junction is no more so we decide to go up to Warburton so they can fill up.  I check my range…. Only 600 kilometres left on this tank!!!  I think I’ll be right!   Everyone else tops up.
Back to Yarra Junction and Simon on the old Honda calls it a day.  The old girl is playing up (the bike – not the other half).  We have a nice run out to Noojee but notice a lot of Lycra Lunatics and witches hats.  There’s some sort of bicycle ride in progress – Bugger.  Oh well at least it’s going the other way.  
Getting past a couple of cars we have a good run through to Noojee.  There are a couple of groups of deadly treadlies with their support cars riding shotgun.  After the pub it’s a good clear run – flying past the Warragul turn off we head up mount Baw Baw.  There’s a lot of leaf litter and debris on the road.  A stick flicks up off Eric’s back wheel  right into my path, no problem just a little skip sideways on the front end.   The road is very bumpy in places, tight and twisty.   Then we come across a heap of Porsches coming the other way – many with varying (read very little) ideas on how to drive on their side of the road.   The smell of burning brakes off the Porsches permeates the air.  Stick as close you can to the left to avoid being a bonnet ornament is the order of the day.
Just before Tanjil Bren the tyre pressure indicator on my front tyre starts flashing.  Tipping into a left the front skips across into some loose gravel.  The reading is 1.6 bar, a little low for what we are doing here. The knobbies are singing and walking a bit on the road.  I back off a bit and take it easy to the top of Baw Baw.  Eric’s bike is on the side of the road – he’s watering the ferns!!!  Plenty of snakes up this way, and now a one eyed trouser snake makes an appearance – I leave him to it! 
A quick tyre check and out with the compressor and all is okay.  Maybe the bumps just took their toll and lowered the pressures a tad.  I can’t see any holes or cuts so hopefully it’s alright.
A bite to eat at a café is the go.  Baw Baw is alive with more mountain bike riders having a meet and racing the time clock down the hill.   We don’t linger too long.  A photo at the top and we head home the same way.  As we all go our own way, Steve Pascoe and me enjoy the cruise back home via Healesville, Yarra Glen and a slow crawl through Christmas Hills – but still, it’s better than staying home and mowing the lawns – or working!!
I’m sure all participants had a great ride and really enjoyed the day. 
Thanks Greg.  Good ride mate.

Brian Rix
FLT member 437.

Ride Report - Saturday 16 March 2013

RIDE 232- Saturday Special
Geez the Front Line Tourers has changed a bit.  Pulling up into the Car park at McDonalds Diamond Creek, Marries and Eric’s bikes are the only ones to be seen.  Greg pulled in around the same time as me.  As we went for the morning heart starter (Coffee) Scotty and lastly, Steve (who lives the closest) made it.  Not many people taking the opportunity to ride our wonderful hills in our own bit of motorcycling paradise I thought.
Marrie was putting a lot of effort into this ride – doing the research with the country Melways at the table, but then again, we know this country so why do too much research? 
The little bit of precipitation must have been enough to keep the shiny red Ducati’s and similar home decorations safely tucked at home under their doonas.  We intrepid six sipped our coffees and patted ourselves on the back for getting out on greasy roads to practices our wet weather riding – you never can get enough of this sort of riding to hone the skills…….  Essential with Melbourne’s fickle weather.
Coffees downed and off we trundled at an orderly pace up to St Andrews, we all safely negotiated the yuppies and hippies attending the St Andrews market and headed off up the Kinglake road.  It’s been nearly two years since I’ve been up this way and I marvelled at the re-growth after the bushfires.  We picked our way through to Kinglake then Headed over to Healesville; re-grouping at major turns.  We didn’t venture into Healesville but went straight up the black spur – Ah now I remember why we don’t normally do this road on weekends, stupid drivers crawling along at 30 kph frustrate everyone and are more than likely the chief cause of accidents…..
Luckily we found some ‘holes’ in the conga line of cars to get past most.  At Narbethong we turned off on the road to Marysville – the traditional ‘Spurs route’ the grey clouds meant the traffic thinned out fairly quickly and there weren’t too many bikes around either.
Morning tea at the bakery – one of the only shops to survive the Bushfire, but once again, the forest re-growth and the grit and determination of the residents to re-build mean that Marysville is starting to resemble that nice little town it once was.   A few laughs, a bladder stop, more coffee and we headed off again to tackle the Reefton.   A nice young fellow on a KTM single stopped to have a chat.  He said it was his first ride in the rain and he was camping in the bush up near Warburton.  He had just come into town for some fuel and a feed.  “That’s the spirit son – get out there and do it is the only way to improve your riding ability in all sorts of weather I said to him.”  Bugger, I’m starting to sound like a grizzled up old man!
The clouds had settled over the mountains but it was very pleasant cruising along.  In fact the Reefton spur was in great condition and quite ‘grippy’.  We re-grouped at the bottom and headed off towards Reefton.  Over a rise we were confronted with a TMU Police car pulling up all motorcycles and doing a licence check etc.   There was a film crew with them.  Unfortunately we didn’t play up so we didn’t get on camera – but one of us was talking too much so the hand cuffs came out, guess which one!
Time was getting on and with this ‘unscheduled stop’ we decided to keep with the best tradition of FLT rides, we modified the intended destination.  Marrie rang and cancelled the Noojee tool shed and the consensus was we’d head for the Launching place pub.  We waved our now good friends from the TMU goodbye, just as I slipped into 6th gear, our intrepid leader pulled into the Reefton pub – OK this is good enough.  
The pub has been done up since I was last there, There are no more gaps in the walls in the men’s toilet, the place is clean, the food good and they now have a camp ground up the back.  Again we stayed too long enjoying a chat and a good laugh, sniggered at all our mates who were missing a great day.
Breaking off at the Reefton Pub, we all made our own way home and as the heavens opened up further, we all couldn’t care less.

Brian Rix.
FLT member 437

Welcome home Brian & Shirley

Welcome home Brian and Shirley 

Brian and Shirley Hardy-Rix, our most famous Front Line Tourers, completed their epic 16 month world tour with a ride along the Great Ocean Road on Saturday 23 February.  They were escorted home by a number of FLT members who had gathered to meet them at Apollo Bay on Friday night.  Those of us who braved the ride down were treated to a fantastic dinner at Casalingo, an Italian restaurant in Apollo owned by Brian’s son Gavan.

The only issue for the trip was that Griff appeared to have misspelt Apollo Bay as Lorne.

Great to see you both back home safe and I am sure we will see you on our next FLT ride.

Pollyville Ride Report

Mt Beauty 16 February 2013
The annual Pollyville trip was blessed with fantastic weather and as usual was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

12 riders, 1 pillion and our back up vehicle and made their way to Alexandra for morning tea.  Dave met us at Alexandra on his new T595 Triumph and Nathan and Jodie caught up with us at Mansfield for lunch.  We travelled over to Whitfield where a splash of rain meant that the less hardy riders donned their wets, while the rest of us pressed on into the bright sunshine a kilometre down the road.  The decision by some to suit up on was almost vindicated when a second thunderstorm struck, however, those of us who braved the elements arrived at Mt Beauty dry.  We were met at Mt Beauty by a few family members and we rounded off a great day with a few drinks and dinner at the local pub.

Saturday was warm and sunny with everyone off in different directions enjoying the roads and local scenery.  Swimming, a few beers by the river followed a spit roast dinner topped off a great Saturday afternoon.  The after dinner entertainment included a failed attempt to repair Jodie’s punctured rear tyre.  I suspect there might be a class action on faulty repair kits Dave.

Sunday saw 2 bikes on the trailer, one with a puncture and the other a blown fork seal.  Scott’s BMW suffered a battery melt down at morning tea, however, the rest of us made it back safely to Mansfield for lunch.

We all had fantastic weekend and a special thanks to Ian for all has hard work.  Hope to see you all on the next ride.

Friday Ride Report January 18 2013

The last Friday ride went off without too many problems.
Unfortunately Scott's pre ride failed to notice that the Maindample Pub has been burnt down (in 2010). But like the troupers we are, it didnt stop us changing to the Courthouse Hotel in Jamieson.
With no rain for the day, mid 20's in Melbourne up to a hot 37 in Jamieson, our group of 5 riders set off to Marysville for a quick coffee before hitting the Eildon - Jamieson Road. After Scott gave the message, Clayton, Dale and I had a nice leisurely ride across to Jamieson for a lunch. The ride back over was even more fun with Mr Dunlop being the big winner for the day. After leaving Scott in a play

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