What a fantastic ride and a good weekend I had with a great bunch of riders. The weather was perfect – it rained the night before = no dust, the roads were perfect, the scenery was perfect, the riding was perfect.
But the water height in the Macquarie River at the Long Point Crossing was a little high, so we played it safe and walked the bikes across the river and allowed our boots & feet to cool off in the knee deep water. Then it was straight to Windeyer, book in to the Bushlands Tourist Park and head to the Gold & Fleece Hotel for sports drinks. They tasted sooo good.
We had all met at the Mt Victoria Servo for a coffee & roadside snack before heading to the State Forests near Hampton, Lowes Mount and Wisemans Creek to check out the views of the Central Tablelands. After stopping a few times to enjoy the views we got a little confused with the Corner Man system and quickly ran out of corner men. That made the last half of the group rely on the gpx route and that worked a treat and our group was united again. Then it was off to the Bridge Hotel at Perthville for lunch and fuel next door before heading to Ophir and an inspection of the mine shaft.
After Ophir, it was off to the long point road, following the pipe line from Ophir to the Macquarie River. The lingering effects from the storm the night before were wearing thin. The dust was starting to thicken, but the storm had significant runoff within the Macquarie catchment as the water height in the Macquarie River had risen significantly. From the State Water real time data (see graph below), the river height had risen 0.3m on the 23rd (that was our crossing day). So it was time to push the bike through. Only Paul manned up to ride his 690 across the greased watermelon size rocks to the other side. He almost made it, and that made the rest of us feel much wiser.
Scott on the Africa Twin and Pete on the Sherpa lead the charge up the hill to Tambaroora and through Pyramul. I was a little disappointed in the Sherpa; it only carried its owner across the river, it did not carry me, the 990 or anyone else, for that matter, across the river like a true Sherpa would. Scott was able to show me how to back an Africa Twin into corners at warp speed and highlight the event by having flashing hazards lights to warn off any unsuspecting 4×4 drivers.
At Windeyer we caught up with Brian from Narromine. It is a little difficult coming from west to join along the route somewhere, but is was great to catch up with Brian again. The sports drinks at the Gold & Fleece were fantastic. The meals were good, even if they ran out of the 3x piece lamb cutlet meals. A few more sports drinks to cleans the dust for our palate and off to bed.
Sunday started perfect. We had arranged bacon and egg rolls for brekkie, but instead we got the full breakfast; bacon, egg, salmon, sausages, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and coffee. Bloody fantastic; and a big thank you to Romie and Kim for making us feel very much at home. Then it was off riding – the plan was to head to Capertee for fuel. Paul was having trouble with the 690 idling. Who’d a thought you would have trouble with a 690? It would idle at about 3000 rpm, not a good riding characteristic.
We all had a blast via Arrons Pass, Cafes Rd, Running Stream to Capertee. Then it was via Turon Gates, Dark Corner, Sunny Corner (what were they thinking when they named Sunny Corner?) to Portland and Wang for lunch. The last part was off to Black Fellas Hands Trail to Zig Zag. We all parted company and had a good ride home. Absolutely, fantastic weekend riding.
On Saturday we traveled 325km from Mt Victoria to Windeyer going uphill for 7,672m and going down hill for 8,099m. On Sunday we travelled 199km, going uphill for 4,298m and downhill for 4,049m. Thanks to all for riding and making the fellowship a great experience.
Brian Honda Transalp
Dirk Honda CRF250
Les KTM 990R
Paul KTM 690
Peter Sherpa 250
Scott Honda Africa Twin
Tony BMW 800GS
Wayne C Triumph 800XCX
Wayne McN KTM 690