Bonus Downs: Warren Sakey’s Report

Ross and Bruce brought their bikes by trailer from Adelaide, so our ride started out from Newcastle on Fri 17th with 3 of us. We headed north via Bunyah and Wingham to pick up Col at lunch time, then on to Taylors Arm via Cooperabung Range Road. Saturday morning the 750 was hard to start and needed a push, and was also burning a bit of oil. We headed to Bellingen via Missabotti and the forest trails but on the climb up the steep Shortcut fire trail the oil low level light came on and the smoke increased dramatically. 4 litres of oil was purchased at Bellingen and the 750 made it to lunch time at Coramba where I decided to pull the pin, handed over ride lead to Bruce and headed back home at a sedate speed on the M1.

The team did a good job finding their way to Bonalbo, where Garry and Andrew were waiting for them, I made it home and changed luggage to the 400, and made a dash along Thunderbolts Way to meet up at Monday’s lunch stop, Moonie. Meanwhile Col, Ross and Bruce did the Condamine crossings then west to Millmerran. Peter came from Brisbane to join the group at Millmerran, then Garry in the 4WD did some ride leading into the sandy tracks to the west. Monday night we were joined at Surat by Don and Warren K so our total number now was 9. There was considerable merriment at the pub and during the course of the evening my meal was temporarily stolen. Tuesday we followed Dunkeld Road (Warren K did a bit of extra distance) but we still got to Mitchell in time for lunch.

On the way home from Bonus Downs Peter left direct to Brisbane, Andrew on the bitumen to Leeton and the remaining 7 on the dirt to Bollon. We had a good lunch at the Dirranbandi bakery (Don and Garry headed for home) then we rode south to cross the border at the Glendalough Gate, then to Angledool road and Lightning Ridge for the night. Col had a flat tyre in the motel carpark, found a thorn that was probably picked up the afternoon before. The tyre was quickly fixed with a new  tube and we left town on the Cumborah Road. We found our way west to Narran Lake, then south to Carinda where we had lunch. On the way to Quambone we visited the site of Bruce’s accident, then continued to Gulargambone. Happy hour at the caravan park then a good Chinese meal at the Bowling club set us up for a good night, but to top it off Ross won the lucky door prize which provided our last round of beers.

So where are we up to… must be Saturday, pretty well due east from Gulargambone to Tooraweenah, Binnaway then Quirindi via Bundella road, then to Nundle for the night. We splashed out a bit on the last night hiring a cabin, (I made sure I had a bottom bunk, that’s another story). Col did a good job cooking the sausages then we headed to the pub where there was a great open fire. The last day Col headed off towards Port Macquarie and the remaining 3 of us via Crawney to Scone where the 2 Adelaide bikes were loaded on the trailer.

Here is a link to the ride map.

Warren Sakey

Ross   DRZ 400

Bruce   DL 650

Col   KTM 690

Peter   BMW GS 1200

Don   BMW GS 1200

Warren K   KTM 690

Warren S   Kawasaki GT 750, then KLX 400

Andrew  DR 650

Garry    Mazda 4WD