no politics...just ridin'

The Long Way To Kingy

Rode down to Kat's on Sunday morning but thought I would take the scenic route instead of sticking to the M1 right the way down. I set off at 6:30am and hit the Gateway - was really good as hardly any traffic around. Rode at a good pace down to Nerang and then took the turn off into the hinterland for Numinbah Valley. This usually busy biker route was almost empty and so I was able to ride it at pretty much my own pace - no sportys sitting up my ass and flying past me. The road has some great sweeping corners as well as a few really tight ones - passed the Hinze Dam and then into the Numinbah Valley. As I rode towards Numinbah village I stopped to phone Kat and take in the view - the day was fantastic - sunny but windy - I let Kat know I would be less than an hour and continued on. Finally reached the border and, after crossing into NSW, I decided to pull over and take some pics of the Border Ranges.

After soaking up the view and readying myself for the decent I noticed a couple of bikes and a car that had passed me turning around about 50 metres down the road and heading bacvk up. The wind had blown a large tree across Numinbah Rd and there was no way through - not at this stage anyway. Had a chat with a few others and it was suggested that we would ask the guy in the border post for a chainsaw to clear a few branches. He wasn't even aware that the road was blocked and so rang the council - he wouldn't let us use his chainsaw cos he said it required a licenced department employee to use it, and he didn't have a licence - dunno why he had a chainsaw then!! I hung around and watched more and more bikes cross the border and then realise there was no way through - some pulled over to wait but others just headed back into QLD. At one stage we even tried to move the thing ourselves - about 15 of us - but couldn't budge it.

Just outside Numinbah

At the border looking south into NSW

The view north back into QLD over the border / cattle grid

View of the Border Ranges

Just a few of the many bikes that were forced to turn around

The tree

After more than an hour of hanging around and waiting I decided to take off and head back to the M1 via Springbrook. Rode the 25 odd kms back to the turnoff then climbed the road towards Springbrook - again there was very little traffic on this road and so it was a really enjoyable ride. Made it to Springbrook-Mugeeraba Rd intersection and turned left to head down the very twisty and narrow section of road towards the motorway. This road at this time of the morning is sensational to ride - nice and cool and not a lot going on around you, so you are able to fully concentrate on the corners and your positioning to keep yourself at a reasonable pace and with no floorboards on my bike anymore I was able to flick the bike around a bit more too.

I finally reached the M1 and then took the cattle track down to Kingscliff arriving a little later than I had planned but a lot more awake!! That one is on the list to do again real soon.


Border Poker Run

Did the Border Poker Run on Saturday with Koff - was organised by the Tweed Heads Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club and it was a great days riding.

I arranged to meet Koff on the way down to Coolangatta so I planned to leave my place at about 9.00am. Went to jump on the bike and wouldn't ya know it, the bloody rain decided to show up. Got into my plastics and finally hit the road but it didn't look promising - all I could see was grey sky and it really looked as if it had set in for the day. By the time I reached the start of the M1 the cloud had broken up a bit and the rain had lightened up - always a good sign.

A few km's further down the motorway and I spotted a group of about 12 bikes heading in the same direction - I managed to catch up to em so I could check them out, but suddenly realised that it was the Kobbers (yes Koff, they still have that pic of us on their home page!!). I passed most of them pretty quick but did slow to give Slayer & Skids a wave - they waved back. Turns out it was their Presidents Ride and they were heading to Tamborine. After putting a bit of distance between myself and them, I looked back in my mirror at their very organised formation and felt good that I had passed them - I felt glad that I no longer belonged to a club that enforces rules on my riding. I ride with who I want, when I want and how I want.

Anyway, finally got to Koff's and removed all my plastics - the sky had cleared enough for me to think it might hold out. We took off for the muster point at the Kirra Sports Club and got there about 10:30 but there were only a handful of bikes in the parking lot - apparently the plan was to leave at 11:30. We paid for our hand, picked up our first card, a tee shirt and then had a couple of beers.

The call went out to saddle up and we proceeded to the car park. I reckon there would have been about 40 to 50 bikes - the vast majority were HD's with quite a few older bikes - BSA's, BMW's, Moto Guzzi's and the like - and a couple of Jappa's. Wasn't a huge turnout but the weather may have influenced that - think most of the riders were members of the club. Anyway, we got out onto the motorway and rode south to the Chinderah turnoff. From there we followed the Tweed Coast Road (one of my favorite's) through Cabarita and down to Pottsville and then turned inland. Crossed over the highway and ended up at the Mooball tee intersection, then from here it was a short squirt to our first stop and lunch break at Crabbes Creek.

Now Crabbes Creek is one of those single street, out of the way type of places where you reckon everyone could be related - you could almost hear the banjo playing as we rode in!! The old General Store was a stand out too - it sold everything from beer to groceries to fuel. We ended up at the community hall where lunch was laid on - was a good feed and different to the usual pub lunches. Got a beer from the store and then picked up our next card. We then stood around outside admiring some of the bikes and chatting with a few guys.

Out of Crabbes Creek and onto the old highway heading south. We re-joined the main highway just north of the roadworks and followed it through to the Mullumbimby turnoff. Followed this road through Mullumbimby and took another turn onto one of the back roads - this was a great part of the ride as we followed a road I had never ridden on along the top of the range taking in the views of Byron. We eventually re-joined the highway just past the Byron hill - we rode north along the highway back to the Byron turn off and then into Byron Bay. As usual the place was packed with tourists - we eventually pulled into the Railway Hotel (the old train station) for the next card.

After a drink or two the call again went out. We remounted and rode through Byron heading north, back towards the highway - what a noise, but gee it sounded good as we passed through the main shopping area. We reached and then followed the main highway up to the old highway and took the turn off onto it. This was where the fun began as we hit some of the best riding roads in these parts - over the Burringbar Range. Some of the boys really took off and I wasn't gonna miss out - it was a hot run for a good 7 or 8 kms passing and being passed - even had a Road King with a pillion come flying past me. I stuck on his tail for a bit watching this guy throw it into the corners - man he knew what he was doing!! Was also nice to give the VTX a bit of stick without the added weight of the rear seat and sissy bar - she got up and danced for me, that's for sure.

We turned off before reaching Murwillumbah onto another road that I had not ridden before and it was good. Backed off on the throttle a fair bit now as I was in unfamiliar territory. A few twisties, bit of hill riding and some short straights that finally brought us out not far from Uki. Made our way to the pub to quench our thirst and pick up another card. I must visit this pub, the Mount Warning Hotel, at least once a month - a lot of runs I do call in here and it is a good destination for lunch if your down this way.

The last call went out and we remounted and headed back through Murwillumbah and up the highway to Coolangatta at a good pace. Reached the sporting club at just after 5 and went in for a drink. Koff and myself hung around until the best & worst hands were announced and the awards were given out. Even got a feed when they brought out the left over food from lunch!! We left there about 6:30 and headed back up to Nerang and Brisbane.

All up was a great days riding on some well known and not so well known roads in northern NSW - was a really good route and I later found out that the lead rider was making it up as we rode!! I was really impressed with this club - they love their bikes but they also love to ride em hard.

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In the past couple of weeks I seem to have become aware of people's obsession with money. A couple of guys that I am currently working with have been "advising" one of the younger blokes on how to go about saving money and trying to get him focussed on purchasing his own house. This has been done in a light hearted manner so far, but I have found it interesting observing how one of the guys appears to live life for money. How to save a few cents on this or where to get the cheapest of that - to me this just seems overkill.

I understand that we all need to be able to fund our lifestyle, I understand that we need to prepare for when we can no longer earn an income, I understand that we need to provide for our kids BUT I just cannot bring myself to spend all my time and energy on watching my money grow and not being able to enjoy it. I am lucky enough to be able to afford my mortgage repayments on my townhouse and I live a modest lifestyle - I don't want or need anything larger to live in, I don't want a garden that requires work in my spare time, I don't want the maintenance that comes with a house.

I had a job a few years back that paid really well but felt that I was constantly under stress - I had some trouble sleeping and was always thinking about how to reduce costs, to improve productivity - I ended up leaving that job to study and move into my current occupation. Today I feel no stress - I am able to perform my duties with very little to worry about and when I leave for the day I do exactly that.

At this point in my life I feel the need to focus on something that I am passionate about and that provides a release from the daily ritual, the daily issues, the daily worries. Riding my motorcycle is what does it for me, not watching my bank balance grow or spending my weekends maintaining a house.

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September 11

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim. We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

I realise that I am an Australian and so may seem a little removed from what occurred on this day five years ago. I still remember exactly what I was doing on hearing the news and then watching the buildings collapse - it was early morning and after arriving at work a mate of mine asked whether I had seen what was going on. The rest of my day was spent watching the TV and trawling the internet for some sort of confirmation of what was happening. I did not know anyone who was involved but many innocent people were murdered in cold blood, so I thought I would participate in paying tribute to one of the 2996 victims.

John J. Badagliacca
35 Years Old,
New York, N.Y., USA
Bond Salesman for Cantor Fitzgerald

Not that many people get to be somebody's soul mate. John J. Badagliacca truly did, says his wife. It began when they were 10 and she fell over his bicycle in their Staten Island schoolyard. They became friends that day and were married in 1992.

O.K., they did break up a few times. Sort of. Mr. Badagliacca wanted to date others when he took a share in a summer house and when he got his first car. "All the convenient times," Nancy Badagliacca said with a laugh. "But we had all the same friends, were always together. We were perfect for each other. The first kiss was his, the first everything."

They enjoyed the same things, especially spending time with their children, Nikki, 6, and John, 4, at their summer home. Mr. Badagliacca, 35, a bond salesman with Cantor Fitzgerald, rebuilt that old house in Brick, N.J., from the beams out with his brother-in-law.

He kept their house in Staten Island in good shape, too.

"He was soooo organized," Mrs. Badagliacca recalled. "If a bulb went out he would have to change it in the next minute. If my cabinets got messy, he would reorganize them. It would drive me nuts! And his tools -- you can't touch his tools."

He was so handy that she would tell him he could change professions. "I'd say, 'You could do just that.'" She paused. "I wish he did."

THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 28, 2001

I will remember my cousin John as always happy, always a smile on his face. He was quick with a joke, always laughing. I don't think I ever saw him sad.

He was a beautiful person, inside and out. I wish I could've told him how much I loved him, how much he meant to me. I will never forget the fun we had as children
growing up. He touched my life in many ways. I will miss him forever, and I'll
never, ever forget him.

Lisa Migdalen, cousin

Such a waste of life, but he will be remembered.

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Bloody hell mate - the Croc Hunter is dead....killed by a stingray and not a crocodile.

Steve wasn't only a warrior for animals and wildlife, nor was he just a quirky character on the TV. Everyone in Australia felt like they knew him personally because of his open manner and caring attitude. This is why he will be sorely missed. 20 million people in Australia and countless other millions around the world have lost a dear mate. And two little kids have lost their Dad just a day after Fathers Day.

Rest in peace Steve Irwin.

It is amazing how much of an effect Steve Irwin had on people, not only here in Australia but around the world. As the flowers and personal tributes pile up outside Australia Zoo, I thought it appropriate that I post this poem penned by a well know Brisbane wordsmith...


Endless visions fill my head – this man – as large as life
And instantly my heart mourns for his angels and his wife
Because the way I see Steve Irwin – just put everything aside
It comes back to his family – it comes back to his pride

His animals inclusive – Crikey – light the place with love!
Shine his star with everything he fought to rise above
The crazy-man of Khaki from the day he left the pouch
Living out his dream and in that classic ‘Stevo’ crouch

Exploding forth with character and redefining cheek
It’s one thing to be honoured as a champion unique
It’s one thing to have microphones and spotlight cameras shoved
It’s another to be taken in and genuinely loved

But that was where he had it right – I guess he always knew
From his fathers’ modest reptile park and then Australia Zoo
We cringed at times and shook our heads – but true to natures call
There was something very Irwin in the make up of us all

Yes the more I care to think of it – the more he had it right
If you’re going to make a difference – make it big and make it bright!
Yes - he was a lunatic! Yes - he went head first!
But he made the world feel happy with his energetic burst

A world so large and loyal that it’s hard to comprehend
I doubt we truly count the warmth until life meets an end
To count it now I say a prayer with words of inspiration
May the spotlight shine forever on his dream for conservation

…My daughter broke the news to me – my six year old in tears
It was like she’d just turned old enough to show her honest fears
I tried to make some sense of it but whilst her Dad was trying
His little girl explained it best…she said “The crocodiles are crying”

Their best mate’s up in heaven now – the crocs up there are smiling!
And as sure as flowers, poems and cards and memories are piling
As sure as we’ll continue with the trademarks of his spiel
Of all the tributes worthy – he was rough…but he was real

As sure as ‘Crikey!’ fills the sky
I think we’ll miss ya Steve…goodbye



God Squad Memorial Run & Gold Coast Bike Week

Kat And I woke early on Saturday and thought we would do a bit of a pre-ride ride out to the Port before heading across the city to the Mt Cootha mustering point for the God Squad run. Cruised along the waterfront at Manly and Wynnum in the warm morning sun - beautiful - the water was like glass and the view out to Moreton Island was sensational. We eventually made our way onto the motorway heading out to the Port. Always something happening out there and we both find it really interesting. Did the circuit around the wharves watching all the cranes loading containers onto trucks and then headed inland towards the city.

Finally made it to the carpark at Mt Cootha, paid our ride fee then rode in and met up with all the others from the Village. Did the usual walk around checking all the other bikes out and caught up with a few people I hadn't seen for a while. One bike that I thought looked really good was Alleys V-Star - Spokes gave it a birthday with new paint, solo seat, various bits of bling and some 14 inch apes. These are what really caught my eye and I am now keener than ever to put a set on the VTX - anyway, I need a new clutch cable. Another stand out was the Road King with a gazillion lights on its rear end - dunno what purpose they served but man it looked freaky.

Anyway, we finally headed off around 11am - reckon there would have been about 300 bikes all up. Headed down the Centenery Mwy and at a few points you could see the bikes stretch off into the distance - looked and sounded great. Turned onto the Ipswich Mwy and then onto the Logan Mwy. We left the Logan Mwy and then followed the pack down the Mt Lindsay Hwy - Eddie pulled off to the side and Dodge pulled up to help him. Found out that he lost pressure in his hydraulic clutch and ended up on the trailer of the support vehicle.

After turning off the highway for the road to Tamborine a few of us pulled up - Grizz told us that it would be better to let the group head up the mountain and then we would follow on the empty road - that was a good call. After about 20 minutes we re-mounted and took the road through Tamborine and then up the mountain - was a really good ride with no-one to bother you and we all rode at our own pace. It did start to rain a bit as we neared Mt Tamborine but that only lasted a few minutes. We finally reached the Eagle Heights Pub not long after the main group.

Now the Eagle Heights is a great pub - it has a beer garden with the best view, spanning from the top end of the Gold Coast all the way down to the border. I was told that Mel Gibson had the place built but never moved in and so the buyers converted it to a pub and built the motel part of it - good move I say - that way we all get to appreciate the view. We lined up for the BBQ lunch and then sat and ate in the sun - beautiful.

We decided to leave the pub whilst they were giving out all the gear, again to avoid the riding in the large group along the not so great roads. Only one problem with that plan - Eddies Drifter was still on the support trailer. A couple of the guys went out and fixed the clutch problem - dunno what they did - think they bled the reservoir and adjusted the lever. Anyway, we ended up having to move the trailer sideways a few feet so we could get the ramp out of the trailer - it was stored on the back end of the trailer, pushed in from one side and this side was up against a stone wall. After a bit of jiggling and lifting, we managed move the trailer, remove the ramp, get the bike off the trailer and back on the road.

Did the ride down to M1 then rode further down to Nerang and took the turn off for the Carrara Sports Complex. Bike Week was happening!! We rode in and parked in amongst a sea of bikes - wish it was like this all the time. Flashed our cards from the God Squad run, passed the metal detector (why is it that only the guys were scanned??) and we were in.

The first thing you noticed was the mud - it had been raining pretty heavy a couple of days before and with all the foot traffic, the once grassy park had been turned into a stinking muddy bog. There were some stalls that looked as it they had been literally dropped into the middle of the mud. Had to feel sorry for some of these guys coz the conditions stopped a lot of people from wandering around - a lot of people stuck to the sealed access road and higher parts. There were a lot of camp sights off to one side - dunno how they coped with all the mud. There also seemed to be heaps of cops there just watching everyone enjoying themselves - I think they must have been a bit worried that something similar to the Angels / Finks showdown from a few months back might occur. I reckon they went a bit overboard.

Anyway, we spent a couple of hours wandering around admiring the choppers and checking out some parts - didn't find the bling I was looking for but did find a place to buy some ape hangers (my next project)!! These guys also had a couple of their choppers entered in the comp and I think they ended up winning "Best Chopper". We also managed to catch up with a few people throughout the day - Pheonix and Benita from VTXOA and a couple of other guys I know.

Later on in the arvo we managed to get hold of a couple of drinks and sit down - the band was playing off in the distance to our left, bikes reving madly on the dyno to our right and a steady stream of people passing. Every now and then you would hear a something start - a chopper or the rocket powered ute - and people would move in the general direction. It was good just to sit there and watch it all after walking around for so long.

After seeing everything we wanted, we decided it was time to head home. Managed to catcht up with everyone else and decided to leave with them - fueled up and then headed up the M1 to Brisbane. Was a good day.

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