no politics...just ridin'


I saw this Polynesian design a few weeks back and liked it so much I went and got it tattooed on my upper back over the weekend. Took two and a half hours on Saturday morning - got it done by Quail, a chick from Ohio in the US, down at Skintastic at Coolongatta. She did a fantastic job!

Pattern stencilled

Outline and half the shading done


A day later - love the stippling effect she added


Disc Lock Moment

Ever had one of those moments where you jump on your bike and take off, only to find that you forgot to remove your disc lock?? Well I did yesterday and I dropped the bike - AGAIN!

I had to take my daughter to the local hospital for a check up - nothing too serious - and as my bike was parked in an isolated area, I decided to use my disc lock. We went in, and about an hour later we were out. On returning to the bike I started it up, we put on our lids and I got on. Cass got on the back and after checking she was ready, we moved off slowly turning to the left. happened - the disc lock hit the brake caliper and the front end took a big dive.

Because I was slowly turning the bike and had extra weight on the back, it lurched to the left and down we went. I quickly slid out from underneath and got her upright. I made sure that Cass was alright, then removed the offending lock from my front disc. No injuries to either of us but the X wasn't so lucky - the clutch lever was bent slightly and the left rear turn signal housing was crushed. Fortunately, nothing too bad as I was able to cushion the fall. The left rear turn signal was damaged when I went down a couple of months ago, and so I had already purchased another second hand one - just hadn't fitted it.

So last night I spent some time replacing the damaged turn signal, all the while cursing myself for letting this happen. I usually check my front disc for the lock before jumping on the bike, but for some reason yesterday I didn't. Unlike a car, motorbikes are very non-forgiving and if you are not focussed, you pay the price. This time for me it was just a bruised ego and some minor damage.

Think I'll go out and buy one of these reminder-cables!

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Gladstone Weekend

On the weekend of 10-13 November, ten of us did a ride up to Gladstone for the Black Uhlans Poker Run. Was a fantastic weekend with great company and good riding.

Friday - To Gladstone
Kat & I had really been looking forward to this trip for a while but the weather was not looking all that good for Friday, our departure day. Rain had been forecast for a lot of the ride up to Gladstone but this didn't put us off - we would still enjoy the ride whether rain, hail or sun! Kat & I knew however that we would eventually cop it somewhere, so we packed all our wet weather gear at the top of one of the bags. We set off from my place in the dry at 8am to meet up with the others at Burpengary for a 9:30 departure. The ride up through some heavy traffic was uneventful, albeit slow, and we got to the BP just before 9 - turns out that we were the last ones to arrive. Wasn't sure exactly who was coming but it turned out that there were 6 bikes/10 riders doing the 560km trek - Grizz, Panda, Koff & Trish, Dodge & Sandra and us leaving together and Steve & Danita joining us further up the coast. After a fuel top up and a coffee with the others, we hit the road. It was great to be riding, knowing that the rest of the day, in fact the next 4 days, would be spent on the bike with friends - that familiar feeling of freedom was back and I was lovin' it.

We made good time up the motorway and as we passed the Noosa turn-off Steve & Danita joined us - they had been making their way to where we were going to meet up and saw us and so joined the group. From there (where the road turns to a single lane each way) up till our first stop at the Golden Nugget, the traffic slowed our progress a little. We pulled in to the Golden Nugget, fueled up and then had a catch up with out new companions - turns out they had been staying up at Noosa for a relatives funeral, the result of coming off his bike. Sad, but it happens. We decided our next stop would be the Apple Tree Creek Pub so re-mounted and headed off. The sun was out for a while and it felt great to be on the road again with the wind in my face - I must tell ya though that the country looked very, very dry. It's been a long time since the south-east has seen any decent rain and it's really starting to look like it - the green along the side of the road that you grow so used to in Queensland is turning brown in a big way. Having said that, I think it was this stretch that we copped a real heavy downpour - it didn't last long but reduced visibility heaps and so we were forced to slow up from our cruising speed of 130 to about 80. Of course we had no plastics on so got a little wet but it was still too warm to be wearing them for longer periods. Got to the pub at Apple Tree Creek and the jeans had nearly dried. We sunk a very much appreciated ale on the verandah which is set right on the highway and then got back on the bikes and continued. I can't remember exactly the location of our next stop (think it was near Maryborough), but it was at Sexie Coffie. It really did look out of place - one of these franchise type places very clean and classy with new decor and quality fittings in the middle of nowhere just along side a servo. But the place was busy and I reckon making big buckeroos. We had a drink and something to eat while admiring their artwork with the cocoa on the top of the cuppacinos.

Our next fuel stop was at Miriam Vale - this is where the entertainment happened. We pulled into a roadhouse for fuel and a bum break and noticed a couple of cops in an unmarked car. We pulled around the side of the building into the parking area and watched them depart. Then it happened - within about 10 minutes they arrived in force. Five cars, a 4WD and even one with a dog!! What a welcome to the central coast we received - the Gladstone police were aware that there was a poker run on this weekend and were pulling all bikers over and doing licence and registration checks. That is fine but what I didn't like was the way they noted a lot of information about us which they didn't need onto their "Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Identification Sheet" - what a crock! We were there for about 45 minutes while they did all their checks and filled in their paperwork - all of us were done except for Koff. He was able to avoid them doing any checks on him or his bike - still don't know how but he got away with it. They finally left us and we stood around for a while talking about what had just happened. The guys in the group that came up last year for this had told us to expect special attention from the local cops but I really didn't expect that.

From there we took the last 50 or 60 kms into Gladstone nice and easy. We rode into the RG Hotel, where we were staying, at about 5:30pm, claimed our rooms, unpacked, cleaned up and then headed up to the pub for a meal and a few drinks. The pub was busy, the beer was tasting good and there was a band playing in the front bar - great way to unwind. We took it easy and after catching a bit of the band and discussing the days events, we hit the sack.

Meeting at the BP

Koff & Trish ready to go...

Panda ready to go...

We're off!

Dodge & Sandra

Waiting for the stragglers

Dodge & Sandra again


Does my face look big in this??

Bum break at the Golden Nugget

Sexie Coffie

I wish they were all this big!

Bum break at Apple Tree Creek

Koff & Trish

Dodge & Sandra

Steve & Danita

Grizz & Panda

Beaker & Kat

Grizz being harassed by the police

A view of some of the 7 cars that stopped for a chat

Panda copping some of the fun

Sneaky little bastards even had one around the corner

Checking my rego

Documented everything on "Outlaw Biker Interception Sheets" - huh???

A few smooth words and Koff was the only rider not to get documented - good move!!

Bye fellas - no doubt we will see you again!!

Even the dog van showed up - talk about overkill!!

Saturday - The Poker Run and Clubhouse
Saturday morning, the sun was shining and the sky was clear - it was ride day! I rose early and headed on my own out to get some breakfast for Kat & me. Took a ride into the centre of Gladstone and then to a Maccas to pick up some food. On the way back to the hotel I noticed another couple of cop cars and thought they may pull me up just for something to do but it didn't happen and I rode back to the hotel. We ate, got ready and joined the others on the bike to head to the sign on, about 20kms down the highway. We fueled up and cruised down to the Caltex Roadhouse at Banaraby for the sign on - most of the others were going to eat breakfast here, so we arrived with plenty of time to spare, although we weren't the first. A few of the Black Uhlans arrived and set up for the sign on - we got our first card and then waited and watched as the bikes rolled in. A couple of other patch clubs showed up - the Outlaws and the Outcasts both had a few of their members doing this run. As usual there were the stand outs from the sea of 'same old' Harleys - an old and well worn Indian, a beautifully restored Kawasaki Z750, a couple of slick HD's (one with a springer front end - love em) and a couple of nice Triumphs. All up I reckon there would have been close to 200 bikes - not a huge turnout but enough to make it interesting.

The start was delayed because of an accident further down the highway - it was getting hot standing in the sun, so we headed for the shade. After a half hour the call went out, the bikes sprung to life and we headed off. Kat & I rode towards the back of the pack and took in the sights and sounds, watching them pass and position themselves into formation. We rode for about 10 minutes till we reached the accident. The highway was completely blocked and traffic queued back a long way. We reached the front just as they dragged a rolled truck carrying pumpkins off to the side of the road - don't know what happened to the driver but it looked as if he had fallen asleep and just drifted onto a small mound along side the road and rolled. We were allowed through first once the road was reopened and then passed the traffic waiting on the other side, giving them something to look at. The road was clear and the pace picked up for the run into Miriam Vale. We left the main highway here and then took the road out to Agnes Waters on the coast. As we reached the road running out to the coast we were confronted with another road block - this time however it was the police doing their best to totally fuck up a great day's riding. As we pulled up, one of them walked down the line and directed all patched riders into a property off the road that was full of cops. We pulled up and watched what went on - this was harassment, nothing but the police trying to piss these guys off and out of town. They were all breath tested, license and rego checks were done - we couldn't hear much of what they were doing but I assume they were filling those forms in. One of the members must have pissed one of the cops off - he was thrown to the ground by about 3 of them and even one of the dogs had a go! This pissed all of us off because part of the proceeds from this ride were being donated to the local hospital and the Uhlans had gone out of their way to let the local cops know the route they were taking. These pricks just used the info to pick the patch wearers out and get stuck into them - no one else was given the same treatment.

A few of the guys were let out and led us down the road towards the Agnes Waters Pub - this part of the ride was good. The road was good and we opened the bikes up along a straight stretch to catch up to the front runners - 150, 160, woo hoo - finally got my much needed adrenalin fix. It was at this stage that I was passed by a few of the Uhlans who must have been blowing off some of the steam - shit they were moving!! We slowed up for a short stretch of dirt road (roadworks) and finally rode into Agnes Waters. The cooler sea air was a welcome relief as we pulled into the pub and when we finally got a drink, that made it even better. There was plenty of talk about what had just happened as the club guys arrived at the pub, one by one - I tell ya, there were some angry fellas amongst them. They eventually set up and began handing out the cards and we joined the line to got our next one. Once done, we noticed a couple of senior looking cops walk in and approach and then talk with what one of the senior Black Uhlans. They went out the back and talked with a couple of the guys for about half an hour - obviously trying to calm the situation - before leaving. After all the excitement had subsided, Kat & I went out the back and got a feed. As we finished eating, the call went out and so we headed to the bike.

The run back took us along the same roads, but this time we did it riding together. We neared the turn off to Miriam Vale and....guess what - yep, the same thing happened again!! All patched riders were diverted from the road into the same property and breath tested again. I don't mind the breath testing, but if they are going to do it, surely they would do all riders and not just the Black Uhlans, Outlaws & Outcast club members. It's just bullshit! This time we weren't hanging around and so continued on the road back - every now and then another patched rider would fly past towards the front of the pack. We arrived at Miriam Vale and re-joined the main highway for the ride north - again we were able to open the bikes up for a shorrt stretch. The next stop was the Bororen Pub on the highway - this was a short stop - the guys handed the cards out on the footpath in front of the pub while we had a drink and then we headed off. The next stop was the Tannum Sands Pub - we wandered in and pulled up a seat out the back overlooking the Gladstone Harbour. The breeze along with some shade from the sun were a relief. We remained here for a couple of drinks before we got another card and the call to mount up was made. The route back to the clubhouse took us through Boyne Island and then through central Gladstone. Grizz, Panda, Koff & Trish left the ride and took their bikes back to the pub while the rest of us continued on to the clubhouse.

We finally arrived at the clubhouse after a fairly long run (about 200kms) and a very eventful day - gotta feel for the Uhlans coz what the cops did is very devisive and does nothing but piss them off. Anyway, the clubhouse was ok but nothing too spectacular, just an industrial unit with a couple of big-ass gates out the front that were manned all night. We ate, drank and shared the days events - Grizz, Panda, Koff & Trish arrived by cab a little later and got stuck into it as well. The last 2 cards were handed out and the awards presented - Grizz picked up Best Jappa and was pretty happy. Koff won the same award last year so it was good to keep it in 'the family', even if it was a Kawasaki family!! The burn out comp was held a little later on, but nothing too exciting happened except for a young kid on his Buell - he knew what he was doing. He lit it up and just kept going and going. The poor bugger finally blew the rear, but a good tradesman always carries his tools, and he decided to change it for a spare he was carrying. He later told me he had a mate who was a tyre fitter and got hold of all the discarded tyres for him - cool. The wet t-shirt comp was held and of the three participants, our group supplpied two, Panda and Trish. All three of the girls picked up something - drink vouchers and cash I think - and the fellas were happy. Trish also ended up winning something in the raffle, so it was a profitable evening for her. After a long hot day and quite a few drinks, we decided it was time to go. We cabbed it back to the hotel, leaving the bikes at the clubhouse.


Love those fenders

Was a little rough but it was a rideable bike, not a trophy

I want one of these - Z750 - man it was nice

Our bikes

Love the springer front end

The numbers build

Sign on

Dodge keepin everyone laughing as always

Another view of some of the bikes

Let's roll!

Waiting to pass an accident

Slowly, slowly

Looks like the truckie fell asleep - his tracks running off the road

Pulling the trailer off the road so we could pass

Now we are moving!!

Cool shot of the guy on his Daytona as he passed us

The pack was fairly well spaced

Bikes as far as the eye can see!

The start of the harassment

One of the guys on the ground being subdued by about 3 of them and a dog

The Agnes Waters Pub

That beautiful Kwaka again

A section of the road to Agnes Waters was being re-sealed

Sealed road again

Our second stop - Bororen Pub

Just some of the bikes out the front

Grizz won Best Jappa - seen here with last years winner, Koff

Dodge sharing a joke with Grizz and his award

Trish & Kat

A group shot in the clubhouse

Trish picking up her raffle prize

Let the fun begin

this kid on the Buell did a great job....

....just kept going and going....

...till this happened!

Waiting for a cab back to where we were staying - they all look hammered, don't they??

Sunday - To Bundaberg
We all rose fairly early the next morning considering what we got up to. Headed up to breakfast in the hotel restaurant and man, it hit the spot - nothing like a cooked breakfast after a big night out and this was great value. Once we had finished, a couple of us caught a cab back to the club to pick up our bikes - quite a few people that must have stayed there coz it was busy - not what I had expected! We rode back to the hotel and finished packing, then decided where we were heading. The original plan was to take the back roads inland and pass through Biloela but Panda had been in pain all weekend coz of her arthritis and really wanted to head home. Kat & I had wanted to head to Bundaberg on the coast so it was agreed that we would all head there. After paying the bill, we set off to a lookout not far from the middle of Gladstone to get a better view of the place. From there we followed the same route as the poker run out towards the coast and turned south to Bundaberg. This road was not that good - chewed up and rough in some spots probably from the cane trucks. We all rode at our own pace and were fairly spread out. Kat & I pulled in for a much needed drink break at the Avondale Hotel and the others slowly arrived and did the same. Panda & Grizz passed us while we were in the pub but continued on - that was the last Kat & I saw of them for the weekend. The rest of us continued into Bundaberg and stopped to check out Everything But The Bike but it was closed. The rest of the guys decided to continue and left Kat & I in Bundy after saying our goodbyes. Kat mentioned something to me about Bargara which is about 10kms from Bundy and on the coast - as it was quite warm we thought we would go and have lunch and find some accomodation and just relax there. We headed out through canefields arriving at a small coastal town with plenty of holiday accomodation and a small shopping precinct. After taking a ride along the beach to find something, we arrived at a small caravan park that had a couple of cabins available right on the water. We checked in, dumped our stuff, went for a couple of drinks at the pub and then decided to pick up fish & chips, beer & wine and relax on a table in front of our unit overlooking the water. We sat there for hours, watching day become night and then checking out the incredible night sky with so many stars. It was a great way to unwind, de-stress, relax, cool down and we did it all alone - just me & Kat.

A group shot at the lookout before we left Gladstone

On the road to Bundy

We stopped to re-hydrate at the Avondale Pub - man it was hot

Koff does some "hunting" while Trish looks on

Steve & Danita head off from Bundy...

....along with Dodge & Sandra.... well as Koff & Trish!

The others finally caught up with Grizz & Panda at the Golden Nugget

This is where we stayed on Sunday night - a unit overlooking the ocean at Bargara on the coast not far from Bundy

Great way to end a hot days riding - fish & chips overlooking the water

Some of the farming land between Bargara & Bundaberg

Monday - Hot Ride Home
We slept in a bit after a fantastic nights sleep listening to the waves. I always sleep so well when I can hear the ocean (well.....the VB helps a bit as well!!). We got up, packed up and then headed back to Bundaberg - on the way through we thought we would drop in to Everything But The Bike after missing out yesterday. They have an excellent range of leather goods and other biker gear in this shop - I ended up buying Kat a really nice vest that was on the clearance rack - she looked great in it and it would be good for the hot ride home in place of her full leather. After spending some time chatting with Trish, the owner, about the poker run and the events of the previous day, we hit the road back to Brisbane.

The 370km ride home from Bundaberg was bloody hot but pretty much uneventful. We stopped in Gympie for lunch and then at Burpengary for fuel and finally arrived home at about 4pm on Monday afternoon. We later heard that Grizz & Panda had stayed Sunday night in Noosa with Steve & Danita while Koff & Trish along with Dodge & Sandra rode home.

Another great adventure had ended but the memories will live on!

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