no politics...just ridin'

What If....?

I always thought this may happen sometime with the way some people pack their gear onto the back of their vehicles!

Was on my ride from work this arvo after a bloody long day and was looking forward to getting home. I was following a tradie in a van. This guy had a couple of ladders sitting up on top of a rack on his roof and was moving slower that the rest of the traffic, so I moved into the lane next to him to pass. Just after moving out from his lane I watched as one of his smaller ladders started sliding off the back in what seemed to me like slow motion. It hit the road and bounced - I passed it with a couple of feet to spare as it rebounded off the road and up to helmet height. I watched it bounce two more times in my mirror before it slid a bit along the road and stopped smack bang in the middle of the lane. Phew! Luckily there was no one following closely behind him or me.

At the time I didn't think anymore of it - I sped up to him and let him know in no uncertain terms that he had nearly cleaned me up. The guy driving looked half asleep and I think I frightened him a bit, but he did finally pull up a little further down the road. I just kept riding. When I finally reached home I pulled into the garage and remained seated on my bike for a bit, took a deep breath and reflected on how close I had come. What if.....??

Bloody hell, how hard is it to tie your shit down properly if you drive a van or ute?

Tie down your crap
....and very dangerous for us on bikes!


Ride To Bathurst - Part 1

Gees I am a slacker, BUT I have finally gotten round to documenting the 5 day ride I did back in early December. So here is the first day on the road....

Brisbane To Bendemeer
Thursday morning was dull and overcast - you knew it was going to rain but it was just a matter of when. I readied the bike and fitted the panniers but made the decision not to wear my wets as the day was already quite warm and I usually end up wetter on the inside. Leaving home at 5:30am I made my way to the planned meeting point at Springwood contemplating the day ahead - a 600km ride to Bendemeer, which was just over half way to our destination of Bathurst for the first official get together of Oz GSX1400 owners. I arrived at Maccas and watched the rain begin to fall lightly as the others slowly rolled in.

All up there were seven bikes riding down from Brisbane - five GSX's, Keith on his Beemer and Nev who had flown over from New Zealand on his rented Beemer. We hit the road just after 6:30 - our planned route was to follow the motorway down to Bangalow where we would turn inland and follow the Bruxner Hwy to Casino then cruising the Summerland Way into Grafton. We had been riding the M1 for only fifteen minutes when the rain started - quite heavy in some patches and not my idea of fun when riding on concrete, but we persisted. Not long after crossing the border it subsided - I was drenched, however I didn't mind too much as it was not cold and I would be dry within the hour - something that I much prefer to sweating it out inside a plastic suit.

We reached the exit for Bangalow and began the ride inland. The single carriageway roads were very busy and this made it a bit of a slog, but we knew it wouldn't be long until the roads were ours again. A couple of the guys needed fuel so we stopped in Lismore to do that and then continued the 30 odd kms westward to Casino. Once there, we took the turn south and the roads were finally ours to ride as we pleased. We followed the Summerland Way into Grafton and in those 100kms I reckon you could have counted the cars we passed on both hands - it felt so good to be out on the bike with minimal traffic. We did pass one cop heading in the opposite direction but we had been given a bit of notice, so luckily nothing came of it. A couple of us would make a break every now and then for a bit of a squirt, but we would then back off to allow the others to catch us. There are no real twisty sections on this road but the big plus is that very few trucks use it and it is hardly ever busy.

We rolled into a sunny Grafton and pulled up to refuel and grab a bite to eat. It was from here that the real fun started. The road running from Grafton to Ebor is I believe one of the great Aussie bike roads, however you rarely see much written about it. We headed off along this road and after a rather mundane 20 minutes or so, Keith made a break on his Beemer. Now, as you may know, I am not the type to watch something like this and not react, so I took off after him. For the next 45 minutes we both experienced what I would describe as two wheeled heaven - the thrill of riding a great road with long straights followed by lots of tight mountainous twisties and then back onto another straight only to do it again and again and again whilst close to your limit. It really was magic being able to test myself and the GSX to the fullest. For most of this stretch, the road surface was good and the traffic was sparse, adding to the thrill. We continued this all the way into Ebor (about half way to Armidale) on dry roads, however, just as we got there the rain returned. The weather was on our side at last!! Whilst waiting for the others to arrive I reckon Keith and I talked about every little bit of that road - what a high.

We all lunched at the cafe at Ebor and once the rain had stopped, continued the ride. In my opinion, this part of the road is not quite as exhilarating as the first half because it opens up with more straights and not as many twisty sections. For this part we stuck together, enjoying the expansive plains and rocky terrain bordering the road heading to Armidale. Once there, we refuelled and then continued, following the busy New England Hwy south to our destinations for the evening. There were plenty of trucks and cars on this final 60kms, so it was a very easy going stretch, trying to maintain concentration and all the while wary of our friends in the candy cars bearing radars. We pulled into the carpark of the Bendemeer Hotel at around 4pm.

The Bendemeer Hotel is a fantastic place if you are ever out this way. It is a very biker friendly place and even provides you with an undercover lockup park for your bike, as long as you let em know your coming. We finally managed to sort our rooms (which were fantastic for the price), put our bikes to bed, feed ourselves and then indulge in a few drinks on the wide open verandahs overlooking the creek just as a thunderstorm rolled on in. Tomorrow is another day on the road, but I was still buzzing from today - life doesn't get much better than this does it?

A wet start

Lunch at Ebor

Group shot in Armidale

The room I had...fantastic!

Lock up parking for the bikes

Bendemeer Hotel

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Who Said You Can't Go Fishin' On A Bike???

Spotted this guy at a fuel stop just outside of Gympie today on our way back from our camping trip to Inskip. Was kind of freaky seeing a guy with his missus in the sidecar towing a tinny!! He told me that he had been up to Bundaberg and wanted to get some fishing in, so towed his boat up behind the bike. Good on him!!