no politics...just ridin'

Donna's Recent Rides

Roll The Dice Glamorgan Vale Run - 21st March 2009
The weather prediction was for occasional showers and the clouds that were to drop those showers were pretty black on the morning of the run, so it is not surprising that a few less bikes turned up than expected. Nonetheless there were the usual crowd and quite a few new people including one chap on holidays from the UK who had seen the advert in OzBike and decided to join in the run.

Some took the opportunity, before the ride left, to vote for the Qld election giving the local school a treat checking out the larger than expected roll up of voters on bikes.

The ride started well with the first leg giving everyone a nice cruisy ride out through Esk to Toogoolawah stopping at the Exchange Hotel for a couple of coldies (lights of course). From there we moved at a slightly better pace turning right off the Dagular Highway just before Moore and powered on a little to the Linville Hotel where we had some lunch.

The Linville Hotel is a quiet little spot off the main road not as popular for riders as other pubs, but it has friendly staff and a bit of memorabilia that is worth a look. After enough time for a catch up with everyone we headed off to the Esk Kilkoy Road along that bumpy windy road to Somerset Dam. The group kept in tight formation through this section and maintain a fast pace which made for great riding. I enjoy this type of riding even though you have to keep your wits about you riding close together, but isn't it great fun? The adrenaline is pulsing by the time you stop for the next beer.

The next stop was in the park at Somerset where the van proved to hold a well stocked esky. This was a nice change to stopping at a pub with some lazing on the grass in the sun and others listening to Russell laughing at his own jokes. You know when that happens its time to move on lol.

The final leg proved interesting. After rounding a bend the wind picked up and started swirling and it became obvious that we were in for a serious downpour. It wasn't much longer before those with open face helmets were slowing slightly and feeling the effects of the rain piercing their facial skin and fogging their sunnies. Of course those of us with a flip down visor and not adverse to riding in the rain took glee in rounding them up and taking the planned winding road back to the pub whilst the others opted for the straighter faster route.

Regardless of which route was taken we all ended up very wet by the time we finished the ride, but by the time the band started playing early evening everyone had forgotten that little piece of the day which was overshadowed by a great ride.

Odin's Warriors Poker Run Qld - 28th March 2009
I didn't end up making it to this run but was told it was a great day, except for the 2 riders who got busted for being over the limit that is. The police were in full force for this one, taking pics of everyone, setting up a breathalyzer near one of the stops and stopping club members at Blacksoil. Apparently this did not dampen the spirits of those who attended and by all reports it was a successful run as was the party afterwards.

Night Dinner Ride from Glamorgan Vale Hotel - 28th March 2009
I haven't been on a night ride for quite some time, so I was really keen on this one, especially since it also included a dinner stop. I had no prior knowledge of where the run was going so that could be a feeble excuse for my stupidness during the run. You see, when some of the riders stopped for fuel after only about 100kms, I didn't fill up. Yep you can imagine the rest, but I did manage to complete the ride without running out of fuel.

We left the Glamorgan Vale Hotel at about 5:45pm and headed out along the Brisbane Valley Highway to the Warrego Highway, turning off onto Mt Crosby Road to snake through to Mogigill Road. After that I really can't recall the road names, other than the two dirt sections we had to ride across. I am not sure I would even take that road in the daylight let alone at night. The corrugations were deep and the dust of 17 bikes at night made it very difficult riding. Even so we all made it through and had plenty to talk about when we stopped at Samford (which is where I should have fueled up!!!).

Next, we road along that wonderfully windy road out to Dayboro where we had a great dinner at the pub and celebrated a birthday with a huge cake. This is where I realized I would not have enough fuel to finish the ride and not much was open at 8:30pm, but the kindhearted publican gave me a 4 litres of fuel, then I had to rush to get geared up to leave with everyone else.

In my haste I didn't put my glasses on and they fell off my bike just down the road which resulted in 3 of us being left slightly behind the main pack. I overtook the other 2 bikes thinking that would help for them to follow me through the twisties ahead on the Mt Mee Road, as I don't mind getting into it on a windy road, even at night. I don't think this theory worked as they didn't keep up with me, but I did catch the main group after a serious downpour of rain and waited for the other two riders at the Dagular Highway intersection.

Just to add to our fun, there were roadworks and cattle trucks to contend with...more dirt!!! I really don't mind riding on dirt roads, but I can't say I was expecting this on a night ride. Turning off at Kilcoy confirmed there was no fuel station open and as expected there wasn't any at Esk either, so by the time I finally made it to Fernvale, I only had less than half a litre left in my tank.

I don't know if you can imagine what it is like riding along at night in the open countryside just knowing you are going to run out of fuel and it is just a matter of where and how soon. I had dropped back from the main pack to conserve fuel a little, lowering my speed down to 110 and I was really happy that one other rider stuck with me (thanks Wilson). But that didn't stop me getting anxious about what it would be like to be sitting on the side of the road while my friend goes to get fuel for me. It was bitch black, no moon, no traffic AND raining!!!! I can't tell you how happy I was to see that fuel sign lighted up!

Anyway it was a good ride overall, most memorable as they all should be and I won't hesitate to go on another night ride again but next time I'll fill up when ever we stop for fuel at night.

I have a few pics of the rides, but not many sorry as I was concentrating on the riding more so than the photography, but I'll try to remember to take more in future. If you think I have been on a few rides lately, these aren't all of them, but more than enough for you to read.

See you on the road and don't forget to say hullo.

Cheers Donna

The Roll the Dice Glamorgan Vale Run

Di from the Glamorgan Vale Hotel

Chook, Baz & Arnold on the Glamorgan Vale Run

No it's not my bike, but I wouldn't mind test riding one!

At the Vietnam Vets Trike, Bike and Hotrod Show with Andrew (centre) from the Social Club



Over the weekend I decided to fit my newly reconditioned carbs to the GS and try and start her up, to hear the motor run for the first time. I stuck them on with no airbox or exhaust and after charging the battery, I gave it a try - it took about 4 or 5 goes, but finally she fired up!! It was great to finally know that the motor in the bike was ok - it sounded good and ran quite well. Was a little bit of fuel leaking back out of the number 3 carb, but nothing major.

Later on in the day, Dodge dropped in and so I thought I would let him hear her run. I tried to crank her over, but all of a sudden the fuel caught alight from a spark that came back through carb number 3 - shit! As I had no tank on her, I was using a makeshift plastic bottle to feed the fuel in. It didn't take long for the flames to really get going and melt the bottle making the fire even worse. Dodge moved the fuel container and my GSX out of the way while I stood there motionless for a few seconds thinking how I was going to put it out and then remembered that we had a fire extinguisher given to us at Christmas. I ran inside, grabbed it and was able to put the fire out.

Bugger - all that work on the carbs and now they were black and most probably damaged. Not only that - the fire had cooked all the wiring running along the frame from the battery. What a disappointment - but looking back on it, also very lucky that we had the correct extinguisher, cos there was no way anything else would have worked. Was a big mistake to run it with no exhaust and therefore no back pressure. Anyway, I spent Sunday and Monday night cleaning up and checking the damage. I pulled the carbs apart and was surprised to find that other than the two plastic vent tees running between the carbs, nothing else was damaged on them. The wiring was a different story - totally shagged.

Anyway, whilst searching for a replacement wiring harness, I was lucky enough to spot an almost complete GS850 going for $300 on eBay. The wiring harness alone would have cost me a quarter of that - so I bought the bike. It is a later model than mine, but has some good parts on it, including carbs, wiring, exhaust and a complete set of body panels. The guy also told me that he has plenty of spare electrical parts and other bits for it, so it made me feel a bit better after my experience on Saturday. I will be picking it up from Coffs Harbour next weekend and will continue the build there after.


Internet Censorship For Australia?

You may have seen the graphic on the top left of this blog - the government in all it's wisdom is hell bent on "censoring" specific sites that we can access in Australia. Well, I have found a list of 2,395 sites that the ACMA has blacklisted and is recommending be filtered out of our internet feed.

And get this....they think they can fine me for publicly informing people of where to view it. So I say to the AMCA, come get me - ain't no way I am taking this down, especially, when it infringes on my democratic right to browse the internet.

They have posted a response on their website, claiming that this list does not reflect their list...who really cares if it is not 100% accurate?? It is the principle of this intended action that is wrong.

Anyway, click here for the list.


Donna's Introduction....

About me??? Hi I'm Donna, a 49 year old female motorcyclist living in South East Queensland, Australia. I started riding too many years ago to think about and have amazing stories and pictures of great rides and travels but for now just a short introduction....

Years ago when I lived on the Gold Coast I owned a GSX250 Suzuki which I soon upgraded to a GSX650. I lived in a share house with 3 other women who all rode motorbikes (OK so one was a scooter, but we let her think it was impressive). I had planned to ride around Australia on my motorbike with a girlfriend only to find out at the last minute that we didn't share the same objective. I wanted to take months or years, she wanted to be in Sydney in a couple of days.

Looking back on that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, because I made a new years resolution "not to wait for anyone" and that proved to be one of the best years of my life. I travelled by myself with my tent and telescopic fishing rod and clocked up tens of thousands of miles, riding mountain roads and stopping off at little country pubs and every national park and bike rally I could find. (Lots of longest distance female trophies and prizes along the way!) I had a pair of red leather jeans and I think you could say it was a memorable experience, with way too many stories to tell in this session.

People used to ask me the same questions over and over again because I travelled alone...don't you get scared and don't you get lonely. I always answered...scared of what and lonely?? how could that ever happen? They were normally asking that when I was trying to set up my tent or take time out to update my diary or write letters, sometimes it seemed difficult to be alone let alone get lonely. Stopping off at pubs was always a great way to meet people too. Everyone wanted to talk to me and ask where I was travelling to. I got lots of invitations to family homes and farms and met some lifelong friends. The national park experiences and mountain byways allowed me to see just how beautiful our country really is.

I remember having to make a couple of trips home to work for a while and top up the bank balance, but it was never long before I was starting another segment of my trip. I did Qld & NSW in one segment, lower NSW, Vic & Tasmania in another; SA & WA; then NT. Just to give you an idea of the kms I travelled I recall doing about 25,000kms in 3.5 months on the south of Sydney/Vic/Tas section spending 6 weeks of that time in Tasmania.

I guess I have never really got rid of the travel bug, but have progressed along the way with motorcycle changes. I bought a 1000cc ironhead Sportster and rode it to death before buying a 1988 Lowrider which I owned for 9 years. I thought that was the best bike ever and until one day I decided, out of the blue, to buy a brand new Lowrider without ever even test riding one. I bought it over the phone when Wackers were not interested in uncrating one for me to test ride and flew to Melbourne to pick it up. I picked it up around lunch time on a Saturday and was home the next afternoon with it due for its first service.

The old Lowrider had been good to me and I just couldn't bring myself to sell her for quite a long time. I had actually shipped that bike over to Los Angeles in 2003, with my boyfriend at the time, and rode it around for a year before shipping it home again. The last 3 months of that trip we purchased a 34ft RV (campervan) and a bike trailer when the weather got too cold. It was so convenient to have a home on wheels, a safe place for the bikes and to not have to search for accommodation each night. The rig was a total of 40 feet and was incredible to drive, I just loved it. We trailered the bikes stopping overnight in Walmart carparks (which allowed 2 free nights of camping) lowered the trailer gate, rolled the bikes out for a day trip and back to the RV for a hot dinner and shower each night.

This story is all over the place because now I am going to tell you about how I was already a seasoned RV traveller. In 1996 I flew to the USA by myself, bought a 24ft RV and travelled around for 12 months. After 6 months I parked the RV in storage, backpacked around England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales for 6 weeks then flew back, picked up the RV to continue my travels; selling the RV after a total of 12months and flying home. I can't begin to tell you how many tales there would be to share with you from that trip!! Especially the mandatory Friday night pub stops to meet people to party with each weekend.

So I have been to Sturgis - twice; to the 100th Anniversary of Harley Davidson parties in Sydney and Milwaukee; Daytona Beach Bike Week - twice; rallies in more states of America than most people I met there; and been to countless National Parks, Lakes and Mountain ranges. I have seen the longest single drop of water (waterfall) in the northern hemisphere and one day will do the same in the southern hemisphere. You see, I believe that wherever there is a waterfall chances are the countryside will be pretty spectacular and that has proved all too true. My favourite places there would be the southern states where people are always friendly & have an incredible drawl in their speech that I love; the Grand Tetons; Denver & the Rocky Mountains; Montana and South Dakota; Yellowstone & Yosemite (seems I could just keep listing them..)

As you can imagine I have left out huge pieces of information in telling you about my bikes and travels, but hopefully in the process I haven't bored you to death. I have a very diverse lifestyle because I have a high profile job in the IT industry and the things I love to do (apart from biking and travel) range from staying in a cosy cabin with a fireplace in winter, camping any time of the year, catching fresh fish to grill on the bbq; oysters Kilpatrick while watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race on Boxing day; hiking to a waterfall for a picnic lunch; a game of golf (as long as I'm allowed to take a six pack along); staying in a 5 star hotel and lavishing in the day spa; boating or yachting and diving; or just riding with friends to a country pub (oops back to bikes again); so I might as well add that I love overnighters with a great band playing.......and so much more.

When I was asked if I would like to contribute a blog, I don't think Beaker had any idea of how many stories I have already forgotten about let alone how many I could still recall to write about. Looking through my photos to pick out just a few was a challenge in itself. But today I just wanted to give you a summary of who I am and what I do, so that when I write future stories about rides I go on, you have some understanding of where I am coming from.

I currently own two motorcycles. A 2006 Pearl Black Lowrider and a 2005 Pearl White and Pearl Blue Softail Deluxe with white wall tyres, so look out for me on a ride and be sure to say hello. My next ride will be the Dump the Dice Bike Run leaving the Glamorgan Vale Hotel (30 mins from Ipswich, Qld) at 10:30am on Saturday 21st March. If you are coming along be sure to bring your swag or tent, because there is a band playing and free camping available and it will inevitably be a great night.

I’m looking forward to sharing stories of rides with you and also of meeting up on those rides. Enjoy a few of my pics, take care and bye for now. Donna

My 2005 Deluxe

My 2006 Lowrider

The RV

No helmet laws

Sturgis 1996

Camped at Daytona Bikeweek

Riding on Daytona Beach 2004

A quick overnight stay on the way to Sturgis 2003

The worlds highest suspension bridge (1053 ft)

No a good pic to view here, but at the Hog party at the 100th Anniversary in Milwaukee

(no I'm not Hog member but I got myself into that party!!)

Wind blown at Niagara Falls

I think I acquired some extra gear along the way (for a while)

Biketoberfest in Florida

Too many Tequila's in Mexico

The RV I travelled alone in for a year in 1996/97

The trip in the RV (96/97)

I even got to see an Apollo lift off and felt the ground shake!!

'97 at a rally somewhere in the USA

The 650 Suzuki (from what now seems a lifetime ago)

I called this - Tasmania you'll love it.

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Donna Joins Up

As of late I seem to have been unable to get out on the bike much due to various commitments and so I have not been posting as much as I would like - I believe that you've got to keep posting to keep the site interesting. After a discussion I had with a mate, he suggested that I ask a someone else to post on this site - this will provide a bit more variation and a different perspective on riding in south-east Queensland. I asked a lady that I know whether she would be interested in doing so, and she has agreed, which is fantastic! Expect to see a few posts from Donna in the near future. I will not go into too much detail about her - she will introduce herself soon I hope - other than saying that she loves her bikes and her riding.

So stay tuned for some of Donna's posts - I am sure they will make very interesting reading!

Good...As Gold!

I managed to ride the Good As Gold Poker Run put on by the Hells Angels last weekend, and what a sight it was....over 600 bikes snaking along the road for what would have been at least 2 to 3kms, if not more.

We arrived at their Browns Plains clubhouse about half an hour before take off time - there were a lot of cops sitting at the bottom of the street that leads there, taking pictures and video of all riders who passed them, and I immediately thought that the day was gonna be slow and drawn out, assuming we would be pulled over at some stage for one reason or another. Once at the club we picked up our first couple of cards and then wandered around checking the bikes out. As can be expected on a run like this, there was a lot of top notch machinery on display, but one bike that did catch my eye was a ratted Rocket - I thought that this bike looked the ducks nuts! Whilst wandering around we bumped into a few other mates that we knew were doing the run, and it was good to share a few stories with them.

The call went out and everyone headed to their bikes. What a sound it was - not having ridden with a lot of vee twins for quite a while, I had all but forgotten how fricken loud these things are!! Nothing comes close to the sound of that many bikes thumping down the road, coming at you from all directions. We passed the spot where all those cops had been, but they had all but disappeared. Our first stop was to be the Sundowner Hotel on the Warrego Hwy at Haigslea, heading out to Toowoomba. We weaved our way through back streets/roads towards our destination - one thing that was a surprise for me was the number of cops holding up traffic for us as we passed through intersections and roundabouts. They had obviously been told of the run and were doing their best to keep the bikes together, which was a surprise to many.

This first leg was pretty uneventful - except for a number of 'weekend wannabes' in the pack who you always need to be on the watch for on any poker run. Dodge was telling me later that he was almost cleaned up by some guy who was going way too fast for a corner and managed to come close to hitting a concrete barrier after cutting in between him and the guy in front of him whilst grabbing a fist full of brakes! Lucky! Anyway, I slowly made my way through the pack from the rear to about half way along, steering well clear of these types where I could. Couldn't help but admire some of the nicer bikes as I passed them along the way - pity I couldn't get some action pics. After about 45 minutes we pulled into the Sundowner for a bit of relief from the heat.

After witnessing some poor bastard pull up and drop his Rocket onto it's side due to some soft grass - he did receive assistance with the pick up - I wandered into the pub and ordered a beer. Lots of bikes still pulling in and there was a lineup at the bar already - oh well, gotta expect that I spose! Dodge and I managed to catch up with Grizz, Eddie, Steve, Grasshopper, Donna and a few others from the Social Club for a drink and chat out on the balcony. No need to rush to pick up any cards whilst out on the road either - the remaining cards were to be dealt on our return to the club along with a house card.

From Haigslea we headed for Glamorgan Vale - only a very short distance, but the boys saw fit to take us on a bit of a tour of the farms out this way. Probably took around 40 minutes to arrive there, but it was great seeing so, so many bikes parked around the pub. Inside to line up for another beer and then out the back for a classic gourmet Aussie lunch of snags, onion, bread and a choice of your favorite sauces. Turns out that the bloke who I saw inside serving behind the bar and who had served me my beer had come outside and taken on cooking the barbie - he was flat out, the poor bastard, but doing an excellent job! A few coins into the veterans hat and a good feed was had. The Glamorgan Vale pub is a nice spot - have been there a number of times before but not recently. The place has a bit of character, a great outdoor area out the back beneath the trees, and a feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere.

After an hour or so it was back on the road - I waited and watched as all of the bikes took off, and it was worth it. We then followed the road from the pub back out to the Brisbane Valley Hwy, onto the Warrego Hwy and then the Ipswich Mwy - the dual lane roads made it easier to work my way through the pack and it was good fun, with very little traffic blocking our ride back to the club. I ended up amongst the lead group on arrival back at the clubhouse and headed in for another drink. We were dealt our final two cards and the house card was read out, but I had a shocking hand and there was no way that I was leaving with the 100 cubic inch Revtech v-twin - bugger!

Caught up with everyone once they arrived and we watched old blind Jack give it to his guitar on the stage - he was bloody good. Once he finished up, the prizes were handed out and Grizz picked up some cash on behalf of the Social Club for having the biggest club turn out on the day - this was then donated to charity. Good on ya guys! The next band, Chick Flick, started playing, but I didn't stay much longer, deciding to head home.

Was a great day and I enjoyed myself - the cops were good to us, there were no major dramas on the road and the riding was excellent. Well done to the Hells Angels for putting on another good show!

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