no politics...just ridin'

Anzac Day Wobble

I haven't been out and about as much as usual, but I did enjoy a ride with friends on Saturday 25th April which for those international visitors is the day we remember our Anzacs. The majority of the Anzac day activities are over by midday and that is when the pubs are allowed to open, so a great time to meet up for a ride.

I met with a group of riders organised by the No Hopers Motorcycle Group at the Grand Hotel at Esk where we found it quite enjoyable sitting in the bar catching up, but eventually we did saddle up and get moving. The ride was only a short one, but absolutely enjoyable as they all are around that area.

We went around the Split Yard Creek Road at varying speeds, two of the No Hopers even stopping for a smoke while some of the others caught up. My adventure was memorable bought on by the fact that the Dunlop Harley tyres have a special method of letting you know when they need to be replaced. It seems one ride they are fine, then the next they cause the bike to shake and wobble just to let you know they are past their peek. The centre of the tire still looks new, but with the edges so worn it causes a ridge to form, hence the wobble affect.

I took off from the pub somewhere about three quarters of the way through the pack, but didn't realise that a smaller group would hang back with a new rider. That left me at the end which is definitely a place I am not used to riding. I sat there quite a while trying to convince myself that I could just ride along quietly and enjoy a slower ride. Before too long I could only see 2 bikes up in front, a lady rider friend of mine who was shaking her hand obviously not going to keep up that day and a Jap bike rider (no offence meant) who also was just cruising.

Realisation set in that I would not catch up with the main riders if I didn't get into it now, so off I went. I had left my run a bit late and for a while there couldn't see any bikes in front or behind which meant I got to just ride at whatever precarious speed I chose! That's when it happened. I was going around a left hander when my bike (the Lowrider) got up a bit of a wobble. Now my old Lowrider did this on a regular basis and back then I used to think that was just how it was and learnt to ride with it, but this bike didn't have that same trait so when she got a wobble up I touched the breaks wondering what the problem was.

Big mistake! Going around a bend at about 120 kms an hour touching the front brake when your bike has a bit of a wobble up is definitely not recommended. The bike went into an even bigger spasm with the back end joining in. I have to admit for a split second there I did wonder if I was going to get out of trouble, but realised my mistake quickly enough and hit the power which pulled it out of its dance pattern. From that point on you would think I would slow down, but I decided that now that I knew what the problem was (the front tyre needed replacing) I would just ride hard and manage it. I still hadn't caught up!

I didn't take long then to come up behind the rest of the group and one of the two guys who had stopped came up behind me just as I went around another bend. Off she went again all over the place and I slowed down this time knowing that the guy behind me would not know I had it under control. I let him past and powered back on, keeping up with him until we reached the next pub where he jumped off his bike and rushed over to tell me I should do something about my bike, put a steering damper on it or something as it was out of control. The poor guy was quite alarmed! I told him a new front tyre would fix it and went on to describe how that was nothing, that he should have seen the first wobble it got up in comparison.

We were stopped at the Fernvale Hotel and just as we were about to go in for a drink, the Odin's Warriors Poker Run group pulled up. We found out that they had already been in the direction we were going and were heading back to their clubhouse from there, so we decided to keep going and stop off at Lowood for a while instead. We were heading to the Glamorgan Vale Hotel Anzac Day celebrations where Skip (a friend of ours) had a hangi down and an excellent band, the Wasabi's, was playing that night.

What a great night. Not many of the crew who had been on the ride stayed into the night, but the attendance was good enough that even Skip was overwhelmed by numbers when dinner time came around, and the hotel had to contribute to dinner with a great steak dinner alternative. The Aussies won the events 2 out of 3 by winning the tug of war and (inflatable) sheep tackling contest, with the Kiwi's wining the thong (jandal) throwing competition.

Wasabi did not disappoint us. What a great band they are, if you see them advertised to play anywhere you should catch them, you're sure to have a great night. Hopefully they will play at the Glamorgan Vale more often because it certainly gets the place rocking.

It's a long weekend in Queensland this weekend and I am going for a ride out through Boonah, Dugandan, Rathdownie way, but also taking some time out to do some gardening and just relax at home. I hope you all have a great weekend. Catch you on the road.

I didn't get my camera out on Anzac Day, so I added a few old pics. Funny how many pics I have at pubs! Cheers Donna

Ettamoogah Pub on the way up to the Sunshine Coast

Jandowie Hotel with the American Motorcycle Club

Landsborough Hotel with the Black Uhlans a few years ago.