Despite a very foggy and cold morning fifteen enthusiastic riders turned up to our first 9:30 for a 10:00am Midweek ride start at the Calder BP servo. This life changing for some, one hour later start was initiated by John Best our secretary and leader for the day. Was it a success?
Our lunch destination was Meredith and despite the later start the fog remained but not for long. After about fifteen minutes or so from kick off and soon after leaving Diggers Rest our spirits were lifted as we suddenly rode out of the fog into very welcome sunshine and blue skies. Fortunately, that’s how it remained for the rest of the day.
We travelled to Bacchus Marsh on the Coimadai Road with a regroup at the first turn off for Bacchus Marsh. At the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour, we turned south onto Woolpack Road and onto the Geelong Road before then heading west to Rowsley where we rode through another Avenue of Honour and onto the Glenmore Valley. I’ve always enjoyed riding through this picturesque traffic free valley which ends up at the very steep and challenging switch back bends of Yaloak Vale hill where we had our second regroup at the top. Alas the views back down the valley are now blocked by tree growth. We then headed south again to Mount Wallace where we then turned off west to ride onto Meredith via Morrisons on very minor and remote roads, some were a little bumpy but otherwise quite safe and all sealed.
We enjoyed a hearty lunch at the Meredith general store and post office which has now changed hands. I asked about the nice old dear which used to run it and was told she is now happily retired and lives just down the road. While having our lunch Burger our ex-President and Pauline turned up by car down from sunny Ballarat to say hello, also Geelong members Ron Study and Doug Aldham rode up to join us. Good on you lads and lassie.
After lunch and getting ready to start off would you believe we had yet another “visitor” in the form of “Mr Late-again” himself, Greg Costello on his classic Goldwing! Mate, what are we going to do with you? It seems not even a 10:00 am start suites your very busy life style! Never mind mate, at least you turned up! But what’s this I heard later about you wandering over to the pub across the road as soon as we left? Better tucker with a beer eh? Ha ha.
We left Meredith out on the Slate Quarry Road and again on very nice and fairly remote country roads with plenty of bends and quite a few long straight stretches (that encouraged some spirited riding) back to the dispersal point in Diggers Rest via Durdidwarrah, Anakie Junction, Staughton Vale, Balliang, Rowsley and South Maddingley.
In the Rowsley area (this time on the Balliang Road) we first travelled under the very high and somewhat ugly iron bridge which supports the main railway line from Ballarat to Melbourne. Then further on we then went over the same line, first by level crossing in Maddingley and then again over it by stone bridge on Woolpack Road as we left Bacchus Marsh. Not bad, crossing the same line four times on just one ride. Once in the morning and three times in the afternoon. If you have one, study the map, or open Google Earth and you’ll see why.
We had our last regroup on Box Forest Road near Coimadai Road then rode on to our dispersal point at Diggers Rest via Toolern Vale. Thankyou, John, this was a very nice and well-planned run and I really enjoyed it. I had my little Holux GPS running and it showed the total ride at just over 190 KLMs. Well done.
Now, was this initial 10:00 am start with no morning tea a success? For me yes. I think the other riders were happy though no discussions took place that I knew of. For some, the jury may be out for a while on this new format. Getting to today’s start at 9:30 for a 10:00am start in fact made no difference in traffic congestion for me but may be quite different at other start points. Getting up early for a 9:00am at any start has never bothered me but I always thought a mid-morning tea break cuts too much into our riding time and warrants another venue ride leaders have to factor in when planning a run.
As I said, I’m all for this new format of a later start and giving up morning tea…as long as a coffee is available at the start, and particularly better still if it’s an inside venue. Note: I have noticed that our September Midweek run also starts under this later start format. Give it a go if you can.
John Best (leader) BMW R80 1986
Ed Sleightholm (tail ender) Triumph Bonny T100 2005
Colin Sullivan BMW R1200R 2009
Laurie John Yamaha FJR 1300
Kevin Bombardier Kawasaki ZXR 750 1992
Jol Dunne BMW R90/6 1975
John Killingsworth BMW R 1200 2011
Ray Isles BMW BMW F650 2004
Paul Woods Triumph Bonny T140 1973
Reg Hammond Honda Integra 700 2002
Peter Keage Kawasaki W800 2011
Len Barry CF Moto 650TR 2014
Damien Lewer Ducati Multi 2015
Andrew Domasevicius (guest) Indian Chief 2015
Bill Washington BMW K75 S 1986
Ron Study (Geelong) Harley Davidson 1991
Doug Aldham (Geelong) Yamaha RD350 1973
Greg Costello Honda Gold Wing 1977
Burger (ex president, visitor at lunch) car