“A Hot Trip to Trentham”
Firstly, our best wishes for a Happy New Year to everyone.
Coming up Diamond Creek Road to the assembly servo we can’t see any bikes where they are normally parked along the south end boundary – Senior’s Moment – it IS Tuesday 16th of Jan? but we pull in to get fuel for the day and the group has wisely parked to the side of the servo shop building in the shade. 14 sparkling steeds are eagerly awaiting the first ride for 2024 under a perfect blue sky.
With school holidays and people still away on Xmas break, the traffic wasn’t too bad as we headed north from Greensborough up the usual path through Yarrambat, up Yan Yean Rd, left along Arthurs Creek Rd, north on Plenty Rd, west to Woodstock and north on Merriang Rd to go to Wallan. Leader Paul’s clever zig-zag is an effective pathway out of the northern suburbs. We travel straight through Wallan onto the Northern Hwy to Kilmore, and then west to Lancefield for a morning tea pitstop at the bakery. I had a curiosity look in the general store just down from the bakery and they had a freshly baked tray of small quiche pies – delicious – sometimes it’s the little pleasures that make a ride day even better.
A couple of back-streets take us out of Lancefield to Rochford, Newham, past Hanging Rock where luckily none of the group mysteriously disappeared. Going into Woodend, some bikes were thirsty and pulled into a BP servo at a rather complicated side-road intersection while others waited at the side of the main road. All fuelled, we sort of re-grouped at the servo exit and we are off to Trentham, where we are about to have lunch and realise that Neil, his pillion partner Nok and the Vincent had in fact disappeared! I can imagine Neil’s surprise coming out of the servo and the group is gone! Being a resourceful motorcyclist and knowing where we were going, he took the main road and found us in Trentham. Group apologies Neil, we all deserve some serious “Buddy System Demerit Points” for that.
Mez and I enjoyed a walk-through Trentham which is a vintage, single main street country town, quaint, quirky and not so quiet with many people in the street, shops, bakeries and cafés. It is clean and all the heritage shop fronts and buildings look renovated, all open for business and it has a feeling that the town is doing well when many others we have visited are run down, deserted and mostly closed on a Tuesday. The imposing old National Bank of Australia building has been tastefully converted into a café that most of us enjoyed to relax and have lunch. The temperature is rising after lunch into the low 30’s as we head off back to Woodend and home.
The Best Bit of Bitumen was the run from Woodend, through Hesket and Romsey, along the Romsey Rd through Chintin and the Darraweit Rd back into Wallan. Good surface, wide tree lined country road with nice sweeping bends and pleasant scenery. We were at the back of the group with “Tail End Terry” and a fair way back, so the main group had gone on when we had a pitstop in Wallan. From Wallan with Terry, we went back down Epping Rd, through Mernda and on to Greensborough to fuel up Thruxty for the trip home to Bayside.
My Favourite bike on today’s ride
Ah, let me think, if you look at the riders list, it is not too unpredictable that Neil Videan’s 1950 Vincent Rapide gets my vote. We are fortunate that a number of club members own and use their Vincents and we get to see these legends in action on the road.
Neil’s Rapide is immaculate and runs as good as it looks. It’s a pleasure to watch and listen to “that engine” on song with a cracking classic exhaust note and the innovative Girdraulics and mono-shock rear suspension handling Victoria’s current “vintage” road conditions, that are probably not much better than they were in the 1950’s. It’s a stunning bike Neil, and sorry for the fire hose box in the background of the photo, as I am sure your Rapide wouldn’t ever need it. Dad had taught me about how exceptional Vincents are and how he loved riding his Comet, although from feedback I have had, members didn’t like following his Comet unless they’d had a handful of Panadol to alleviate the headache, they got from his excessively loud exhaust pipe.
There is also another bike that I really liked. With the 50th anniversary of Bavaria’s R90S last year and Ian Snadden’s excellent Sprocket article, I became aware of just how significant a bike this is. Robert van Lohuizen is riding his 1976 model today and even though this might be a little controversial, I am a fan of his bike’s classic black livery instead of the usual smoke grey or the bright fluoro orange that makes the bike look like it is wearing its own safety vest. A smart and classy bike Robert, and thank you for the time on the road today when you were in front of us and giving me a good line to follow, as you were precisely “threading the needle” through the bad road sections and pot-holes.
A big thank you to Paul and “Tail End Terry” for the Trentham Tour. It was another great ride day to places we have not been for a long time. And thanks to you all, our riding mates that make these days most enjoyable.
Ride Safe, David and Mez.
Participants List for Trentham Tour 16-01-2024.
|Neil Videan & Nok
|Robert van Lohuizen
|Moto Guzzi Brevia 1100
|Paul Clayton (Ride Leader)
|Triumph T120 “Black”
|David & Mez McLennan
|Triumph Thruxton S
|Terry Hoare (TEC)
|Honda VFR800X Crossrunner
|John & Vicki Best