Midweek ride, Wednesday 6 December 2017

Living as I do in an inner suburb I frequently glimpse the Dandenong Ranges to the distant east, so I was keenly anticipating a day out on the bike roaming around them. And the signs were good – some sunshine, and a good number of riders with a variety of bikes at the start at Narre Warren North. Ed briefed us for our ride in the hills with a warning about debris on the roads from the recent very heavy rain, and then led us rapidly uphill towards Beaconsfield Upper, Cockatoo, Emerald and Menzies Creek.

This being a late start ride, there was no morning tea-break, so we paused at the Lookout at John’s Hill Reserve near Menzies Creek to admire the view in both directions from the ridge-top. We also admired Ed’s new bike, a Triumph Street Twin, which he is very pleased with. Among other characteristics, he likes it’s handling, and it must have been a joy on this ride which was mostly about constant cornering among the forested landscape of the Ranges.

Giant forest eucalypts towered above us as we rode, and between them distant views of other hazy blue ranges could be glimpsed. But caution had to be applied between the motorcycling joy: heavy rains of the previous weekend had caused frequent gravel washouts from driveways and intersections. Some of these gravel patches were extensive and along the preferred line through corners which many of us were taking – no mishaps though.

The weather held good as we followed Ed gradually downhill through warmer air to Woori Yallock for lunch at the bakery. A good time was had resting and chatting over lunch after which we made our various ways home in the early afternoon, content I’m guessing with a top day of motorcycling. It had been a ride of about 150 km from the start. Thanks Ed for organising the ride for us (as I look at his complex route map I marvel at how he navigated faultlessly), and Richard for riding TEC.

John Best.

Riders:

Greg Costello, Yamaha TX750 1973

Ian Snadden, BMW R90S 1974

Graham Boulter, BMW R90S 1975

Michael Boocock, BMW R60/5

Paul Woods, Honda CX500 1981

Norm Wills, Moto Guzzi 1982

Richard Fanning (TEC), BMW R80 1984

Bill Washington, BMW K75S 1986

Sam Panettieri, Suzuki GSX750 1989

Ray Isles, BMW F650CS 2004

Daniel Panettieri, Honda, 2005

Jack Youdan, Yamaha FZ1 2006

John Best, Suzuki Bandit 2008

Colin Sullivan, BMW R1200R 2009

Reg Hammond, Triumph T100 2016

Ed Sleightholm (Lead rider), Triumph Street Twin 2017.