Midweek Ride Report, Wednesday 4th April 2018

Officer/Willow Grove

The Officer servo was our meeting point, and my earliness allowed me to top up the tank, park, find the early birds and share a chat over coffee, with the anticipation of the ride ahead. Seventeen of us had gathered, on sixteen bikes, as Eddie gave us a welcome and a briefing about our ride in, as he put it, “God’s own country”. Ian Snadden also foreshadowed some planned changes to our club ride schedule – two ride regions, one north and one south of the Yarra river, designed to facilitate access to rides, a great idea with ever-increasing traffic snarls. It also sounded as if there would be more rides available for those keen riders who could make both!

On the stroke of 10am we exited the servo, heading away from the city and into the freeway traffic. Soon we turned south off the freeway to Nar Nar Goon and through the railway towns to the north of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp. A short time later we veered north, across the Princess Highway and then east again through some great looking country with a variety of town names (Robin Hood, Brandy Creek, Buln Buln, Shady Creek)  and on to lunch at Willow Grove. The name Buln Buln was the subject of some discussion, and it apparently derives from the Aboriginal word for lyre bird or place of the lyre bird. Even the local footy team are known as The Lyre Birds! Willow Grove store provided all we required in the way of food and places to sit and chat, and the ample parking area allowed a relaxed viewing of the bikes.

After lunch we had a terrific ride up into the dense Tanjil-Tyers forest. A solitary motorcycle coming down the valley was one of the few vehicles we encountered as we tackled bend after bend. We passed a large sawmill (Browns) which processes mountain ash and other local timber, then the forest thinned out and we were in Noojee. After a stop here, some of our group headed off through Powelltown towards Melbourne. The rest of us tackled the beautiful country to the south, through Neerim East, Jindivik and Tarago, before we farwelled each other and joined the highway back to Melbourne.

So finished another Wednesday ride, and another great day, with the weather, the roads and the company all combining for a terrific time. Thanks to Ed for leading and seamlessly finding the quietest, most enjoyable roads possible. Thanks also to Tail-end-Charlie (Sam), for keeping us all together.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the trio of GS BMWs, Anna’s interesting Yamaha Tricity three wheeled scooter (Trike of the Day!) and, at our farewell stop, Mick getting out the toolkit to conduct running repairs (securing his RT’s fairing bolts)!

Ride length approx. 220km.

Midweek Riders Participants List 4/4/18:

John & Vicki Best                              1986       BMW R80

Bill Washington                                1986       BMW K75S

Sam Panettieri (Tail-end-Charlie)   1989       Suzuki GSX750F

Mick                                                      1992       BMW K1100RT

Ian Snadden                                       1995       BMW R1100GS

Laurie John                                         2002       Yamaha FJR1300

Ray Isles                                               2004       BMW F650CS

Colin Sullivan                                      2009       BMW R1200R

Graham Boulter                                2011       BMW 1200GS

John Killingsworth                            2011       BMW 1200GS

Reg Hammond                                  2012       Honda Integra 700D

Paul Clayton                                       2014       Honda VFR 800

Terry Hoare                                        2014       Honda VFR 800

Conor Murphy                                   2017       Triumph Bonneville T100 900

Anna Panettieri                                 2017       Yamaha Tricity Scooter

Ed Sleightholme (Ride Leader)    2018       Triumph Street Twin 900