“The Best Back-Roads Blast”
Spring Has Sprung! Dry roads, light cloud, sunny breaks and 26 Degrees, so just some light gear and our favourite summer gloves and boots. The school kids on holidays have disappeared, no traffic and we got every green light from Donvale to Greensborough. Then Reg Hammond, a ride regular that we haven’t seen for a while dropped in to say hello and catch up with mates in the group. Great to see him and looking well. A good start.
We’re talking bikes as we do, so let me deal with some comical comments that our new gloss black and gold linked drive chain is a bit over the top. You mud-slingers know who you are, and yes, I did enjoy the humorous banter that Thruxtons are a “Middle Eastern” or “Greek Model” with more than enough “Bling”. But I don’t think I should take the chain off the bike and wear it around my neck! We are briefed and buddied up, and 15 bikes are off through Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen to find some back roads.
Great to welcome new member Paul Beukelman on his first Classic Club ride on a 1970 Triumph T120 Bonneville. Paul traced its original sale in London, then it was imported into Qld 3 years ago. It was advertised recently and he bought it there, only getting it 6 days ago. Today is a good test run for his great bike with only 19,000 miles, and it ran well all day. Paul is from Qld being a member of the Historic Motorcycle Club of Queensland and the Bonnie has a “Sunshine State” number plate that may have helped today’s weather. Victoria might steel that slogan if our current EL NINO weather pattern gives us a long hot summer. Paul, we hope you enjoyed our club ride.
John led us onto the Kangaroo Ground Road, then left on the St Andrews Road through Panton Hills. At St Andrews we turn right onto Butterman’s Track that will take us to Yarra Glen for a coffee.
Never been here before but it is another part of the 1850’s Victorian Goldrush when this district was called the “Caledonian Goldfields”. St Andrews was called Queenstown, Panton Hill was called Kingston and local farmers had a ready market feeding gold-diggers, so they opened up a connecting track to supply the Milk, Butter and Produce. No wonder it became known as “Butterman’s Track” and now it’s a narrow, tight twisting thread of bitumen through beautiful farmland, hills and valleys. Loved it.
We invaded the Yarra Flats Baking Co. in Yarra Glen where Graham and Peter joined the group and 19 members lined up out the door with other customers. Another Classic Go-To that has good food, coffee and staff, with ample parking and a big deck for a group feed.
Out of Yarra Glen and along the Old Healesville Road and we take Chum Creek Road northbound. This becomes the Healesville-Kinglake Road and this is a “Good” bike run. The Chum Creek end is residential 60kph and was resurfaced a few years ago with a billiard table smooth grey bitumen weaving along sweeping bends as it goes into the state forest. A Police car ahead, pulled to the side, ready to pounce on anyone that let their speed creep up above the limit. The north end is quite a good surfaced curvy forest road and also very enjoyable riding.
We are sorry to get to the Melba Highway as we are heading home from here due to my “Prolapsed Disc” that I don’t want to aggravate by a full day on the bike. We will hand the pen over to Leader John for the second half of today’s ride. Thank you to John and member mates – great ride. David and Mez.
Part 2. Midweek ride Tuesday 19 September
At the Toolangi junction on the Melba Highway David and Mez turned left and headed homeward. I led the rest of us north towards Glenburn and soon encountered the traffic lights guarding the very broken road surface of the Melba at this point. Potholes remain a feature of country motorcycling, although Chum Creek Road (Healesville-Kinglake road) was good on this day. Turning left on to the Glenburn – Flowerdale road we enjoyed its sweeping bends and faster riding, in contrast to the tighter bends through the forest where we had just been and Buttermans Track. We were untroubled by other traffic while riding from Flowerdale to Kinglake West, just a few holes and lumps to avoid. The air cooled on the gradual climb to Kinglake and we were soon at the Flying Tarts cafe for lunch. We sat in the sun with Peter, Paul and new member Paul (this is getting biblical) and our talk was mainly of 60s and 70s era Triumphs, including rocker box oil leakage, gearing and the benefits of upgraded or replaced carburettors.
After lunch riders went their different ways home. I led a smaller group towards Whittlesea, taking a detour on scenic Chapel Lane before finishing the ride back near the start at Greensborough.
Thanks Paul for riding TEC and thanks everybody for getting the corner marshalling right.
Northern Midweek Ride Participants List for 19th September 2023.
|Mark Hine||Norton 650SS||1968|
|Paul Beukelman||Triumph T120 Bonneville||1970|
|Steve Inman||Honda CB750||1972|
|Paul Woods||Triumph T140||1973|
|Graham Boulter||Honda CB900||1981|
|John Killingsworth||BMW R86S||1985|
|Peter Matthews||BMW KL1100RS||1992|
|Paul Clayton (TEC)||Honda VTR1000||1997|
|Arthur Hampson||Suzuki GS500||2007|
|John Addy||Suzuki GTI650||2008|
|Richard Haughton||Kawasaki W800||2012|
|David & Mez McLennan||Triumph Thruxton S||2016|
|Peter Hanson||Triumph Street Twin 900||2017|
|Colin Borthwick||Triumph T120||2017|
|Rob King||Triumph T100||2018|
|John & Vicki Best (Ride Leaders)||Suzuki SV650||2021|
|John Leahy||Ducati Monster||2022|