“Happy Trails Through the Hills and Forests”
Our Ride Leader today is John Killingsworth with Ashley Scott keeping the 11 bikes together from the rear as we start at Chirnside Park. We head to Healesville by going north up Edward Rd, East on the Coldstream Rd, crossing Maroondah Highway at Coldstream onto Killara Rd. Past the aerodrome we take Medhurst Rd and Maddens Lane before doing a few K’s along the highway into Healesville.
It’s a Sunday, it’s school holidays and probably the best weather day since last summer, so families and all the boys were out on their toys. Bikes, Classic cars and sports cars released from their winter hibernation and out for some country roads fun. Healesville is as busy as Bourke Street at the Boxing Day Sales, but somehow, we find parking in the main street for a coffee break.
Northeast along the main street, over the Grace Burn Creek bridge, past the “packed” Beechworth Bakery (glad we didn’t go there) and left at St Leonards Rd. This becomes Myers Creek Rd as it starts climbing the ranges and we get to use some of that neglected rubber on the sides of the tyres. Happy bend-swinging now heading Northwest as we link up with the Healesville-Kinglake Road and enter the Toolangi State Forest.
We ride through the huge trees and dense forest into the small town of Toolangi where Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis camped in 1907 and started his residency there for the rest of his life. He is the famous Aussie Poet and Author CJ Dennis. The surrounding tall gum tree forests must have provided the “serenity” and inspiration for his prolific writing and poetry. Probably his best-known work, “The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke” was a “Verse-Novel” completed in 1915 and then published in 20 editions up to 1920, being the best-selling book of Australian poetry ever published. It was the basis for the acclaimed 1918 Silent Movie “The Sentimental Bloke” about an Aussie Larrikin called Bill that had trouble courting his love Doreen – clearly not much has changed.
CJ Dennis is commemorated in his birthplace of Auburn SA, at Circular Quay in Sydney and at his grave site in Box Hill Cemetery. We ride past Toolangi’s CJ Dennis Hall heading to Kinglake and make the left-right dogleg crossing of the Melba Highway to enjoy more curvy forest road climbing to the top of the ranges. These are great summer motorcycling roads from Healesville, Northwest on either Chum Creek or Myers Creek roads. Surface – tick, variety of corners – tick, scenery – tick, low traffic volume – tick, fun factor – BIG TICK.
John led us into Kinglake to park beside the Public Conveniences for a pit stop before a prelunch loop around local roads. Club members bush telegraph is pretty active so some will know that the club’s duty of care and correct caution resulted in John being attended to by the Kinglake local Ambulance. Graham looked after John’s bike security and out of respect and care for John and his personal privacy, let me just say that John has communicated he is fine, all ok and very grateful for members care and support.
We are talking about the ride, enjoying the sunshine and I notice in the hotel carpark opposite, a couple of immaculate early 1970’s Ford Falcon XW GT’s. One is a “Super Roo” with bonnet airbox and 12 slot competition wheels, OMG. Then a cavalcade of beautiful Falcon GT’s roll in, obviously meeting up on a sunny day out. In 1971 the Falcon XW GTHO Phase III with the Cleveland 351 cubic inch V8 was the Vincent Black Shadow of the Aussie car world, and the fastest production 4-door sedan of its time available to the general public. Likewise, the Vincent 1000cc V-Twin models were the fastest production motorcycles of their time. Both pinnacles of their designers and the world that was, and arguably now the most valuable of their 4- or 2-wheel rivals, and Mark’s riding one today!
Let’s have some lunch. In the main shopping strip of Kinglake is the Songbird Café & Larder that re-opened after a bit of a face-lift and the addition of another outdoor dining area along the southern side with a new menu. Some tables were found and riders enjoyed a leisurely lunch, the world’s problems were fixed in humorous but not frivolous conversation, after deciding to end the official ride in Kinglake and riders could then take their own favourite way home.
By comments made – lunch was Good – mine was, so make a note and add it to your list of places for sustenance during a ride. Time to go, so we gear up and head off in various directions and I am very happy to have Gary and Yolanda keep me company on the trip down the mountain to Yarra Glen – Thanks guys. John’s planned ride didn’t really get completed but he chose a great route and a big thank you to him and Ashley for looking after us. We should do this again.
Ride Safe, David missing Mez.
September Sunday Participants List for 24th September 2023.
|Mark Hine||Vincent Rapide||1950|
|Graham Boulter||Yamaha XJR1300||1999|
|Gary Moore & Yolanda||BMW R1150R||2001|
|Ashley Scott (TEC)||Suzuki GSF1200||2004|
|John Killingsworth (Ride Leader)||BMW R1200GS||2011|
|Ian Bryant||Kawasaki W800||2013|
|Paul Clayton||Honda VFR800||2014|
|David McLennan||Triumph Thruxton S||2016|
|Peter Hanson||Triumph Street Twin 900||2017|
|John & Vicki Best||Suzuki SV650||2021|