Day 31 17th June Adelaide to Castlemaine (for me)
Another early strat after a late not (self inflicted) We had a lovely Chinese meal at Citi Zen, a restaurant full of Chinese people is always a good sign. The food was great, and the company, as always was a lot of laughs.
Mick Klose gave up his evening to come and join us and then drive us back to our hotel. Then at 7.30 there he is on his bike ready to escort us to Police HQ for the baton handover to Chief Commissioner Stevens. Matt Nairn was there and had arranged for us to park our bikes on the footpath right outside the door. There’s bollards and everyone could ride through except Lairdy on the little VStrom…. It was too wide! I know ‘Big Red’ is 32 inches in the old language wide, the 650 VStrom with panniers is wider than that!
After Lairdy is banished to park over the road it’s a nice little gathering and a very sincere hand over of the baton to Mr Stevens. He again emphasised how special this wall2wall ride has become. To see so many of the police family together in one spot with one common purpose really is something very special. I hope he doesn’t mind me saying but I know he has had reason to use the services of Police Legacy and I know it’s dear to him. The President of SA legacy is there too.
This year the SA riders are gathering at the Adelaide oval for a BBQ and bike display before they leave for Canberra. Hopefully they’ll raise a bit extra for Legacy.
Spike and Georg head off for Melbourne and the rest escort me to the BMW dealer down on South Road in Melrose Park. Les the chief service manager looks over poor old ‘Big Red’ as I explain what the old girl has done. Matt Nairn has come down to make sure all is going okay. Les, doesn’t want to commit to being able to repair the diff leak but I’m confident there’s not too much wrong with the old girl. I go over the road for a coffee while the others head off for a quick look at Handorf before heading off to overnight digs in Horsham in Victoria. I wander back about an hour later and Les says there was an O ring missing off the ABS sensor and a stripped thread on the diff drain plug. Must be that bloody rattle gun set to strong because that was the last thing that was used on it and the O ring must have gone MIA when Phil put the new main seal in.
All in all a pretty cheap repair bill and I’m on my way.
I just head out of town on Cross Road, onto the freeway and head out the No1 Highway to Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend. It’s a beautiful day with a cool 14 degrees showing on the temp gauge on the dash. I’m cruising and happy to play ‘Lone Wolf’ today…. I’m just in the mood. The highway on the SA side is in really good condition with plenty of areas to overtake the trucks and caravans. I don’t stop until I get to Bordertown for a splash and dash. I leave an SMS for Lairdy telling him I’m thinking of riding straight home to see the bride before they arrive tomorrow. Then a quick photo at the border and I’m in Victoria. The road changes immediately to buckled road surface and bloody terrible in comparison to the SA side. What the hell is going on? This is the main road most travellers take and it’s a disgrace. I go through Kaniva, Nhill and then turn off near Dimboola to take in some back roads I know. They’re narrow single vehicle strips of asphalt and the recent rains shows signs where water has laid on the road but I enjoy the lack of traffick and make good time. I make my way to the Sunraysia Highway then come South to St Arnaud and the highway leading to Bendigo. It’s getting late and I take care in the forested areas. I know this area well and also know the number of Roos that get his out here. Turning off onto the road to Eddington all of a sudden I’m in thick fog and have to drop the speed.
All good as I roll through Maldon and the final kilometres to my hometown of Castlemaine. The dog goes nuts, and Shirl is excited to see me after a month on the road. George and Spike make it into their homes in Melbourne and the other boys are safely sipping a beer in a hotel in Horsham.
Lairdy, Luke and Huddo will make their way to our place tomorrow for a freshen up and dinner party before we hit the road again. We have unfinished business to do and other roads to ride.
Day 32 18th June Rest Day
It’s a rest day for me. Being home but we prepare for a big party with our Castlemaine friends and the wll2 wall riders from NSW plus John Laird. John and Huddo arrive and as we’re about to head out for a look around our great little town, Luke rolls in after a very wet ride through the Grampians. They had a great night in Horsham with a friend of Lairdy’s. The normal task of washing on the road done in a washing machine for a change and we prepare a feast of boned lamb, different flavour sausages including bull boar that Lairdy contributed and our friends arrive with various salads. A big night with lots of laughs.