Day 3 Monday 20th May Sydney to Bendeemer ( the twisty way)
There was a report of Seismic activity in Sydney last night centred in Ann Street Surry Hills! Boy can these blokes snore, of course I did contribute a little.
It’s an early start to meet with NSW Commissioner Michael FULLER. A quick breakfast, load the bikes after we find the key that Georg dropped and lost…it was on the footpath two doors down from our terrace house. The rumbling of motorcycles wakes up the good burghers of Surrey Hills as we make our way through peak hour Sydney traffic go the commissioner’s office. Duly signed in, Mr Fuller breaks from his morning command conference to wish us well. He accepts the baton as a symbol of the lost members from NSW. Also there of course is Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) Mick Corboy, and Senior Sergeant Paul Bousfield, President of Police Legacy NSW.
We meet up with my nephew Shaun Driscoll outside the Cathedral for a ride out of town. Shaun s new to motorcycling and wants to experience what he’s heard me rave on about after all these years. We negotiate the maze that is Sydney traffic to the outskirts on the pacific highway where we takea break so that John Laird, current President of the Police Association in Victoria can take a conference call. Then with Luke Moore leading it’s on the highway towards Gosford before turning off to the Wollemi State Forest and the lovely twisting motorcycle roads in that area. We pass several boys and girls out on a ride. Somehow they’ve wangled a day off . good on them. Riding up into the hills and away from the CBD it gets decidedly cool. We’re fine in our gear but Shaun is cold due to just having city riding gear. But he is no doubt enjoying the ride as I watch his cornering and road positioning. He mucks up a couple but we’ve all done that.
We stop for morning coffee at Wollemi where Shaun heads back to Sydney. Thanks mate, great to see you. We settle in for a nice ride through some of NSW best motorcycling roads. Buckets Way, lunch at Dungog at a beaut little café, re fuel the bikes and it’s off again. We decide on the twisty roads to wear off the ‘chicken’ strips… and we did that in spades heading up Thunderbolts way to Walcha. Riding into the setting sun towards Bendemeer has it’s challenges but we make it to the pub before the ‘roos come out. If you’re up this way, the Bendemeer pub is a great, clean pub to put the head down for the night. They even offer shed parking for the bikes if you want it.
Steve Hudson on his Harley has been entrusted with most of the batons……. Don’t drop it Huddo!
Over 520 Km today and a great ride.
Day 4 Tuesday 21st May Bendeemer to Ulmurra
There’s a light covering of fog on the bikes so a quick wipe down and we head off to find fuel for the that can’t make it to our breakfast stop, namely Huddo on the Harley and Lairdy on the 650 VStrom. We pushed them fairly hard yesterday so fuel economy suffered. Who cares when you’re riding these great roads?
It’s a trundle up the New England highway but only as far as Uralla to a nice café in town for a great breakfast and coffee. A happens, an old man, well older than all of us, starts a conversation about his BSA 350 when he was young. We discuss that it’s always good to make time to talk to the old fellers as they reminisce about their days on motorbikes. One day that might be us and sooner than we might like!
We gear up and yet another short trundle up the highway to Armidale then the fun starts on the Waterfall Way. The weather is fine, blue sky and great riding through the rolling hills. I note how dry it is but just out of Ebor, it’s like a line has been drawn across the country. It goes from brown to green as we come out of a small forest. Amazing how the western side of the range gets nothing, but within a few kilometres it’s green rolling pastures and shady forests. We stop at Ebor falls for a stroll. And obligatory photo.
Now when a few men get together and go for a big ride, washing and drying clothes can be a problem but a man can solve most problems…. Probably not as a woman would but we all admired Luke Moore’s solution to drying his clothes on the road. An Occy strap strung from pannier to pannier and looped of the top box then string your jocks and T Shirt through it and let it flap in the breeze. I can just see the Pillion in a Million hanging her smalls out across the back of the bike to dry as we ride along!
There was one minor problem, his jocks were hanging over the exhaust pipe so carbon monoxide poisoning of the nether regions was a real possibility.
It’s a beautiful day so we decide to go over the top of Dorrigo Mountain. Luke and I are hooking in and really enjoying the ride as I’m sure the other boys are. There was some roadworks and there was a diesel spill.so ultra, ultra careful. I have a prior for coming down on a diesel spill on a Wall2Wall ride as many of the Vic riders will attest. We find a nice pastissere in Bellingen, fuel up some savage beasts and turn around for the run up Dorrigo Mountain. Again, a great little ride. At Dorrigo we turn on a little used road and go through Bostobrick to meet up with the main road between Armidale and Grafton. There’s a bridge that runs over a creek called “the little Murray River.” Again it’s a great ride but with care, there’s no white line and blind corners mean extra care. It’s also broken up a bit too.
Then it’s a straight run into Grafton but again, it’s a great piece of road so Luke and me on the BMW GSA’s have a bit of fun. Spike on his big 6 cylinder K1600 and Georg on the RT1200 seem to be having a ball. And Lairdy is pushing the VStrom along quite nicely too. Huddo is tail end Charlie and cruising on the big Harley. He’s not so keen on the back roads but on the better roads he’s humming also.
Then it’s to Ulmurra and our overnight accommodation at the pub.