Recent Rides

 

 

 Luke Batty Memorial Ride.

On a crisp but sunny Saturday morning some of the CRABS met at Maccas in Somerville to take part in the Luke Batty Memorial Ride from Frankston to Rosebud. A ride in memory of Luke Batty and to raise awareness about the domestic violence problem.

After some coffee was consumed and the usual banter exchanged Steve, Ross, Angelo, Simon, Hugh and myself saddled up and headed for the Frankston Pier where we met up with Paul, one of the new CRAB members. About 400 other bikes turned up for this ride which is supported by Pilgrim Christian Motorcycle Club, Ulysses Motorcycle Club and Harley Owners Group. It was an impressive display of bikes in the car park.

Speeches were held before the ride but unfortunately not easy to hear what was said because of a really bad PA system. At 10.10 seismographs around the country recorded a small earthquake with epicentre in Frankston when all the Harleys with a million dollars worth of Vance & Hines exhaust fired up their engines. We headed down Nepean Highway to Mornington and freeway down towards Rosebud.

The group was split up by red lights on the way and as we headed into Rosebud with no signs or marshals to guide us a lot of riders got lost. About 100 bikes, including me as ride captain for the CRABS, had absolutely no idea where to find the Bayview Church. A complete chaos with all the bikes riding around Rosebud like headless chickens trying to find their way. A quick roadside stop and some searching on Google Maps finally got our small group back on track. But comparing the number of bikes in Frankston and bikes in Rosebud tells us that not all of them made it to the church.

When we arrived at the final destination the Prez stated that I will never ever be ride captain for the rest of this planets lifetime. But after he had a dozen sausages he calmed down a bit and said it could be a small chance I'll get that position again.

We gathered in the church to hear words from James Taylor, the organiser of the ride, and Luke Batty's mother, Rosie. There was also some well spoken words from the audience that really made us aware of what a massive problem domestic violence is.

Lessons learned from this ride.

If PA system is used for giving information.....make sure it is turned on and works.

Try to keep the group together.

Make riders know where they are going using signs or marshals at key intersections.

And last but not least. DO NOT upset the Prez in the morning before he had his sausages.

But when all that is said....it was a good day out. :)

 

 


Black Dog Ride.

On a beautiful Autumn morning, Stig and Ross departed at 7.30 am to register for the Black Dog Ride leaving from Pakenham. A magnificent sunrise was accompanied by some fog and Ross was very happy with the new heated grip! On arrival, Lifeline employees were helping with the check in process, the Lions Club were serving bacon & egg rolls and the local coffee trader was also kept busy. We both purchased our ‘Winston” (black dog) to accompany us on the ride and after a briefing we were off around 10 am with a couple of hundred other bikes. The ride was well organised with at a guess around 30 corner marshals pointing us all in the right direction, which was a great ride through the hills ending up in Yarra Glen. After a mid rise rest there we started the journey back via a different route. Unfortunately between Toolangi and Healesville a couple of riders came off their bikes but thank goodness no one was seriously injured. A reminder to all to take care. When we returned to Pakenham, which was about 2.30 pm, the Lions Club were serving beef and pork rolls which we got stuck into, Stig having one of each! All in all a great ride through some nice country and proceeds going to a good cause in raising funds and awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

 

RACV Historic Winton Rally.

Following the unfortunate seizure of the Suzuki in last year’s rally, our intrepid CRAB team of Marcus and Berni set out to make amends. It was “this time for sure Rocky” as they loaded the 1981 Honda XR200 on to the trailer and set off for Benalla, checked into the motel, purchased the KFC and drank the UDLs. The next morning was crisp but sunny with the expectation of a great day. It was a short tow to the rally sign-in and start point at the Civic Centre where the XR was unloaded. The complimentary coffee at the cafe was well appreciated. The rally started at 10am and with over 100 cars and bikes the procession made an impressive sight as it made its way through Benalla and into the countryside south of the town. Our first stop was at a “touristy” farm near Samaria. The farm has a rose plantation from which they produce rose oil. They also had a cafe, coffee and toilets which were well received after a brisk ride. From there we made our way to Lake Mokoan. This was a 65km leg and after 65ks on a XR200 with off road tyres my fillings were starting to loosen. Due to commitments in Melbourne, the CRAB crew departed the rally after two of the three legs and made their way back to the big smoke but not before they had a scrumptious lunch at the Benalla Bowls Club. A good time was had by all and the CRAB crew did some valuable PR for the club. Looking forward to next year.

 

Poowong Ride.

Following the Monthly meeting Marcus, Hans, Jim, Stig & Ross set of for the Monthly ride.  As Stig was hung over we all met him at Tooradin after he picked up his bike from home. It was then onto the Poowong pub via Lang Lang & Nyora. A few other bikes were present and the huge Stockmans Parma seemed to be the winner. After a leisurely lunch we decided not to hang around for the music jam & so we bode farewell to Jim who was heading back to Wonthaggi via Loch & the hills. The rest of headed to Drouin which was a nice ride. There we had a coffee but no cake (See reference to Stockmans Parma above). We also purchased some pink wristbands in support of a local (Helen) who is fighting Breast Cancer. After a bit of a look at the new memorial park ( the local said the last paver was laid 5 minutes before the start of the ANZAC dawn service) we departed. Hans left for Pakenham to visit family. Marcus Stig & Ross spent some time navigating after ridiculous sign posts to find the back road to Longwarry. Between there & Koo-we-rup Marcus's speedo gave up the ghost, which was probably just as well. After around 180k we returned for a coffee at Stigs place before heading home

 

Bob Hannon Run.

Despite it being a little chilly and slightly breezy, a few Crabarians set out for the “Bob Hannon - Forever Smiling Run”. Bob has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and sadly this may be Bob’s last ride. Simon, Stig, Jim, Marcus and Berni met up at Longwarry. About 41 bikes and trikes set out for the run via Drouin, Lang Lang, Poowong and on to Coal Creek-Korumburra for lunch.  As it often happens, the tougher the conditions, the more fun is had. This was the case today as the dedicated riders banded together to give Bob a great last ride. From Coal Creek, the Crabarians made their way to a favourite bakery in Garfield and then home. A great time was had by all thus proving the theory that it doesn’t have to be a “Queensland” day to have a good time. Thanks to the ride organisers, Coal Creek Cafe for making us feel welcome and the Hannon family for the huge chocolate cake.

 

August Meeting Lunch Run.

After the August General a few dedicated riders headed south to the Rye Hotel for a "counterie". The food in the Sails Bar is alway well priced and scrumptious. From there they headed up to the Mornington Brewery for a ale and the back to Stigs for a coffee. A good time was had by all.

 

 

The Wrong Way Round
 
 It was a bleak and cold Melbourne that Stig and Simon left to go north and to chase the sun. The sky was grey and rain threatening but we set off undeterred by such trivla matters

We followed the Western Highway and turned north to head through Daylesford and then to lunch in Castlemaine (which appeared to be closed n a Monday). We arrived in Swan Hill and managed to set up our tents before dark. We then dug around in our tents for our passports so we could cross the Murray on a bridge that raised up to get to a pub with great pizza. Unfortunately the quality of the pizza was inversely proportionate to the quality of the service and atmosphere of the establishment.

Our first night under canvas went well and the next day was a gentle run to Mildura where Simon learnt that when overtaking trucks to leave plenty of room as they will suck you in. Once in Mildura we set up camp, found a bottleshop and settled in to endure the most annoying on and off humid rain that one could imagine. After a reasonable pub meal we retired only to be woken up at midnight by yelling and swearing as some locals tried to break into someone's car.

Our third day saw us heading down the Silver City Highway to Silverton that included a 300km stretch with only one place to refuel and grab a coffee. Thankfully it was a good coffee. This appeared to be a speed limits do not really apply zone but the pair of us being law abiding citizens stuck at 110kmh the whole way. Broken Hill was fairly bleak so we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to our digs in Mad Max 2 country in Silverton after travelling over the 39 dips in the road. Silverton was a ghost town full of historic buildings and cows wandering the streets. The Silverton Hotel was what happens when an iconic venue tries too hard and just looks trashy. The staff were all backpackers with poor communication skills and the food was either microwaved or deep fried. But the beer garden was nice and we had both developed a taste for West End.
 
 The fourth day we made our way to Peterborough after stopping in Yunta for lunch. This day saw road-trains overtaken and saw us leave the outback behind. We avoided the fruit inspector in South Australia who had the common sense to to stop two motorcycles. We visited the Peterborough Motorcycle Museum which had some fascinating bikes and was run by the biggest bike nut possibly in the Southern Hemisphere. The town itself was a lovely looking country town that appeared to have the residents of Frankston deposited in it.

Day Five our destination was Gladstone SA via Port Augusta and Port Pirie. We had a lovely breakfast in Yongala with the sun warming our legs and pleasant people around us, this was in stark contrast to Peterborough. The less said about the windy hell hole that was Port Augusta the better and Port Pirie saw us eating our lunch in a church that had been converted into a Barnacle Bills. On to Gladstone were we spent the night sleeping in the cells of the Gladstone Gaol, this was a great experience although nothing paranormal happened. A great venue for motorcycles both singular and in large groups with a giant shed with a stage, fire pit, kitchen, outdoor bar and lots of accommodation.

We started to head back to civilisation on Day 6. We breakfasted in Yacka at the general store that must have been run by the only two gays in the village who entertained us with their old married couple banter. We then rode on to stay in a caravan park just outside of Adelaide in a place called 'Bolivar' and kill time until meeting up with the Blueys in their clubhouse for some beers and to see how they ran things. We were both impressed with their set up and their hospitality as they were a great bunch of people.
 

The next day we headed for Mt Gambier and got completely lost leaving Adelaide but as a result of this had a wonderful ride through the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley. We stopped at Cogwebs Cafe for a really good coffee and a chat with the owner who is a wonderful lady and a bike nut. She got us to pose on our bikes for a photo and posted it on the Motorcycle Camping Facebook page with a spiel about the CRABs. The enjoyment of the ride went downhill from there as we travelled along the coast road of The Coorong, nothing but saltbush and swampland. We arrived in Mt Gambier just before dark, set up and went to the House of Schnitzel for dinner for some superb schnitzels.
 
Day 8 we rode to Ballarat in a howling gale, it was a relief to reach the caravan park and set up and wait for the storm to arrive. And arrive it did, we had to change our location in the Red Lion Hotel to avoid getting our beers diluted. It rained throughout the night and despite Simon breaking his tent we both remained dry.

Our last day saw us heading home via Queenscliff and the ferry. This was a wet and blustery ride around Geelong to the ferry.

The trip was great fun and our livers hope to recover soon. The only disappointing things were a couple of stretches of road and that many rural shops despite having expensive looking espresso machines still made a cup if coffee that tasted like warm milk or water that had been threatened with coffee but none actually included.