Ride to Buninyong Hotel - 14th June 2017

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Ride to Buninyong Hotel - 14th June 2017

Post by Graeme Beardwood on Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:02 pm

Ride leader & Report:  Peter Townsend

I left home riding to the starting point in reasonably cold, foggy conditions – this is a 5 minute ride and, miraculously, as I worked my way down Pioneer Road, the sun burnt through the fog and I arrived at Waurn Ponds Maccas carpark beneath a perfectly sunny and cloudless sky! Needless to say, my mood also changed dramatically within that 5 minutes as the prospect of riding in fog was one I was not looking forward to. The other 14 Ulysseans who had ven-tured out, I’m sure, were having similar thoughts.
The planned lunch destination was going to be the pub at Learmonth, however, when I did a ‘reccy’ in the week prior to the ride, I fronted up at the pub only to be greeted by a sign outside the front door proclaiming No Meals on Mon-days, Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Bugger!! I’ve found the “pub with no food”. Lesson to be learnt here – “let your fin-gers do the walking (or riding)” before making any definite plans!
So, after a ride briefing we headed off with Don volunteering for TEC duties and made our way out through Highton and Ceres in perfect riding conditions –lots of sunshine and no wind. We cut across to the Hamilton Hwy and then to the Midland Hwy turning off to Maude via Bakers Bridge. Then Steiglitz, Meredith and on through Morrisons, turning left to Bungal, Mount Egerton and on to Gordon, where we stopped for morning coffee. The roads, after leaving Mere-dith are an interesting mix of good smooth bitumen interspersed with stretches best described as bituminised goat tracks– quite scenic and certainly keep you awake and on your toes (or footpegs!)
At Gordon the sky was beginning to cloud over and a fairly chilly south westerly wind had sprung up, however, the cof-fee was hot and strong and did its job. Also, everyone was kept warm by hiking the 150 metres and back to the public toilets! John (from Apollo Bay) decided to head back to Geelong after having a coffee, as his BMW was experiencing battery problems and he thought it would be wise to chase up a new one. I must admit riding in from Apollo Bay to get to the start of a ride is pretty impressive stuff – he literally has had a ‘ride’ before the ride!!
After coffee we headed west out of Gordon on the Old Melbourne Rd and then up through Bungaree, Pootilla and on to Creswick. At Creswick we turned left onto the Midland Hwy and then down into Ballarat (Roundabout City). 13 roundabouts later we arrived at the Buninyong pub for our lunch stop. I would normally go through Ballarat using only a mere 11 roundabouts, but was mindful of where to safely place Corner Markers, so threw in a couple more! Richard was on to it though and reckons I must have been a taxi driver in a previous life and was “milking” the fare for all it’s worth!!

We settled in to the warm and inviting bistro, rearranging tables and chairs to accommodate the 14 of us, placed our orders and switched into relaxation mode. An enjoyable lunch was then had by all and David and his efficient staff made us feel very welcome –definitely a venue to keep in mind. Because this ride was a bit shorter than usual (250Klm total) we had plenty of time to sit back and unwind – probably a good thing in the colder, darker Winter months.
Interestingly, on this ride Jules was road testing an electrically heated riding jacket that plugs into an aux socket on the bike, so I suspect he was probably a bit warmer and more comfortable than some of us. I quipped that I would be interested in such a thing if it also included airbags, however, not to be outdone, some wit – who shall remain name-less, suggested they would only be interested if it also included “funbags”!! Now, there’s a challenge for designers of motorcycle gear – I’m sure Ulysseans would probably be the right demographic for such a thing!! I mention this only as it shows the high level of intellectual in-depth and thought provoking discussions that generally occur at these gath-erings.
After lunch, some riders topped up their fuel tanks at the servo opposite the pub, and we then headed off for the last leg of the ride. This was south on the Mt Mercer road, down to Shelford and then across to Inverleigh on our favourite 80 kph bit of road. The road up to the wind farm at Mt Mercer is an enjoyable and interesting stretch with good surfac-ing and nice sweeping corners. However, it then becomes very straight and boring as it passes through the Golden Plains, and this short final leg of the ride seemed even shorter than usual (I believe we must have had a pretty strong and favourable tail wind!), as we were soon riding into Shelford. Unfortunately, we encountered the inevitable road-works on our twisties road, so it became a fairly sedate run into Inverleigh where the ride finished at the car park and public toilets near the pub.
All in all, thanks mainly to the weather, everyone had an enjoyable day’s ride, and as usual I wait patiently for the next one.
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Graeme Beardwood


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Pictures

Post by Jules Pearce on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:32 am

A pic from the ride

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Jules Pearce


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