May 16th Otways ride

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Post by Jules Pearce on Thu May 17, 2018 9:36 am

Jules led the Mid-week ride in cold but calm and dry conditions. However, before the ride started, Geoff Lenton was presented with his ten year award and Graham Aitken was presented with the prestigious Telemachus Award. Twenty riders left Waurn Ponds and we met up with Stan & Marlene in Birregurra. Thanks to Mark Nicholl for volunteering to be Tail End Charlie and to Peter Townsend for volunteering to write the Ride Report. Peter's report below.

          A late Autumn Wednesday morning encouraged 19 Ulysseans to gather at the Waurn Ponds Maccas carpark to take part in this month’s mid week ride. We had 16 bikes, 3 Spyders, 4 Peters, a couple of Graemes (albeit spelt differently!) and a bunch of other random names. Considering that the “Big Man” upstairs had flicked off the warm weather switch and turned on the Winter switch about a week before, I thought it was a pretty impressive turn up! The forecast was promising a “balmy” 14 degrees, with overcast skies and a southwesterly breeze, but fortunately, no rain. Mmm – where did I put those thermals??
Jules’ ride briefing outlined the basic plan to have morning tea at Birregurra and then make our way to Apollo Bay for lunch, via Gellibrand and Lavers Hill. Mark volunteered his services as TEC and prior to heading off, Don  presented a couple of awards – 10 year membership to Geoff  and the Telemachus Medal to Graham  – this for his 9 years (and still counting) role as Mid Week Ride Coordinator –well done and well deserved Graham!
The long convoy then headed off through Highton and onto the Barrabool Road and out through Ceres and Gnarwarre, crossing the Princes Highway onto Considines Road and then turning right onto the Cape Otway Road. We then turned right onto the Warncoort – Birregurra Road and into Birregurra, our morning tea stop. It was gratifying to see, that finally, after at least 2 years, the roadworks on the Cape Otway Road have come to an end – it was disappointing to see brand new potholes already in the newly surfaced sections!! At Birregurra we were joined by Stan and Marlene, increasing our number to 21.
After morning tea we headed up to the Princes Hwy where we turned left, followed the Hwy (mess of roadworks!) for a few klicks and then turned left onto Trasks Road. Then it was right onto the Colac-Forrest Road and then left onto the Old Yeo Road (wonder where the new one is??).  This road eventually becomes Bushbys Road, passing through Barongarook before meeting the Colac-Lavers Hill road, where we turned left, towards Lavers Hill.  Whilst riding through Barangarook (80Klm zone) a farm dog (Kelpie) decided to bolt across the road in front of me, causing me to:- (A) wake up bloody quickly! and (B) see if the old Beemer still had brakes that worked!!  Just for a fleeting moment there it looked like dog may have been on the menu for lunch! 
We headed south passing through Kawarren, Gellibrand and Ferguson where we turned right and then onto Lavers Hill where we turned left onto the Great Ocean Road. Of course as we climbed up into the Otways the dry road became permanently damp with the usual build up of leaf litter occupying the centre line of the road and occasionally, the centre of the left hand side of the road as well. Picking a line through the corners kept the concentration levels up and took your mind of the chill that was starting to seep in – 14 degrees in Geelong equates to around 11 degrees at Lavers Hill!! However, on the plus side it wasn’t raining – a first for Lavers Hill for quite some time! So, on the GOR it was down to Glenaire and then on to Apollo Bay through Cape Otway. Most of the tourist traffic was travelling in the opposite direction to us, so we had a fairly good unimpeded run into Apollo Bay, which was our lunch and refuelling stop.
No sooner had we parked our bikes in the car park on the beach front, than Graham and, I believe, one of the Peters (no, not me!) had bailed up a young female Asian tourist (or vice versa) and photos were soon being taken – them with her, her with them, her with the bikes, her with them and the bikes, her with half the Geelong Ulysseans – strangely it all came to an end when her husband joined in!? You should have showed her your medal Graham, that would certainly have impressed! Anyway, it was great to see us doing our bit to foster good Sino-Aussie relations.
Lunch, for most of us involved strolling across the road to the bakery, where we blended in with around 50 Chinese whilst waiting to be served – strewth – talk about spot the Aussie!! Even the menus were written in Mandarin! Good business opportunity – open a Chinese take away in Apollo Bay – It’d be a goldmine!   Anyway, after our alfresco lunch ( pie in  the gutter!!) we regrouped at the petrol station and then headed off down the GOR to Skenes Creek.
       At Skenes Creek we turned left ( a wise move as the GOR became the GORW beyond this point!) and on through Tanbryn, Barramunga, Forrest and Barwon Downs. After Barwon Downs it was turn right on Division Road passing through Murroon and cutting across to Deans Marsh where we turned left towards Winchelsea. We then turned right onto the Cape Otway road and made our way to Moriac, where the ride formally finished.
        In summary, an excellent day’s ride with great company (I clocked up 305 Klms) in albeit cool to cold conditions (apparently, not a problem if you have electrically heated clothing!).  Great motorcycling roads that kept your interest up and capably led by Jules with Mark keeping everyone on track with his TEC duties ( Not as easy as it looks – I tried it for the 1st time for April’s Mid Weeker and managed to lose one of our group on the 1st bloody corner!!  Fortunately, it was one of the Peters and, as  we had a few to spare, no real harm was done!)  So, well done to all and as usual look forward to the next.
                 Peter t.

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Last edited by Jules Pearce on Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
Jules Pearce
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Post by Mark Nicoll on Mon May 28, 2018 5:00 pm

Thanks Jules for a great day.
Any day out in the Otways is always a good day!
Mark Nicoll
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Post by Jules Pearce on Tue May 29, 2018 10:38 am

Thanks Mark, glad that you enjoyed it.
Jules Pearce
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