November 14th Wed Bridgewater Ride

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November 14th Wed Bridgewater Ride

Post by Jules Pearce on Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:27 am

Ride Leader: Jim Crerar (Jimbo)
Tail End Charlie: Mark Nicoll
Report: Peter Townsend  Photos: Peter Barclay & Graham Aitken
Thirteen Ulysseans gathered at the Waurn Ponds Maccas carpark in cool, damp, overcast and drizzly conditions – there were 11 bikes and a couple of Spyders and our quest for the day was to find Bridgewater and some sunshine, and then home, roughly in that order. Jules, showing remarkable commonsense for a Ulyssean, turned up in his car to farewell us and have a bit of a laugh!  I also was struck by an unusual bout of commonsense and actually donned wet weather gear before getting wet! Mark (big Tenere) volunteered for TEC duties and the convoy then headed off into the murk – well, 12 headed off, Dennis (alias Biggles) was waiting for a friend to join him and threatened to catch us up at our morning tea stop at Clunes.

 
We worked our way through Highton and out to Ceres – past the “Sorry, No Eggs” sign (I think these people need to buy some chooks!)  Then we cut across to the Midland Hwy via Merrawarp Rd., Friend in Hand Rd., and Gheringhap Rd. Then it was right into Bakers Bridge Rd and left onto the Steiglitz Rd and on through Steiglitz and into Meredith. At Meredith we were joined by 2 more masochistic Ulysseans, Peter (R80 BMW) and Bob (bloody big Triumph), swelling our group to 14. Even though we were riding in misty rain, there was no wind and the ride was vaguely enjoyable.
 
We continued up the Midland Hwy turning off to Lal Lal and then on through Yendon, and Dunnstown, crossing the Western Fwy at Bungaree and then on through Pootilla and on into Creswick. At Creswick it was turn right and on up to Clunes, our morning coffee stop. After leaving Creswick we actually rode out of the drizzle and even though still very overcast we were on dry roads – a promise of things to come!? It had been a fairly long stint in the saddle so we all certainly appreciated a break, a stretch of legs, a chance to empty out and a caffeine injection - 2 of our group especially! (John from Apollo Bay and Pete from Colac!)

 
After an enjoyable and leisurely morning coffee, Jimbo cracked the whip and we saddled up and made our way out of Clunes. We headed up the road towards Talbot, chucking a right at Dunach and up through Carisbrook and Eddington. By this stage the clouds were starting to break up and we found ourselves riding in sunshine and enjoying the associated increase in temperature! At Eddington we chucked a lefty and on through to Dunolly where we turned right, up through Tarnagulla, and then veered left to Bridgewater. From memory I think it was just after Tarnagulla that I got a glimpse of twin headlights in my mirror coming up rapidly behind me, and in a blue flash they were past me and disappearing into the distance! Strewth – Was it a bird, Was it a plane OR Was it Superman!!?  No – It was “Biggles” in full flight – he had finally caught up with us! So, our full contingent of 15 riders pulled up at the Bridgewater pub car park – next to the Bakery (the pub was closed for renos, so their car park provided a convenient parking area for us).



 
We settled into a couple of tables outside the bakery and were soon enjoying their fare – popular lunchtime spot with the efficient staff handling the influx of 15 aged motorcyclists without batting an eyelid! The Bakery boasted the best vanilla slices in the whole known universe and had recently received an award stating as much. The pies, pasties and salad rolls were pretty good too! I was waiting for Dennis to give a lucky staff member the “kiss of approval” but I think he was a bit preoccupied with his Yammy which had battery problems – it had to be jump started back in Geelong. Also now, with the sun shining we started peeling off wet weather gear as we warmed up. One by one, after finishing lunch we headed down to the petrol station to refuel and regroup before heading back south.

 
Dennis’s Yammy failed to fire and he flagged down a passing RACV van and the bike was jump started again, he then rode down to the servo to refuel. Of course, after refuelling he needed another jump start – the good news was that he was riding with not one, but two very organised BMW riders who both carried portable mini jump start power packs – the bad news was that neither of the power packs had enough oomph in them to turn the big Yammy motor over!! He then called for volunteers capable of running to push start him  - in the blink of an eye five geriatrics were huffing and puffing behind his bike and coaxed the thing back into life!  Some of them were overheard to mutter all sorts of unsavoury things if he turned the bloody thing off again!
 
At the servo John (Apollo Bay) and Colac Pete parted our company to make their own way home and the remaining 13 of us headed south through Newbridge on the road to Maldon. We then turned right towards Eddington and after about 5klm came to a T intersection. It was around here where Jimbo started “losing the plot” and after a few more kays and a few more intersections conceded he had lost it completely! With some assistance from Richard (who has travelled every road in Vic!) we found our way across to Dunolly and onto the road into Maryborough. We travelled south through Maryborough and Talbot and then back through Clunes. As we rode back across the Dividing Range, the skies became overcast and a strong cold southerly wind accompanied us all the way back home – however, fortunately it remained dry. From Clunes, in uncharacteristic Ulyssean fashion, we literally back tracked our morning route to Meredith, where the ride formally finished.
 
 Catching up with Jimbo at rides end, he had worked out that he had turned off the Maldon Rd about 1klm too early -- doesn’t take much to make a mess of a well thought out plan!! The planned route home would have involved playing around the Cairn Curran Reservoir and then heading south with a stop at Daylesford and then down to Anakie to finish the ride. I, as I’m sure everyone else is, is in awe of Jim’s ability to lead a complex long ride without the assistance of SatNav!! (I have memory of a ride some time ago where we were completely lost 60klm from Geelong and the leader was using a SatNav!!)
           
In summary, an excellent long days ride (I clocked up 480klms) with the usual mix of interesting roads and weather conditions, good lunch destination, and of course, great company.  In no particular order I’d like to thank:-
Jimbo – for leading a challenging ride.
Mark – for ensuring no one got “lost” on their own!
Dennis – for providing lunchtime entertainment!
Richard – for helping to guide us out of the “wilderness”!
The 4 other Peters – for turning up and equalling our record of 5 Peters!
Dennis – for not turning his bloody bike off!
Everyone else – for joining the ride and making for a great day.
 

                 Peter t.
 
Jim
 
      
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Jules Pearce


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