Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2012 FarRide Ride Report to Nambucca on my ST1300 Pan European

For those who don't know... to be qualified as a FarRide finisher - one has to ride 1,000km in a 24hr window, and hit a check-in window somewhere in amongst that, at the FarRide destination. This FarRide ended in Nambucca Heads (one does each year). I stuffed up the start dockets (proof of what time you left for the 1,000kms because of the time difference of 1 hr during daylight savings between Queensland and NSW - Boy! Did I ever cop a bagging for this.  hahaha. Anyways, read on...

Well, as you as know by now, I totally buggered up the start time docket, and prevented Streak from becoming a FarRider this time - I felt terrible about this as the first I realised what I had done was when Clint (the FarRider check-in Guru and FarRide Co-ordinator) looked at Streak's docket at the official check-in and basically said “I don't think so”. That's when I grabbed poor, unsuspecting Streak out of the line and started apologising profusely. Everyone was a great help in suggesting contingencies etc - but bottom line was - “next time”.      

All this being said - it didn't prevent this from being a fantastic riding weekend.        

It was a morning of 'early starts' for me as I had to get to Streak's place (200kms) to begin our FarRide officially.

Here are some pics of the area around Villeneuve (just out my back door)...

Stopped at Esk for a coffee. Have you all done this?..... look at the lean angle of my bike. Wouldn't want to have gone much further - it's quite a chore to stand it up again from there....

You can also see those reflectors on the panniers are black during the day and barely noticeable.

Then, went next door for a.... 

.... advice on fertilizer! - Great name though...       

Had a fantastic ride through one of my fave places - Ravensbourne National Park forest road between Esk and Hampton, and ended up meeting Streak as planned. After he ginned around (wished he'd ginned around for another 35 odd mins, just quietly        ) - we headed off to get the docket.

To make up some kms, we did a bit of a loop out to Dalby, Goondiwindi, Inglewood and back to Warwick, before heading further south to Stanny and Tenterfield.

Couldn't complain about the weather... it was like this the entire way for us...

Got this shot in the afternoon sunlight...

After checking in to the van park for a tent site, we realised that it could be a restless night with an extremely rowdy crowd at a party just over yonder. PLUS - Streak's better half, Teela (whom already thinks I'm Streak's other girlfriend because of our constant communication about the ST Owners website), reckons that we were 'Brokeback Motorcycling!' - because we decided to tent it! Hmmm....         

Anyways - early start and I reckon Streak threw half his gear in the bushes going on how quickly he packed up!

We had a challenging ride out of Tenterfield at 4am along the Bruxner to Drake as it was dark and kangaroo o'clock. Turns out, we didn't see any wildlife and the road was clear (from the usual fog) and dry - great!  I pulled up at the bottom of the range to clean my visor. As we waited there, a GTR Kwaka pulls in at around 4.20am coming from the direction we were headed. It was Grey Beard saying “g'day” - also needed to borrow the torch to see if there were still remains of an owl he was faster than, just before! We swapped weather and road reports etc. and Trevor said nonchalantly “oh, there's a little fog - nothing much!

Anyways as we were leaving, I saw Streak's face of surprise at meeting a good friend out there at that time of day and heading the opposite direction... I said to him .... “FarRiders mate. Anywhere. Any time!” and we left.

Also, we made a mental note to educate Grey Beard on what the difference between a 'little' fog and 'pea soup' is! We were down to 40km/h in many spots until we cleared the bank.      

Brekky at Casino - beautiful country all around this area...

We then headed to Grafton and turned down the back road to Lawrence along Pringles Way for a change - this lead us to another of my fave regions, and riding narrow roads though the corn and livestock fields and next to the mighty Clarence River in the morning sunlight - yeah baby!       

We made our way down through Coffs and were to meet up with our Canberra friend, FarRider, and fellow ST Owners Club Member “Saaz” on his ST1100P (police special).

Now - riding with a bike that looks remarkably like Mr Plod can be a good thing or a bad thing... good = everyone moves over, indicates well in advance of lane changes, and watches you like a hawk which is safe etc - or bad = everyone thinks you will book them if you even go 90 in a 100km/h zone, so they do 85!  Good on ya Saaz!

See what I mean? ....

Saaz told us of an ST1300 for sale down the road at Urunga, and we passed it sitting out the front of a motel sign with the for sale sign on it - next thing - no Streak! The ever enterprising Streak as jumped off his bike, and gone and accosted the owner with a few OzSTOC Cards. Apparently the owner was chuffed! Streak has something to add here - Streak?

Whilst Saaz and I were sitting on the side of the road waiting, you should have heard the cars coming over the hill and then the revs dying suddenly as they slowed down for 'Officer Saaz'.                 

Anyways - we had a coffee and headed for the check in. We ALL know what happened here.                

After I stopped crying incessantly, it was time to say “G'day” to all the great friends I have made at FarRiders. As everyone will tell you, it's nigh on impossible to spend a great deal of quality time with EVERYONE, but quality time it certainly is.

Had lunch and got settled in at the cabin. Then my long time mate Growly finds me and says “c'mon!” he throws me the keys to this......

He explained to me how to drive (ride?) it and let me take the trike for a spin around the block. The trike has a clutch and brake pedal like a car, a throttle like a motorbike, and a H pattern gear shifter poking out sideways below the seat. Think about letting a foot clutch out whilst using a motorcycle accelerator.... it certainly takes some co-ordinating (spesh after riding a M/C for 1300 clicks just prior!) (It also has a trailer). He also reminded me that it looks like a motorbike from the driver's seat...

... but remember the huge outrigger wheels and allow for their width - good point! Very strange turning a motorbike that 'doesn't lean!'

Special mention must go to Al (and it did) for FarRiding this to Bucca... (at least 1,000kms)    

Now that's gutsy mate - well done (note the 'metal' seat!) 1941 WLA Harley!

More candid pics...

We had a great arvo/evening/dinner - very entertaining and I got 'tricked/forced' in trying Gadget's 'home brew'...  'Poppy Gadget's Rheumatiz Medicine' he calls it...hmmm. I have to admit, you can't feel any knee pain after a while as your legs go numb, but let's just say you don't feel like blasting your mp3 music through the helmet the next day!                      Thanks mate. (It was all good, really).          

Next day was goodbyes and brekky up the road at Urunga for those who wanted it.

Which one wants to be which one when they grow up?

Enjoyed the company of Shane (half of Team Cuddles), Enterprise, Streak, Growly, Kat, Gadget, Ken, and Dave. Another 10 or so (not FarRiders) joined our table as well.

Great eggs Benedict, great company great brekky spot. It was time for good byes and everyone went their separate ways.

I took Streak a very special way home that I'm sure he will remember all his days - right mate?         

A lot of you will know the Kyogle - Rathdowney - Boonah stretch. Let's just say there was next to NO traffic!       

Thanks to all the usual suspects for Co-ordinating/organising another great FarRide weekend.

And special thanks to my pal Kimmie for helping out.     

Great to see you there too Anny - FarRides are just that little bit brighter.       

Also Ninjagnome - go mate! Kudos you for an exceptional effort too mate.     

Guess I'll see all you guys again in Opal country!               (At least Streak has good roads to make up his kms there!)      

Cheers and Regards,

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