Thursday, April 10, 2014

OzSTOC National Rally Ride 2014 - Pt 4

After the campsite pack-up (we are getting better at this the more we do it), we set our sights on Bright, Myrtleford, Beechworth (and the famous bakery there for brekky).

This involves a fantastic little ride over the range and plenty of twisty, winding roads to do it on.

At the top of the range is a great little lookout to take in the sights - and that's exactly what I let STella do...

Anyways - motoring on towards Myrtleford - I said to Growly "Wow - did you just notice the temperature rise then?" And it literally rose at least 2 degrees! Wouldn't you know it - 15 seconds later we motored past the town sign of 'Ovens'. I kid you not! Oh how we laughed and laughed.   

Anyways - pulled up in Beechworth for brekky where we had made loose plans to meet Ian and Helen.

 The food kept going waaay left of this pic on multi levels, and all this in a2 storey shop. A 2 storey bakery??? Wow! As I was judiciously pontificating over what culinary delights would be mine... I heard a deep, dark, Darth Vader type voice behind me say "Oi!" It was JustPete  - another fine OzSTOC Member at the same place at the same time! He joined our table and a good time (as they say) was had by all.... (especially after a couple of Beestings that Growly shouted)!...

 A friendly and somewhat talkative chap rolled up on this contraption. He took a great interest in our bikes, and particularly Growly's Trike - must be because the seating position is the same!
Time to motor again as there were still a few coffees to be had this day!

Stopped at roadworks just out of Beechworth...

 You can see Helen and Ian behind the trike in the above pic.

Here is a better view - taken on the freeway of them on their nice new Beemer, just before we turned off for Glenrowan - home of the famous Bush Ranger Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang's 'Last Stand'.

And this is Pete on his lovely '04 St1300 Pan European

 Another Pub stop for Growly and myself. But this one was for historical purposes, NOT medicinal!

And here is me telling Ned not to leave me hangin' (on a high 5)! Seemed armless enough.

Growly stopped in for some souvenirs, then we continued our journey to Shepparton, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Daylesford, and finally Ballarat to meet up with the OzSTOC gang.

There were cloudbursts and rain around us most of the day, and we seemd to be threading the needle between them quite well.....

 A comfort stop in Shepparton saw us pull up next to Pete again...

 A snazzy piece of parking by Growly...

Above, you can see Growly got scared and went for the 'wets' when we took off again. This worked out extremely well, because, as soon as he put them on and started riding, the sun came out, the birds were singing and we were all happy - except for the gent on the trike who was hitting 40 plus degrees!      

Anyway - he loves that kind of thing. So we pressed on through Bendigo towards our goal.

Something incredible happened in the last 40km of our ride - apart from meeting Joe "OlGeezer" in traffic on the way there. He had come all the way from the US and is a member of our American counterpart's forum He was joining us at the OzSTOC Rally - great effort!

Anyway - 40kms out of Ballarat, it was 26*C and lovely. This was about to change rapidly. I kept updating Growly over the headset as to the current outside temp - 24, 22, 19, 16, 14! At 12*C (7kms out), we pulled over to put on warms and wets (coincidentally behind Ian and Helen again), and the weather was disgusting! That big black bit of sky was right over Ballarat, and it was blowing cold, howling rainy wind!

It stopped raining just as we rolled in the gates and got our cabins sorted and unpacked - just in time to go to the meet and greet - but still quite cold (for a Queenslander anyways).....  To be continued....

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