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Ride Report Ardeer to Woodend 21st March 2021

Submitted by Pat Ryan on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 10:44am

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Ride Report: Ardeer to Woodend

Date: 21st March 2021
Ride Leader: Mike Fittall
Tail End Charlie: Not appointed
Riders: Mike Fittall, Steve Bailes Nick Di Prinzio, Pat Ryan
Reporter: Pat Ryan

This was originally meant to be the Brian Lacey led ride to Vaughan Springs to join the Ulysses Club “Meet and Greet” where lots of branches converge for a pleasant BBQ lunch and some camaraderie. First up however Dan’s new Covid rules put paid to the “Meet and Greet” as the restriction on numbers prevented such a gathering. Then since he no longer had to lead Brian decided to head off on some dirt roads and last we heard he was in WA somewhere trying to get bogged in the bulldust. (Hope you make it back Brian).

So Mike coordinated a new ride leader, himself, and decided we would still go to Vaughan Springs but as there was to be no BBQ to head on to Daylesford where lunch is always available.

Sunday dawned with rain pelting down but the author thought he might get a little wet weather riding in to prepare for the trip to Tassie next month so headed off to meet Mike at Ardeer. Then I noticed that my traction control, ABS, cruise control and hill assist were not working so I stopped, removed the fuse and replaced it and all was good so I kept going. It seems from a conversation with a bike mechanic mate that I need my software reloaded so if I can ever get a booking at Peter Stevens I will get that done.

At Ardeer not only Mike was there but Steve as well and Nick on his BMW1200. Nick is a relatively new member having been on a few rides with us but is obviously keen. Good to see you again Nick. Since we were four which makes a quorum we decided to proceed with the ride, rain notwithstanding. The forecast suggested the rain would ease after 10am anyway even though the radar did not provide any hope that the forecast was anywhere correct.

Off we went up the Ballarat Road and off onto the usual departure route up Greig’s road and Parwan Road for a nice run in the rain to Ballan for a warm coffee and a snack where it dried out a bit for us. Then it was off again through Trentham and lots of those little towns around the Wombat State Forest. The roads these days are mostly limited to 80kph so not the old 100+kph through the sweeping bends of yesterday. Another reason for the less that 80kph we achieved was the white and blue checked car in front of Mike which for some reason he chose not to pass for some 20 or 30 kilometers. Eventually he turned off and we sped up a bit but it was not a day for high speeds in any case as the rain persisted.

Mike had found a new route to Vaughan Springs which as it turned out was not sealed for, we think, 2.5 kilometers or so. The surface was yellow clay with some gravel and with the rain was decidedly slippery. If you are riding a Kenworth, or Goldwing as Steve calls it, then it is decidedly dangerous so we turned back after half a kilometer or so. Even the U-turn was an exercise in extreme caution but we all made it safely around and headed back to the tarmac.

All hopes of visiting Vaughan Springs were abandoned and Mike soon realised that Daylesford was probably a bridge too far as well and we headed to Woodend for lunch. After refreshment and a bit of shelter we headed back down the highway to Melbourne and home with each of us peeling off as we approached our destinations.

Thanks to Mike for filling in for Brian and to the rest of the group for turning up on a less than ideal day. I think we all enjoyed the day out in spite of the weather.