Ride Report: Lilydale to Healesville
Date: 10th January 2021
Ride Leader: Steve Bailes with a little assistance from Jack Fei
Tail End Charlie: Samuel Sun
Reporter: Pat Ryan
The Riders: There were over twenty riders gathered at Lilydale on a warm sunny Sunday for our second ride of the year. Two prospective new members joined us for the first time. Giancarlo was on his magnificent club plated vintage Honda Africa Twin which he had brought to Australia from his native Sicily. Rob arrived on his club plated former California USA Police 1000cc Moto Guzzi complete with lights and sirens and dressed like an old time Yankee cop with a long leather coat, oilskin trousers and brown boots with a cop helmet. He certainly looked the part and the bike went pretty darn well too. The narrow back tyre however must have made it a bit difficult on this ride of “ten thousand corners”
Introductions made and a briefing on the route completed by the RSM we all saddled up and headed off for some fun. Steve did tell us to expect some narrow winding roads and he certainly delivered in spades. We traversed some delightful little roads as we crisscrossed the hills from Lilydale to Warrandyte then over the bridge and up through Kangaroo Ground, Watsons Creek and Panton Hill to Cottles Bridge then via a circuitous route (winding, narrow) to St Andrews. From here we deviated from the map above and went up everyone’s favourite road, the Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, to Kinglake for morning tea, trying not to knock over too many cyclists on the way up the tight narrow road. Giancarlo left us here as his old Africa Twin was not used to the hard work and needed to be taken home for some rest and repair.
To our delight it was back down the Heidelberg-Kinglake Road looking for Butterman’s Track which surprise, surprise, is a narrow winding track with near vertical camber in various places but leads to Yarra Glen after yet another wonderful trip over the hilltops. From here we followed the Old Healesville Road with its smoother high speed corners almost to Healesville but Steve was not done with us yet. In cahoots with Jack he had added a final challenge and took us off up the Healesville Kinglake Road through Chum Creek until we hit the Myers Creek Road and headed back down to Healesville. Needless to say these roads are not exactly the Hume Freeway and our cornering skills were again put to good use.
This was a ride with a difference with lots of tight corners, not a lot of distance by our normal standards but something for everyone to enjoy. The faster riders amongst us had great fun passing the not so fast ones. It is a little disconcerting to be passed unexpectedly on a very narrow road but that is life so all is good.
Thanks Steve and Jack for a great day out on the bikes, how you managed to keep us away from traffic on a Sunday I will never know but we were not caught up by slow moving traffic much at all. Even the dreaded pushies were few and far between. The Beechworth Bakery at Healesville was crowded and most riders headed off while a small group stayed and ate. Four of us came home via Yarra Glen, Christmas Hills and Eltham which added a little icing on the cake of what had been a very good day.