Broken Hill Ride, 11-13 June 2016
Six of us, Terry, Shamus, Dennis, Jack, Gary and myself fronted for the ride to Broken Hill.
Leaving from the West Gate servo at 7.30am we had a cold but dry day. Except for a small shower that didn’t wet the road, it stayed that way for the whole week-end. Our plan was to go left of Bendigo, on through Charlton and lunch at Mildura, a distance of 555km. We were meeting Gary there as he went ahead on Friday to see the Winter Sun rally. Two of our bikes had small tanks needing extra fuel stops and this proved beneficial as the cold quickly got to all of us so we stopped for an early morning tea before the Bendigo turnoff. Lots of warm water in the toilets for the hands.
Gary joined, lunch and fuelling were done and it was off for the last leg of 300km, with a quick stop at Coombah for the MT03 and Monster tanks. There was little traffic on the highway apart from lots of goats which had excellent road sense, vacating it for us. The sunset ahead of us was spectacular but also a warning that we had to keep it on as after dark there are lots of kangaroos and we know they have no road sense. 6pm found us in the main street searching out accommodation and settling on the Ibis Styles, a fairly new motel. 2 family rooms met our needs. A walk around finding drinks and tea also allowed us to meet a couple of Ulysses locals. This would prove important the next morning. The Ulysses group had a ride out to Silverton on Sunday morning as we were planning to do so we decided to join in. Warm rooms, showers and comfy beds were wonderful.
Our accommodation also included an excellent breakfast. Terry discovered the rear tyre of his Guzzi was shot. There is no motorcycle shop in Broken Hill now, but from our Ulysses contact we rousted a local up who holds some tyres and a Shinko rear was soon fitted. The 30km to Silverton was a pleasant change giving us some corners again and lots of dips for when the road floods. Silverton is getting more touristy with more Art Galleries.
were wandering making Asses of themselves, even mooching food from cars. A high school get- together increased the visitors I the town, especially at the hotel where we lunched. Mundi Mundi Plains were next, though we didn’t understand the reason for its notice, followed by the Tumburumika Reservoir. It was dry showing the need for water around Broken Hill. In the mornings, despite the cold, there is no dew as there is no moisture, also no clouds. The next stop was the Sandstone Sculptures
followed by the Miners Memorial. The memorial is above the town on a tailings dump and shows all the miners names and dates for deaths in the mines. The finish before tea was to go to the Mint which is a mixture of art, souvenirs and confectionary.
Breakfast Monday was a chance for us fill up for what was another cold start but clear blue day. We all agreed that the Ibis was the right choice to stay at and were well pleased with it. 8.30am Hill time had us riding. Looking for animals I first saw an emu on the left, then lots of very sensible goats everywhere and a wedge tail eagle over its breakfast. At Coombah we saw 2 other motorcycles going our way. One was an ST1100 Honda and the other a CF Moto NK650T. The CF Moto is one of the few mid-sized proper touring bikes about and very cheaply priced. With its Kawasaki type engine I was interested in what its owner thought. Excellent, no problems and very comfortable even at 160km/h was the answer. It is hard to argue with that and good to know the quality of these brands is always improving. Again no traffic to slow us down, but a bridge opening at Wentworth did so we had morning tea there followed by refuelling in Mildura. Lunch was at Ouyen in the hotel. Bangers and Mash are to be recommended. Careful riding was needed as we were back in Victoria, land of the radar. I had a minor heart flutter while leading when an oncoming police car had its lights on. Fortunately he was pulling up the car just in front of him. The final stop for drinks, warm-up and fuel was at Bridgewater and daylight was gone. The air was cold, traffic becoming heavy, even on the freeway after Bendigo. 7.30pm found us coming into Melbourne with all thinking again of food, hot showers and bed.
Thanks friends for making a very enjoyable week-end. For others, you should have been there. For Terry, Shamus and Dennis it was the longest day ride they had done. 1900km total for the 3 days. No bike troubles at all.