After much planning and anticipation the day finally arrived. We were blessed with good riding weather and a small group met Kris and me at Lilydale for the ride up to the Odyssey at Nagambie. We headed north up the tree lined Castella Street past the old theatre, made our way past Yarra Glen and on up the Melba Highway to Glenburn. We then turned off the highway
and went through Flowerdale and Strath Creek before stopping at the lookout above Murchison Gap
for a short rest and a
photo opportunity. Then it was on past the motorcycle complex into Broadford
for morning tea at the bakery.
After a leisurely break and chat we headed due north out of town along Sugarloaf Creek Road to Hilldene, went under the Hume Freeway and then turned up Northwood Road before Seymour. We continued north past Mitchelton Winery and several horse studs before arriving at our destination in Nagambie without encountering one traffic light for the entire trip.
We checked in, sorted our gear and then got down to the serious business of enjoying ourselves. We walked around, visited various attendees setting up tents, trailers towed by bikes and some who had brought caravans and exchanged lies and greetings. The resort sites were much damper underfoot than normal after our recent heavy rains. By 6.00 pm we congregated at the BBQ facilities
beside the convention hall and a large group of us had a self catered BBQ dinner
and enjoyed the camaraderie. The night passed quickly and we all retired to our assorted accommodation.
Saturday morning was bright and clear with some lovely reflections on the rather swollen river. The on site café had been set up for a wedding that evening so those that wanted a cooked breakfast had to make do with the verandas outside the café and that arrangement was a bit cooler than ideal. Around 0900 I was disturbed by the sound of a number of bikes arriving and went out and met Paul Butler with a group of Ulysseans from areas such as far afield as Echuca and Rochester who were on their way to the Victorian Breakfast Club meeting at Yea. Convivial banter was exchanged and then they headed off. A large number of the Odyssey attendees had decided to go on a river cruise
from the resort which involved a visit to two wineries - Mitchelton and Tahbilk.
A smallish group of us then assembled outside the venue and headed off on the bikes shortly after 10.00. We headed across the flats through Locksley and on to Longwood where we turned right past the White Hart Hotel. Many of the spoon drains beside the road were still very full of water and evidence of the recent flooding was everywhere but didn’t actually affect us despite numerous “water over road” signs. Once through Longwood, we crossed the Hume Freeway, headed south and climbed the lovely hills through an assortment of varied bends and the odd bump towards Ruffy. Some of the scenery and granite rocks in the area were quite spectacular after the earlier flat lands. We then skirted Ruffy, turned left and descended more interesting curves and roads to Yarck
where we stopped for morning tea and the exchange of more lies. While relaxing there, a guy arrived on a Ural outfit and put on a very skilled and entertaining demonstration of reversing briskly into a parking bay at the café. I’m not into sidecars but it was great to behold.
Once relaxed and refreshed, we mounted up again and headed up the highway to Merton where we turned left and headed north. I thoroughly enjoyed the road with its great mix of smooth surface and tight bends as we crossed the mountain range again. Even the short 60 KPH zone was reasonable for the conditions. We then turned right and headed towards Strathbogie along a rather bumpy bitumen section and stopped briefly at
Polly McQuinn Weir to take in the view and get some photos. Again, due to recent floods water was gushing over the weir
into the swimming hole at a strong rate. Then it was on through Strathbogie and into Euroa where we stopped for lunch at the local bakery.
After that it was basically a transport section across the flats to Murchison and at one stage we were passed by a rider on a BMW K1600 GT. I later found out it was yet another Ulyssean – Max who had been to the VBC meeting at Yea and was on his way home. We crossed the girder bridge into Murchison and after almost failing a couple of navigational challenges I found the road south past irrigation channels and we stopped at
Kirwans Bridge for a short break and to take in the scenery. We then continued into Nagambie and went our separate ways. I stopped for my first fuel since before starting the ride.
That evening we assembled in the convention centre at the resort, dinner
was served and we then enjoyed the music put on by our live entertainers Gary and June,
and generally enjoyed ourselves.
We conducted a raffle which included prizes supplied by the three branch sponsors – Andy Strapz, Bikemart and BM Motorcycles Ringwood. The night flew by all too quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and I believe many others did too. We had 50 people for dinner including members from the ACT, various locations in NSW, South Australia, numerous locations throughout Victoria plus Melbourne Branch members.
Sunday arrived all too quickly, breakfast was had by some outside the café and then it was time for farewells. Some stayed an extra night but Kris and I had things to do on Monday morning so it was back on the bike and head home with a forecast of afternoon rain. We had a good run down to Tallarook and then we followed the Goulburn Valley Highway into Yea where we stopped for a rest and some refreshment. Then it was on down the Melba and the wind really got quite violent as we descended towards Dixons Creek from Mt Slide. Lots of trees were down and they looked quite ominous the way they were waving about above our heads in the wind. We made it home safely but we later heard of others who had really suffered in the storm. I later heard from some members from Gippsland who had stopped at Healesville on their way home. Their efforts to get a meal were to no avail as the entire town had lost power.
To all who came – Thank you, you made it a great weekend.
More photos are available here: