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2017 Autumn Ice Run

Submitted by Greg G on Mon, 15/05/2017 - 4:37pm

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Ride Report – 2017 Ulysses Melbourne Ice Run

“Talisker” - (from the Scottish)  - land of the wooded cliff and sloping hills, the secluded isle, the captivating land mass that becomes the navigator’s beacon”.

Thus begins this tale……

“ Master Helmsman, how shall we navigate?  Where lieth the Talisker?”  “Captain, I know of not, for she be veiled in a cloak of fog….”

A bit after 8am (the advertised start time), 24 riders and one latecomer on a chook chaser (yes, it was your humble author), gathered at Officer for the 19th Annual Ice Run.  After a quick briefing, we headed off down to Heyfield for as pleasant morning tea. 

Good coffee and friendly banter in the main street.  “She’ll be right”, I heard said, but “she’ll be white” was more apt.  Fog aplenty, but with Shamus riding a loud Ducati, we could hear if not see our way to Bruthen,

by which time we had grown to a total of 29 riders.

“Master Helmsman, knowest thou our true course?”  “Nay my Lord, but there is yet one aboard who knows, and he shall light the way”.

John called up a family favour to “navigate” us to Bruthen, and nobody truly knew where we were going (including, I suspect, our stand in ride leader – he may have been as surprised as us to arrive on time on schedule).  But get there we did, and in warm sunshine.

  The ride


to Omeo

and Hotham had us all asking for more (even Greg running in his brand new BMW chook chaser).  Then it was up, up and away, over Dinner Plain to the Hotham summit, to take in the views of the spectacular ridge lookout. 

Down the other side was fun – through Mt Beauty for a fuel stop, then the engaging 25km “wriggle” up to Falls and our Howman’s Gap overnight stay.

The beds were warm and comfy, the food was good and filling and the fellowship filled the huge recreation room. 

A hardy few (some needing the Talisker’s guidance for the morrow’s ride), partook of the Scottish Talisker

– it is said to be a potion of great health, wisdom and navigation skills.  Several were seen to have truly fallen under the charm of the (bottled) Talisker – surely their navigation skills tomorrow would be unsurpassed – well, their headaches (and mine) truly were.

Next morning saw a hearty breakfast and shared Club wisdoms (“Greg – you brought that bloody whisky – it’s your fault!!”)  Barry saw the funny side – “I’ve got my TV remote in my pocket instead of my mobile phone – I took it to a wedding recently – the ceremony was ordinary, but the reception was terrific!!  Boom boom!!”  Less amusing were Barry’s mechanical woes that saw his bike going home in the back of Ivan’s SUV.

A slippery run to Mt Beauty for fuel and we were off – Oxley offered more than morning tea - “Captain, one day we shall be put to the test – I fear that more than death itself!”   Fortunately, only those driving in the opposite direction were “put to the test”.  Off then to Mansfield for lunch and home to end the 19th occurrence of this truly great occasion.

 “How shall history judge us, Master Helmsman?” “ Captain, I know not, but surely those who drink from the cup of bravery must triumph?”  “Well said, Master Helmsman, for we belong amongst those that shall wage the war that assures His Majesty’s eternal reign.”

Great ride, John Cook (third monarch of this event) – the empire of the three kings lives on…… (apologies to Nicholas Monsarrat – Before The Wind for the nautical quotations).

Greg Gleason 65231


Great to see a report from someone who wasn't conscripted - Thanks Greg yes

I do suspect the Talisker had way too much influence on the report and the weekend though cheeky

I do know it certainly "influenced": me on Saturday night blush - Footnote to self - satisfy thirst before partaking of alcoholblush

Despite that I will add some comments or observations as I recall themwink.  

As planned, 17 of us started at Officer.    As we rode along Old Sale Road we certainly had views down into fog laden valleys but the view was generally good from the ridge tops.  At Heyfield we were met by Marshall (a friend of my son who knows Gippsland way better than I do) and he performed pilot duties for me from Heyfield to Bruthen.   As the bridge near Glenaladale was closed we skirted Briagalong and visited small towns such as Walpa and Lindenow (which were "firsts" for me before joining the Great Alpine Road north of Bairnsdale.  Marshall - not sure exactly where you took us but thanks yes    cool

We met up with the usual suspects at Bruthen and the enjoyment simply continued.   Another small group including my son had gone on further ahead and enjoyed lunch at Mt Hotham.  

On the way home Greg and several others parted company with us at Oxley and took the express route home.  It was Mothers' Day after all  

A good size group of us continued south to Whitfield and then over the hills to Mansfield where we stopped for lunch.  More farewells were exchanged as people headed off to places as far afield as Ballarat (Michael G) and then there were 5.  Carlo Dennis, Terry and Shamus accompanied me on a basic transport run back to Lilydale.  The roadworks between Molesworth and Yea may well have made the Black Spur a much better optionangry      

Anyway - I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and thank you to all who came along and made it great.smiley