Lorne Ride 29 January 2017

Lorne Ride 29 January 2017 Report

The weather forecast was perfect and it proved to be accurate.  I hadn’t been down Lorne way for a couple of years so it was perfect for getting out on the bike and enjoying some camaraderie.   I had a great run across town via the Eastern Freeway and Olympic Boulevard despite my concerns about tennis associated congestion and arrived at Ardeer with plenty of time for a chat before the ride started.  About 20 participants took part.   During his briefing Pat confirmed that he was aware of the Cadel Evans Ride and that it would not affect our ride to Lorne.

As well as a great variety of people including a couple of visitors from as far afield as Hawkesbury NSW, there was also a great variety of bikes such as Vaughan’s Africa Twin, Marty’s Blackbird, Greg’s Ducati, Tez’s Moto Guzzi, Nicks TDM, John’s Triumph Bonneville Spirit, Garry’s Victory Jackpot plus the usual assortment of Japanese and European bikes.  Les volunteered to do tail end duties and once formalities were over we headed west.

We got off the highway, passed the weir on Melton Reservoir and made our way to Anakie via back roads and then rode the delightful road via Steiglitz to Meredith where we stopped for morning tea and a chat.               

Then it was a short run west before turning south and heading towards ShelfordPat then demonstrated his unique skill in finding fairly lengthy gravel road works for the second week in a rowcheeky.   The surface was good and had been sprayed so dust was not an issue.  There must have been some vibration though, as Greg pulled over as soon as we were back on the bitumen with the right hand mirror on his Ducati “swinging in the breeze” as the hex drive fixing bolt had come loose.  A very quick “fix” with duct tape got him mobile again without the group having to wait for us.  During the later lunch stop it was fixed properly with the appropriate tool which was in the tool kit.  Duct tape – Ducati – Where could I go with that?wink    

We continued south and crossed both the Hamilton and Princes Highways on the way towards Deans Marsh.  Many of those back roads were extremely narrow and I must comment on the consistent courtesy displayed by all oncoming drivers who moved off the bitumen to make way for motorbikes.   I was also a bit nonplussed by some new 80 KPH zones, some on narrow sections made sense – some on open roads with good visibility did not. 

Once through Deans Marsh, we had a lovely ride down through the Otway National Park before getting some ocean views as we approached Lorne.   This road has many “slow vehicle turnouts” as there are virtually no legal overtaking opportunities.   I was pleased by several drivers who did the “right thing” and pulled over to let others pass.  One driver in a Chrysler 300 took a while to get the idea, but did eventually pulled over and let the entire group pass. 

When we arrived in Lorne it was extremely busy as can be expected on a sunny day in January, but once we made our way slowly in the traffic to the prime location it was easy to park the bikes cool and stop for a nice long relax, refreshment and some camaraderie.  Once done, discussions turned to the ride home.  Some chose to head back into the hills for another dose of those curves.   Many others (including me) decided on the Great Ocean Road back to Anglesea despite concerns over probable traffic congestion.  I’m glad I did.   Yes it was busy, but flowed quite well and I thoroughly enjoyed the leisurely ride with its lovely views and curves as I had not been that way for several years.

Once north of Anglesea and heading towards Warne Ponds and the Geelong Bypass we encountered significant congestion with a very large stream of traffic coming from the Bellarine Peninsula.  This was probably compounded by the fact it was the last weekend in January, many had probably made it a long weekend and the Cadel Evans Ride was on.   There were several kilometres of “stop start” traffic heading north and I was really glad I was able to get past all this thanks to the manoeuvrability of being on a solo bike.  The traffic just didn’t matter.   

Up to this point the weather had been simply perfect.  I then had a good run back to Melbourne along the busy freeway before encountering significant heat when stopping at traffic lights as I mad my way through Melbourne and across to the Eastern Freeway.

In short, I had a great day.  I enjoyed the camaraderie, Pat had put a great route together yes and despite my concerns about traffic and speed limits, I thoroughly enjoyed my short run along the Great Ocean Road on my way back from Lorne.    Thanks Pat and all those who came along.smiley

John Cook  

Appreciation - Lorne Ride

I had prepared a ride report which wasn't needed, but I thought a couple of comments I made were worthy of publication......

"For whatever reason, the return journey on the Great Ocean Road always pleases.  Warm day, perfect riding conditions, full tummy and for the most part reasonable traffic flow didn’t help me stay awake, but I got home with that really nice feeling of a great day with great mates on a great and well organised ride.

Thanks especially Pat Ryan but also Les Cox!!  Great work, and a hard act to follow.  An honourable mention to our official photographer John Cook – in any sporting club, you’ll find talent and willingness, but rarely in the same person.  Most weeks, John sacrifices much of the ride to see us with a quality photographic record of our day.  I know we all appreciate it, but occasionally, it’s nice if someone puts it in writing – many thanks from all of us, John!!

PS – I pulled up really well seeing I had done a pre ride the previous day of my March 12th ride to the Castlemaine goldfields (335km including a few “ok, not this way”s, and then 393km Sunday). "

Greg Gleason


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