Ride to Maryborough 28 September 2014

It was a Blustery Blustery Day

On the way out to the Ardeer starting point, I was constantly reminded of reading A A Milne to the kids and the words “A Blustery Blustery Day” wouldn’t leave my mind.  The speed limit on Westgate had been reduced to 60 KPH because of the high northerly winds and this was frustrating because the slower I went the more the wind moved the bike around.  I passed one guy on a highly decorated and modified Victory who was really struggling along at about 20KPH in the far left lane.

Anyway, I arrived safely, bright and early and quite a few members were already waiting for Alf who arrived well in advance of the start time and was surprised by the number of people who had arrived before him.     Brian was already kitted up in his Hi vis vest and took on the role of Tail End Charlie for the day. 

Alf had put quite a bit of planning into the ride and including organising a lunch at the café inside the beautifully restored railway station at Maryborough and the route to get there.   About 20 people with a significant number of regular faces including some we had not seen for a while such as Harry and Anna on the Suzuki, Gary and Wendy on the Victory, Gaz on his immaculate Yamaha, Jacinta on her new VFR and  Peter returned from his travels plus quite a few others.  The briefing was done and numbers (for lunch) were obtained and phoned through to the café.  

We then got under way and headed west along the Western Freeway before turning north onto Leakes Road and on to places I had never previously visited which is one of the great things about going on branch rides – visiting and discovering new places.  Side winds were quite an issue when not heading north or south and really moving the bikes about.  We skirted Toolern Vale and then went past Lake Merrimu (I think) and then came back in on the outskirts of Bacchus Marsh via the old Western Highway, the Avenue of Honour and past market gardens.  These areas had changed significantly since my last visit but still brought back some memories. We then continued south before heading west through Glenmore and up the spectacular but narrow and bumpy gorge before heading into Ballan for morning tea. 

We then continued west along Old Melbourne Road through Gordon and Bungaree (I think) before crossing over the highway again and continued north into the lovely old town of Creswick and then on to the edge of Clunes before doubling back east a bit and then north past Tullaroop Reservoir (I’m guessing again) and on to Maryborough where we stopped inside the magnificently restored railway station for lunch after riding 220 kilometres.   Many of the roads were quite open and the spark plugs and exhaust were cleaned with the higher speed runs despite the extra concentration required to cope with the strong winds and I got to see some parts of Victoria that I had never seen.  

After lunch, quite a few of us continued east to Newstead, Castlemaine and Chewton and then returned towards Melbourne via the Calder Highway. 

Alf it was a great ride, I enjoyed it and I know others did too.  Thank you.

John Cook                                       

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