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Greg G's Ardeer to Castlemaine via Vaughan Springs

Submitted by Sailbad The Sin... on Sun, 15/12/2019 - 9:59pm

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Ride report follows....

Ulysses Club Melbourne Branch
Ride Report – Sailbad’s Ardeer to Castlemaine via Vaughan Springs – 15/12/19


Greg G – ride leader, BMW S1000XR        Holly Fields – TEC – Suzuki V Strom+
John Cook – Honda ST1300 – photos       Roger Foot – BMW K1300S – step in disaster avoider
John Francis – V Strom                                   Samuel Sun – (new) BMW R1250 GSA
Gary Clifton – Yamaha FJR1300                   Andrew Kennedy – Tracer 900GT
Jack Fei – BMW R1250 GSA                          Jeff Pavlou – BMW R1250 GSA
Brian (Prez) Lacey – BMW R1200 GS        Carl (gotta ask his other name – nice guy) BMW R9T
Dennis Alessi (Ducati Monster)                  The Hon Vince Green (Ulysses Member for Mernda) V Strom
Garry & Wendy – Victory Jackpot              Pat Ryan – Triumph Explorer 1200 XCA
John Markham – Triumph Sprint                Les Cox – Yamaha FJR1300
Stewart Tepe – Honda Valkyrie                  Colin Voss – BMW R1250 GSA
The Plan:
It was meant to be a simple idea – use as many “roads less travelled” as possible en route to Castlemaine via Vaughan Springs.  What could possibly go wrong??

The Ride:
Problem 1 – the plan included Coliban Road out of Trentham “NO – too much gravel” said Roger, so James Lane was conscripted as a (worthy) replacement – such a tragedy when the gravel was past where we were going!!  Oh well, the alternative was a great motorcycling road.
Problem 2 – Glenmore Road near Fiskville had mixed reviews – “not too bad uphill”, “oh hell, not with 20 riders?” and even “hard to see the windfarm lying in the roadside gravel”!!!  So a last minute plan saw Roger Foot step in and insert a link from Parwan Road to Ingliston Road that leads into the Ballan scenic route!!  (We’re glad he did – what a great road, had a sizeable gravel stretch till about a year ago but now fully sealed – ride leaders take note).
By this stage, ride leader Greg was twitching, and the group had morning tea in Trentham while Greg & Roger sat outside the chemist, frantically searching for Roger’s prescription pad!  Was it that, or just the magic morning in magic places?  For whatever reason, Greg was able to resume leadership duties and away we went towards Malmsbury, Taradale, Elphinstone (where a recently closed slip road briefly gave the ride leader the slip) and to Chewton for the road to end all local roads – the Fryerstown/Irishtown Road!!  Corners, ridges, twists and switchbacks – heaven on 2 wheels.
But not without incident – halfway to Vaughan Springs, a carefree ride leader (not going slow) happened upon a mob of cyclists on a narrow road with a farmer’s 4WD trapped on Greg’s side of the road – God bless BMW’s brake systems…..
A brief leg stretch at beautiful Vaughan Springs, then into Castlemaine past the Guildford Plateau – a volcanic rise that is so flat-topped, it was considered a possible WW2 airstrip….
These were all roads that Greg rode illegally 55 years ago, at 13yo, on an old black BSA 250!!
Lunch stop was Castlemaine (Greg was born there and the place is still trying to rebuild its credibility, but it did so in style) - some did takeaway, some had brought lunch, some hit a quality local café, but as always lunch with mates is a Ulysses ride highlight!!

Thanks to Holly Fields, who took on TEC duties, John Cook, our illustrious photographer and Roger “Claytons” Foot (the ride leader you have when you’re not having a ride leader).  Also to the other 16 riders who made up the “gang of 20” and made the ride so much fun!!

Next Week:
Next Sunday, we head north as Steve Bailes takes us on a magical mystery tour from Lilydale to Yea, via Broadford.  If you love those roads as much as I do, we’ll see you there!!
Friday night (20/12) is our night to party – monthly social evening this time at Cheltenham RSL.  Holly has things under control – please let her know your intentions early.
Cheers everyone – keep growing old disgracefully!!

Sailbad the Sinner (aka Greg G - #65231)


Compared to me, Mike Fittall is very slim (it's the "fit" in "Fittall" that does it!!).  But he's not THAT slim.....  Mike was not there, other than in spirit!!  And speaking of spirit, what did you have in your drink flask???



Greg Gleason