Ride Report: Werribee South to Lorne
Date: 31st January 2021
Ride Leader: Pat Ryan
Tail End Charlie: Steve Bailes
Reporter: Pat Ryan
Thirteen staunch Ulyssians turned up at our newest start point for a ride out west and down through the Otways to Lorne. Weather turned out be perfect for a ride with temperatures in the low twenties and only the slightest misty drizzle around the You Yangs. Road conditions were dry all the way and no dirt or gravel was encountered or U-Turns required.
The plan was to go from McDonalds across the railway line (Yes – I found the way this time and we totally avoided the new subdivision which trapped us last time) and via a complex series of turns onto lots of roads eventually bringing us to Meredith for morning tea.
The only problem was that the route which knew all those turns had somehow disappeared from my GPS and I had no idea how to get to Meredith and keep off the main or secondary highways. The answer was simple – let’s change the route to one I knew and head for Winchelsea for morning tea and then head to Lorne via Deans Marsh.
This route is complex also but both I and my GPS knew how to follow it so no problems. Off we went dodging the road whose closure had caused us so much trouble last time and over the railway line onto Bulbans Road and into the ride proper. All was well as we went close to Little River and Lara then Avalon with virtually no traffic. The constant turns were starting to spread the group out so a little slower riding and waiting bunched us up a bit for the next bit. We left Steiglitz Road and rode onto Parker Road which is a delightful country lane through a valley with dairy farms and a few tight corners and no white line so it requires care on the corners.
As we approached the Midland Highway to cross and head for Bannockburn we saw a group of twenty or so Harleys mostly ridden by ladies of ample proportions. Unfortunately they turned down the road we were heading for so we fell in behind. They were a little slower than we would have preferred but there was no real opportunity to pass with a group as large as ours so we sat behind hoping they would turn off. After all Harvest Road was our next turn and not too far ahead.
We arrived at Harvest Road and you guessed it - they turned into it. On to the Hamilton Highway and up to Inverleigh, maybe they would go straight on, but no – they turned left and headed for Winchelsea still in front of us. It was 22 kilometers along here with no opportunity to pass again and we headed into Winchelsea behind them. My plan was to stop at La Hoot café by the river where there are good facilities and parking then I got to thinking “what if they turn into the café”. I was trying to think of another coffee shop here just in case but relief flooded over me as we saw them continue on and we turned in. That was the last we saw of them.
After a pleasant stop for morning tea and a chat we headed off again turning left at the end of town and onto the Deans Marsh Road. Again not too much traffic here as we sped through the first half with its high speed corners and good if a little bumpy road surface. From Deans Marsh the road gets a bit tighter and becomes downright twisty as you traverse the Otway Ranges. For this reason the road is equipped with “Slow vehicle turnouts” every few kilometres for those who like to take corners at the recommended or often much slower speeds to let faster ones overtake. Unfortunately we got stuck behind two cars in this category and do you think they took any notice of the turnouts. Not at all and it is impossible to pass on this road so we crawled along until eventually the first car got the message and pulled over.
The second car was now the first and whilst he was marginally faster was nowhere near the speed we could have safely ridden. So I started to press him a bit and eventually he got the message provided by thirteen bikes up his tail and pulled over. This meant the last eight of so kilometres were ridden at a more suitable pace for high performance motorcycles and made for a much better ride. This road is often covered in moss or leaf litter and is wet and slippery but on this occasion it was dry and moss free and great riding.
Lunch at Lorne at Andrews Café as usual then we headed home as a group up the Great Ocean Road, except for Ian who wanted to go back the way we came. No Chinese tourists driving on the wrong side of the road this time but plenty of slow Sunday drivers so it was not the fast ride we would have liked. We went via Torquay for a change then home up Geelong Road where everyone peeled off toward home as we reached Melbourne.
All in all a good Sunday ride in good company. Thanks to Steve for performing tail end duties and not losing anyone to the Harley group.
Reece put a “Relive” video of the route onto our Facebook page which is well worth watching, and Ian took some video of Palmers Road which is also available on Facebook. Both are certainly worth a look so thanks guys.