CR Birthday ride 2012
What a fantastic weekend! A HUUUUUGE thanks has to go to Jess (The General) for all her hard work in getting the weekend happening.
So I rocked up to T33 and a bit after 9:30 for a cuppa. Those gathered were already very eager to get going (*cough* DJY *cough*) but we did the right thing and waited for the departure time at 10:30. Most people that we expected turned up and we headed out to Tarago. Those of us out the front pulled up at the Tarago intersection to make sure everyone arrived and then headed towards Goulburn with much… well, gusto! Everyone found their way to the designated servo and topped up the fuel (and Jerry cans). Except for a rather missing Ester o_0. Nevermind – she eventually showed up once we all shouted to her from the servo parking lot.
Next stop – Taralga. Although a little rough in places – man, what a great road. Nice, big, and open; I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed then run up to the Taralga Hotel. At the pub we were greeted by the friendly publicans, drinks and food were ordered and we took up position in the out door area. At this point MStevo caught up with us too.
All the guys enjoying lunch at the Taralga Hotel:
Bikes out the front:
Did I mention the old-school table game of Galaga?
Next was off to Oberon for fuel. Another great bit of road too. I dropped back a bit at this point and let some of the faster guys off to have fun. Fuel was had, and we made way to Katoomba.
Now THIS was a great bit of road. Well maintained, open, smooth, not much traffic. Just perfect. And by this time most of the wind that had been dogging us during the day had started to back off. Sadly tho, all good things must come to an end and before we knew it we had reached the Great Western Hwy.
Let me just say at this point that there is no longer ANYTHING great about the Great Western Hwy anymore. Its just been completely ruined by roadworks, a zillion new set of lights, and completely pussy-whipped NSW drivers constantly doing 10k/hr under the limit </end rant>
Anyways, the only issue we really faced was trying to actually find our way to the YHA. I knew it was on Katooma Street and next to an Aldi.
Meh, I’m sure I’d find it (with 30 bikes in tow). And yup, take the first ‘Town Centre’ exit of the Hwy, follow it along to the CBD, turn right on to Katoomba Street.
Once there (and a phone call to a lost Ike) Jess greeted up all with a quick run down on the run of the place, then off to our rooms, and off to the Bottle-o.
I had booked dinner for us at the local RSL. It was only a short walk and great food. Following dinner we ventured out to the bar where Ant and I had a (very long) game of snooker.
I won 🙂
We eventually headed back to the YHA for a few (*cough* Dids *cough*) more drinks and bed.
The next days ride wasnt planned to start till 10:30, which was good for some (*cough* Dids *cough*), but at the planned time we headed out. Our route took us to Mt Victoria where we turned right and headed for Bell. At Bell we then took the road that took us into the back way of Lithgow. It was then a quick belt up the Great Western Hwy to the Mudgee turn off to head up to Ilford.
I was corner marking that turn off. Most went past, but the a whole lot of nothing. Hmmm…
Eventually the phone rang. Ant had come off near the bottom of the hill on the other side of Lithgow. Drat. Seeing I had the tools, I put a call thru to the guys up front that we would meet them directly in Bathurst and I went back to check on the accident. It also had turned out that Tempest had turned up to the accident site, hit some gravel and dropped his bike too. Right on his ankle. Ouch (not broken tho).
Turns out Ant had just low sided off a corner. He was a bit sore and the Trumpy a little worse for wear. But with a few Zip ties he was back on the road (minus rear brake). While we were doing some repairs in Lithgow, Ester was on the phone to Mark. It went something like:
“Yeah, Craig just got off his bike and… Ooo… nuts…!”
“What? What happened?”
Craig had only taken a few steps from his bike (complete with his helmet on it) and a gust of wind had just hit it hard enough to lift it off the side stand. It then wheeled itself a few feet down the road and went splat on its side. Nuts.
We met everyone else in Bathurst at Jack Duggans Pub.
OMG – what sensational food (especially the Parmy!)
The plan from there was to head to Oberon and then back to Katoomba via Jenolan Caves. However given the proceedings thus far (and a few sore heads) a lot of us decided to just head straight back to Katoomba. But before we did, all of us headed to Mount Panorama for a lap and a photo op:
Hurry up Ant!
Whickle, Matej and I headed off roughly together (after fuel). The road back to Katoomba (with the Exception of Victoria Pass) is a mixture of dead straight, boring as hell, open Hwy and then from Lithgow to Katoomba the ‘ruined’ness as explained before. In the end Whickle and I had had enough and just started being idiots with as much shenanigans as we could.
Everyone eventually got back, and a lot of us headed off for a nanna nap, but not before Jess presented us all with a tray of freshly baked, handmade scones for afternoon tea!! Seriously! She baked, just for us!!
Saturday night we were catered for at the YHA. Drinks were had, food was eaten, speeches were made, and conversation drifted on until well past midnight.
MStevo took home this years Founders Award too. (which I had forgotten to bring the Trophy for – oops)
Today the plan was a free-for-all. Everyone was welcomed to just make their own way home.
I headed to Bathurst to catch up with some family and then just slabbed it home via Cowra and Yass.
A really, really great way to spend a weekend away with mates (and for both CR’s and My birthday)
Thank you to everyone who came and made it what it was!