10 AM – Amity Tavern. Greg and I (Karin) hadn’t ridden with the club for months and it seemed there was no one left except Lidia! We rolled up in light rain fully rigged and meet the only rider intending to do the overnight ride. We introduce ourselves to Lidia who is celebrating her rise from L plates. Ronnie rolls up with time only for a day ride. Goodie! thinks me, as we didn’t have time for a weekend away anyway.
The next to roll up was Garry with bad news that our mighty Welsh leader is in hospital. Richard and Ray arrive for a chat about how bad the weather is going to be and ‘oh, they are not riding’ hee, hee . . .
Lidia looks at the two bikes she will be accompanying (K1200LT & 1400 Road King) and decides she’d better get the 250 on the road!
Greg shows Lidia the map and I explain she should fill up at Amelup, we will all stop there. “Keep left at Y junction, head for the Stirlings”. Sky full of big black clouds Lidia zooms off . . .
I turn and chat to Garry who has just phoned Raelene and she fancies a day ride too, so he goes home and we start off very slowly, conscious of Lidia going flat out and Raelene and Garry not quite started yet.
Ronnie is following at 80kmp/h and wondering if the big BMW takes a long time to warm up the oil! Clouds in the Stirling ranges are so low we could nearly touch them but they didn’t dump on us. Wind is picking up around 30 knots from the NW. I am thinking we may as well have gone sailing to achieve cold, windy and about to get wet!
Arrive at rendezvous and guess what? No Lidia and the shopkeeper says she hasn’t been to fill up! Oh shit, maybe she went the wrong at Bakers Junction. (Couldn’t have! We definitely said left at Y junction) but she only has 140km of fuel. Oh dear. Maybe she’s gone on to Boxwood Hills. Ronnie is worried. We push on to Borden where I’m fairly sure there’s no fuel. Lunch near the toilet block. Ask for her at the shop. No they have definitely not seen a lone lady rider looking for fuel. She must have gone to Boxwood Hills.
Just as we are putting helmets on with the intention of going on without her, Hmm who suggested that, Greg? A lone rider appears in the distance. Red and black colour scheme, Yes its Lidia, having a great time. A bit windy she beams. She has decided its so much fun she will go on alone to Yearlering pub for the night out. Greg figures she needs our map more than we do and donates it.
It turned out that she had missed Amelup on the trip north and got to Borden, discovered that size of town has no bearing on availability of petrol. So found a way back to the highway (as we came in at the top of town) to return to Amelup for fuel and was now continuing her journey north. No problem. Phew!
Lidia takes the main road to Pingrup and we take the scenic route through Ongerup. Q. why are there no cars on the road? A. because they are all at the footy in Ongerup. On to Pingrup and the rain really is about to dump, the temp. has dropped to 11C. Onboard computers are wonderful things, otherwise we wouldn’t know we were cold.
Ronnie’s Harley has no computer so he was fine in his open face helmet and summer gloves! We meet up again with Lidia trying to top up with fuel at Pingrup, but oh dear they can’t pump cause he they have no electricity, sorry! On to Lake Grace for Lidia 157km on a tank she thinks can do 140km. I have suggested practicing finding the reserve tap while riding.
This is where we parted company (hang on we only rode together for 12km). The sky that threatened all day let us have it nearly all the way to Katanning, but at least the wind eased. We got home at 5pm and rang Yearlering pub and they reported: lone lady rider, the only member of the AVCMC from Albany to make the finish line, happy and about to thaw out in the shower.
Well done Lidia.
One intrepid rider, faced wind, snow, hail, sleet and loneliness of the long distance runner to arrive at Yealering at 5.30 pm; cold, wet and hungry. To be greeted by two young and gorgeous (don’t know about that - Ed) male dirt bike riders with whom she spend the next 5 hours drinking, eating and having a jolly time.
That rider was Lidia who had only just got her licence, and here she was facing all manner of difficulties.
Enough rain fell in the wheatbelt to enable them to grow wheat for another 10 years, and it seemed to follow her as she moved North to Lake Grace. Someone up there hates me, she thought, and she plowed on full throttle, only able to do 90 kph. Wind gusts of at least 80 mph kept the bike in a lean position as she fought the elements to arrive at the destination.