On the first of October Trevor
Escot, Andy Burn, Jack and Steve Rowe left Albany. Trev and I headed
east and Jack headed north to Perth for a wedding and to team up with
Steve. We were to meet up somewhere over in SA. As we (Trev and myself)
were only going to do short hauls of 600 to 700 kms per day and Jack
and Steve where going to do 800 to 1000 a day, hence they would have
caught up, but it didn’t work out like that.
We got to Peterborough and received a phone call from Steve saying
that Jack’s Honda Trike was heading back to Ceduna as it had done a
drive clutch and only had first gear, Jack was hoping to put it on a
truck and get it home.
We found out later (4 days) that the rig wouldn’t fit on any of the
trucks so Jack drove it back to Albany with first gear and at 60 kms/hr
- total distance of 2449 kms. What a feat well done Jack!
So now Steve had to catch us up, he was only 600 kms behind so we
planed to meet in Cowra we went via Burra, Morgan, Barmero, Wentworth
(camped the night, pretty little town where the Darling and Murray
rivers meet.). The next day we headed through Mildura, Robinvale, Hay,
Narrandera, Junee, Cootamundra, Young and Cowra where we caught up with
Steve. Had a slow ride to Bathurst as there were so many radars and
patrol cars on the road.
Made it to our camp site and as we were booking in at the gate Trev
got a surprise when he looked around and found his bike on its side.
The side stand had pieced through the bitumen as underneath was wet and
soft. We picked it up, result a few scratches and a few choice words,
we found our site and pitched our tents for a 3 day rest and fantastic
car racing, those V8’s sure move out over the top of the mountain. Had
a massive crash during the final race car rolled about 6 times no one
hurt amazingly - at the end of the day Holden came out the winners.
Packed up and onto Canberra via O’Connell, Oberon, Middle Arm,
Goulburn, Canberra. Great ride thorough there nice country. We stayed
at the Canberra Motor Village had only planned to stay one day and
check out the War Museum, but after returning to our bikes Steve closed
his top-box and then his key snapped. He made a few phone calls to his
dealer in Bunbury and was told it would cost $2500 to replace it. He
then called a local locksmith who reckoned he could do it for $180.
This was at 5pm so me and Trev had to fly to the locksmith with what
was remaining of the key to find out that he could make a key but not
without the unlocking code. So the bike stayed and we stayed another
day waiting for the new key.
The people in this city were very
friendly and helpful. We did a bit of sight-seeing around the city,
parliament house etc. During the night it started to rain and was still
raining when we packed up I was not impressed.
Anyway we made it to the locksmith and picked up the new key and headed off to Cooma, Bombala, Cann River, Orbost, and pulled up at Swan Reach soaked through to the skin and very cold. The rain didn’t stop all day, but the roads and scenery was the best I have seen so far We had all the heating we could find going all night it was like a sauna, but all was dry in the morning.
We headed of to Bairnsdale where we caught up
with hundreds of bikes doing the Barry Sheene ride to support the
cancer foundation. We caught up again in Sale where the numbers had
increased heaps. They all ended up doing a couple of laps of the
circuit at Philip Is.
headed to our accommodation at The Gurdies about 40 km’s from the
circuit nice setting on a vineyard self contained fully furnished 2
roomed unit with lounge bathroom and kitchen and a garage for the bikes.
At about 8pm we heard the noise of a BMW pull up at the unit and guess who it was, yes, it was Jack he had got home to Albany rested for 2 days and decided to come over to the GP on his BMW trike. It took him 4 days to get there just in time for dinner, good timing Jack.
The Friday practise was so wet and cold it
wasn’t much fun at all, but over the weekend the weather improved and
on the last day Casey Stoner did his thing and won. Great weekend of
motor bike racing.
Monday and we all packed and rode to
Sorrento where the ferry takes you to Queenscliff. Jack and Steve left
us at Geelong as they had things to do at home, Trev and I went down
the Great Ocean Road, great road but the weather turned nasty again and
spoilt the ride. We made it to Mt Gambier for a well earned rest in
comfort as we were wet again, same thing had all the heaters going to
dry everything out. The next day on to Adelaide to have a quick look at
the Burswood Museum and Bills Bits. He was the Australian champion
speedway rider. We stayed in Adelaide at my mate's house.
During our ride we kept getting text messages
from a Chester. He invited us to come and stay with them at Arno Bay so
we took him up on it. To our surprise, it was our own Chester and Trudy
Powell. They had been touring around Vic, NSW and SA for about 2 months
and ended up at this 2 story mansion on the beach at Arno Bay - a bit
We all went to the pub for the night’s special
and headed home for a good nights sleep. After a big healthy breakfast
and a short walk on the beach to watch the sun rise we all packed up
and headed off to Pt Lincoln for a look and then on to Elliston for
lunch and a rest as it was quite a hot day. We decided to stay over at
Streaky Bay for a stop over, the next morning we left for Ceduna at a
slow speed, roo country. Trev passed us and we didn’t see him until
Penong he had missed the sign to Ceduna and headed to Puntabie but
realized his error and turned around.
He had home on his mind and decided he was
going for it and that was the last we saw of Trev until we got home.
Chester, Trudy and I travelled to
Eucla where we meet up with Harley Trent who had come for a 2 day ride
from Mt Barker to meet us and as it happened we also met up with some
friends of our Ronnie who were riding vintage Harleys around Oz. They
were stuck in Eucla as the trailer carrying all the spares for the old
bikes did a bearing and guess what, they forgot to put one in. Chester
tried his, but it didn’t fit. So we had to leave them hoping that all
worked out for them, we rode to Caiguna and camped the night.
The accommodation was shocking and pricey, but
a bed is a bed. Up early the next morning had a cupper and headed off.
This was to be our last big ride as we would make it home from there.
It was slow going as the amount of road kill was huge. We said thanks
and bye to Harley at Kambalup and carried onto our homes were I was
greeted by my loving wife Sue and very excited dog. What next? I ask