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June 2016 Club News

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Three Week South Australian Ride

Story by Antoinet with pics by Antoinet, John and Bob

This story will have a lot of great, beautiful, amazing, wonderful, nice and fun bits in it because that's what this holiday was.

About to leave Rapid Bay.
Ronnie and I had been really looking forward to this trip. The idea had been there for a lot of years already, instead of doing a week long ride through the south west of WA we would like to take the old bikes across on trailers and base ourselves in different areas of South Australia to explore towns and roads.

We were keen to start early and left Torbay at 6 am to meet Colin and Leanne at Baker's Junction. We were pulling the club trailer behind our Toyota Troop carrier that had been fitted out as a camper van. Ronnie was going to ride the Indian and I was keen to ride my BMW once we arrived at our destinations. We also had my Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mark 1 on the trailer. It had been sold and we were going to drop it off in Adelaide so it could get trucked over to Sydney.

We got some messages along the way that most of the people who were going to come on this holiday had left Albany or Perth already. We decided to meet at Gibson Soak, north of Esperance. The weather was nice and we had decided to drive through the Stirlings because it is a much nicer road.

We stopped for a cuppa in Jerramungup and caught up with Robert Boyes and John McKinnon. Robert was riding all the way on his BMW and John had his R75/5 on the trailer. In Ravensthorpe we had another stop and caught up with Warwick, Kim, Garry, Raelene, Bob and Chris.

Gibson's Soak meeting-up.
Lunch was in Gibson where Phillip and Bronwyn pulled up too. Huw send a message that he was somewhere west of Coolgardie and that he was going to meet us wherever we decided to camp for the night. Most people were going to stay at Fraser Range sheep station so we decided to join everyone there. When we arrived we spotted Guy who had ridden his BMW across from Perth. Huw arrived later on and we all caught up with drinks and nibbles, celebrating a great first day.

Watching the sunset at Fraser Range.
Fraser Range is a great stop along the way when you're travelling over east, good facilities, quiet and beautiful to watch to sunset with all the salmon gums and hills. Our stop for the next night would be Eucla or somewhere in the bush near the border. Fraser Range attractions.

Warwick had organised for us to have a look at the Mundrabilla homestead. We all gathered at the front gate in the afternoon after making our own way there. Some people can travel faster, especially on the bikes. We had full-on head wind so the Toyota with three bikes on the trailer went through quite some diesel.

Kim checks the water gate operation at
          Mundrabilla.
This was the first big trip we did in this car. It was very interesting to have a look at the homestead, lots of history and old buildings. When we arrived at Eucla we filled up and said goodbye to most of the crew, they had booked into the caravan park or into the motel rooms. The weather didn't look too flash, windy and cool.

The cars and trailers with bikes: the carmada.
Huw, Colin, Leanne and us decided to travel across the border and find a spot in the bush. We were lucky to find a nice area and in no time we had a small fire going. We were in South Australia now so the clock had to go forward 2Ĺ hours. I woke up and waited for the sun to come up, I was laying there for ages waiting and in the end I got the torch to check the time; 7.15 am! And it was still really dark! Totally confused we got up and got breakfast organised.

We had quite some tomatoes, garlic and onion between us and we decided to make a big omelette to use all the veggies. We were going to get past Ceduna today and that's where the quarantine border is. Leanne, Colin and me were peeling all the garlic we had brought from home, we put it in a container with oil so we could take it with us. Tummies full with omelette and coffee, we packed up and hit the road. We had some stops along the way at the different road houses and would wave to other people form our group if they travelled past.

After leaving Nundroo road house we were all quite close together. Garry and Raelene had stopped in a different spot for lunch than most of us and Ronnie had thought of a trick. At the quarantine stop he asked the guy if he could say something to our friends travelling in a black Toyota with Albany number plates.

Please tell them that there is a new rule: no beers are allowed to be brought into SA. I was very surprised the guy was happy to do this. Apparently he had a very straight face when he told Garry and Raelene that beers had to be handed in too, ha ha.

Evening gather and chat with other travellers
          contributing.
We got to Streaky Bay and got ourselves organised at the caravan park.

Bill's Triumph Tiger 100.
Bill O'Hallaran (with Triumph Tiger 100) had arrived before us and we all got together to celebrate another good day. We woke up to a beautiful morning, most of the crew got up quite late because it got light so late. Most were confused like we were yesterday so we just had a nice and casual breakfast and enjoyed the view, the caravan park is right on the water.

I had decided to ride to Coffin Bay where our next stop would be. The weather was beautiful and the roads great. Our first stop was at Murphyís Haystacks, big red boulders in the middle of a paddock on a hill. We had our morning tea stop in Elliston and got to Coffin Bay just after lunch time.

Bill leaves a message at Coffin Bay.
We set up camp and most of us went for a ride into the Coffin Bay national park. Beautiful roads with amazing views and lookouts. The next day we celebrated Bob Reesí birthday in Port Lincoln, coffee and cake followed by a ride up the coast and then lunch at the pub.

A small group had gone for a longer ride up to a museum, the last 10 km or so was a gravel road. John McK is so used to riding his GS and will often take photographs while he is riding but today that didnít really go too well while riding his old BMW. John came off but was lucky he landed on his camel-back full of water. He did ride the last couple of kilometres to the museum but was pretty sore.

Discovering holes where they shouldn't be!
There they found out there was a big hole in the rocker-cover. Bike on the trailer and John in the back up car with Warwick. John was limping quite a bit when they caught up with us in Port Lincoln.

His ankle was very sore and he had it checked out at the hospital, they found out it wasnít broken which was great news. John took it very easy and booked himself into a cabin and rested with bags of frozen peas on his sore ankle. The rest of us went out for dinner to the pub, celebrating Bobís birthday.

Got up early the next day to pack up before taking off to our stop for the next 3 nights: Moonta Bay. We said our goodbyes to John who was hopefully going to catch up with us in the next couple of days. We all made our own ways to Moonta. Everyone is travelling at different speeds and people want to stop and have a look at different places. We had our morning tea stop in Cowell, where we caught up with most of the other members.

It was pretty hot by the time we got to Port Augusta and there were big thunder clouds in the sky. By the time we were heading south it bucketed down, I was happy to be in the car. I had decided not to ride to Moonta because it was a big day, lots of kilometres. The weather didnít get any better; lots of rain, thunderstorms and wind but not cold.

There was a bit of chaos at the caravan park. A big storm had raged through the park and trees had come down, they had lost power and lots of sand had washed down the hill. I felt very sorry for the managers having to clean up and having to deal with complaints from customers.

The park was right on the water and we had a nice spot, time to set up and time for another happy hour while talking about our adventures of the day. The campersí kitchen was nice and roomy and there was also a very nice undercover barbecue area right next to the kitchen. That night we were in for another storm.

The wind was unbelievable. Lucky we were camping a couple of rows away from the waters edge but Colin and Leanne had the wind straight into their camper. Colin stayed up all night holding down their awning while reading his book.

Todayís ride went down to Port Victoria where we had lunch at the pub. Still pretty windy and pretty cool. We took the road to Port Vincent and I kept thinking: these SA roads are absolutely shocking! Kim was riding in front of me and his indicators were shaking quite a bit too. I felt sorry for Ronnie on the Indian, no suspension at all. Better not complain too much I thought. Along the way the Indian stopped, oh dear . . .

Now most of you know that there has been this stirring up for years about bikes breaking down. Ronnie always stirs up people whose bike breaks down and has to go on the trailer. I have been telling him for years to stop this because one day this will happen to him.

Ronnie refusing to say die with the Indian.
We all thought today was going to be that day, we all stopped and got our cameras ready. The Indianís carby came apart, all the dirt was removed from the float bowl and the Indian came to life again. Off he went yelling Indians never die! Well I guess he got away with it again. A nice and calm afternoon tea stop in Port Vincent, some people went to get an ice cream and others went for a walk while enjoying the sunshine. On the way back to Moonta most of us had a look at the beautiful coast line at Ardrossan.

By now my shoulders were aching a bit from the rough roads so I was happy to stop and wander around a bit. We went to fill up before heading back to the caravan park and suddenly Ronnie yelled at me to turn the bike off and to hop off. He saw the block of wood he had stuck between the forks was still there! This block is there when the bike is on the trailer so the front suspension is not fully compressed.

Ronnie still having a laugh in the shower.
We had done about 200 km today, no wonder I was aching. Ronnie couldnít believe I hadnít said anything. Anyway, we had a good laugh. When we got back to the caravan park we saw John had arrived. He was still pretty sore, especially his neck and shoulders but in good spirits. The boys got together to get Johnís bike back on the road, some quick steel was used to fix the hole in the rocker-cover.

Huw outside the cafe in Moonta.
The next day after having coffee at the little cafe in Moonta we set off to have a look at the Kadina markets before riding through Bute to Port Broughton where we stopped for lunch at the jetty. Back in Moonta Kim and Ronnie bought a fishing rod at the local shop.

Huw looking delighted to be cleaning squid.
Off we went, Huw, Kim, Ronnie and me to get some squid for tea. Huw and Ronnie were lucky and caught some. Raelene came over to the cleaning station to show the boys how to clean and prepare the fresh squid. There was enough for everyone to have a taste that night.

BMW R75/5 in the Clare vicinity.
Our last morning in Moonta, it had been very nice to explore the area here and it was great the boys were able to do some fishing, they had been looking forward to it. I rode my bike to Clare with Ronnie following me, we rode through Snowtown and Ronnie spotted a guy on an older off-road Kawasaki. Of course he had to have a chat to the bloke and asked if he wanted to sell the bike. There would be a spot free on the trailer once my Le Mans had been delivered in Adelaide. Iím getting rid of my bikes, he wants to buy more, how does that work, hey?

We arrived nice and early in Clare and the weather was very nice. Setting up our camp for four nights this time. There is a huge area for unpowered sites so we had lots and lots of room. Some washing and shopping was done but the rest of the day we relaxed and we enjoyed once again a nice happy hour.

The gang in Peterborough museum.
The next morning we all took off to Burra where we had our morning tea stop. A nice and historic town with lovely buildings. The next stop was the motorcycle museum in Peterborough, which was very interesting too.

Ronnie thunders past on the Indian.
We rode to Jamestown where most of us had a cold beer on the veranda of the pub featuring a crocodile above the door. We all thought it was another successful day.
The pub with a crocodile.

A very cold night and morning, some hadnít had much sleep so decided to invest in blankets and warm clothes. Ronnie cooked us bacon and eggs for breakfast and we had a nice day of riding through Balaklava where we had smoko before travelling to Kapunda where we had lunch and had a good look around town.

Itís great that Warwick is driving as back-up every day, not only because he is towing the trailer but also because he can take our packed lunches with him in the car.

Pizza night in Clare.
That night was pizza night at the caravan park. There is a huge undercover area with three pizza ovens. Everyone had bought supplies and we were all busy chatting and making pizzas, great idea and lots of fun. Afterwards we had a sing-along with Bob and his guitar. Nigel and his wife who were members of our club years ago were camping in Clare too and they joined us for the evening.

Posing outside the very swank Martindale Hall.
Warwick had told us we should pay Martindale Hall a visit, a very interesting old building which has all the furniture still in there. Itís a great place to visit, a lot of scenes of Picnic at Hanging Rock have been filmed there. Some of us had lunch at the Magpie Stump Hotel, Ronnie and I had the most amazing hamburger, all the food was very good so it is worth it to go back there one day.

On the way back Colin, Leanne, Bill and us took a nice scenic gravel road back to Clare. We celebrated our last night in Clare with more nibbles and drinks.

The next morning it was time to pack up and time to head to Victor Harbor where we would be staying for five nights on Pete and Loylaís beautiful property. We had only just left the caravan park when I could smell something burning. I was riding behind Colin and Leanne and saw smoke coming from their car. I tried very hard to get their attention, beeping, flashing my lights, waving and yelling but nothing worked.

Lucky Raelene and Garry noticed it and got Colin and Leanne on the radio. One of the springs had broken and the tyre had been touching the guard of the trailer and had nearly burned a hole in the guard, oops.

Colin welding and Ronnie working the generator.
The boys fixed it as well as they could for now and Colin and Leanne took off to get some parts before we all met in Birdwood again to have a look at the National Motor Museum and at Bill's Bits and Bikes.

The temperature had gone up quite a bit today so I was sweating in my motorbike clothes, time to keep moving. We took more nice roads on our way to Victor Harbor and rode through beautiful Hahndorf where it was very busy because of Easter. The last hour it got pretty cold though, the temperature had dropped and I didnít have a clue how far it still was to Pete and Loylaís. In the end I stopped to put more clothes on.

Pete and Loyla's place: shed on left and studio on
          right.
After that it wasnít far, I was glad to see the property and meeting Pete and Loyla. They live in a beautiful area, overlooking paddocks and looking towards a huge hill/mountain. It is so nice and very generous of Pete and Loyla to have us for five nights. They promised to show us some beautiful places around the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Meeting a guy with a new-fangled bike in Victor
          Harbor.
The next morning we all met at one of the coffee places in town, a central point to meet every morning. We took some very hilly and scenic roads along a beautiful coastline to Second Valley, Rapid Bay and to Cape Jervis where the ferry from Kangaroo Island was just arriving.

Going for 5th
          gear upside-down.When we arrived back at Pete and Loylaís place after a great day Guy had some sad news, he had to leave us to go back home: his BMW was stuck in second gear. Lots of talk and lots of trying to fix it, the only option would be to try and get it in fourth gear and he would have to ride all the way back like that.

We had a very interesting time watching the boys chaining the BMW onto the bucket of Peteís tractor. Then the bucket was raised and the bike was flipped upside-down to get it into fourth gear, it went all a bit too fast and suddenly it was stuck in fifth gear! This is how Guy would have to ride home. He was a bit nervous but also excited to get home, he really likes a challenge that guy called Guy!

The next morning we missed seeing him off, everyone else was there but Guy was so keen to get going, before we realized he had taken off. We had another great day of riding to do so at 10ish we met again at our coffee place.

Pete and with Loyla about to mount before leading the
          rides.
Today Pete and Loyla were showing us an area to the north: Mount Compass, Strathalbyn with great antique shops and back towards Currency Creek and Victor Harbor. The next day we celebrated Raeleneís birthday.

Going down the big dipper in Victor Harbor.
Ronnie and I had enjoyed riding the big dipper the other day, a very steep dip in the road so we decided to ride it again before we would meet the others. I thought we had missed the turnoff but later realized we were still going okay. Ronnie had stopped though because he thought we had to go back.

When I arrived at the corner I was looking back to see if he was still following, I also kind of turned off already to turn into the road where we supposed to go. I ended up too close to the kerb and hit it with the front wheel. I couldnít hold the bike any longer and came off. A big scare and a bit painful too.

Ronnie was still waiting for me down the hill and couldnít see me, he had no idea what had happened. Petrol was leaking out of the bike and I got worried so tried to get the bike up by myself. Itís a pretty heavy bike but after two goes it was up. Ronnie finally arrived wondering why I didnít come back. Itís not a good feeling to come off and I was pretty scared to get back on the bike but told myself I had to.

Beach riding on Aldinga Beach.
Very carefully I rode back to town and had a big mug of coffee to get over the shock. The rest of the day was a great day. We rode up to Aldinga beach where you can drive/ride on the beach, it was a great experience and so much fun. We ate scallop and prawn pies at the bakery and rode along the beach on the way back.

The next day we celebrated Ronnieís birthday. I had decided I wanted a break from riding because I was pretty sore. We were also going to catch up with Ronnieís mumís cousin from Victoria and it was our last day at Pete and Loylaís so time to get ready for our trip back to Western Australia. We had a look in Port Elliot and that night we sang along with Bob playing the guitar and Ronnieís cousinís wife playing the ukulele, lots of fun and I think our AVCMC choir is getting better and better.
Last sing-along with Bob in Victor Harbor studio.

The next morning we packed up and said our goodbyes to everyone. We really appreciated Pete and Loylaís hospitality. It was perfect staying at their beautiful property exploring this amazing part of the world. Guy had sent Bob and Chris a text that he was back home in Perth, all was well. What an effort Guy, well done!

Colin and Leanne drove into Adelaide with us to drop off my Le Mans and to do some other things. We said our goodbyes because we wanted to go back via Clare. Colin and Leanne wanted to get home quicker than us, as they had other places to go to next week so would travel a bit faster than us. Ronnie tried to get money organised to buy the Kawasaki but it didnít happen.

We stopped in Melrose for the night and walked through the beautiful town in the evening. The next morning was cold but the sun was out so it turned into a very nice day. Horrocks Pass is one of my favourite drives and we enjoyed every moment.

Sunset over Penong in South Australia.
We camped bush the next two nights and caught up with Warwick, Kim and John McKinnon along the way. We camped at Quagi beach near Esperance before going home.

Thanks to everyone for an amazing holiday, it was so much fun and I thought it was a great way to explore the areas by camping in different places. I think itís worth to do it again one day.

Thanks to Warwick for doing back-up and a huge thanks to Pete and Loyla too.

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