I have not done a ride report before. After this epic ride it is time someone kicked it off.
I arrived before 8:00 AM at the bakery in Healesville on Friday the 19th. It is always a lottery how long it will take going along the ring road from Werribee to that area. Surprisingly everything flowed well and I was actually early. Next to arrive was Bigsy on the 1190, then I think DaveD with the Beemer 800. Everyone else then began arriving. The leader Pepperjack on the mighty 1290, Katman with his F800 GS, then Stu300 with his Husky 701 also to report Keyfinance (SWM Super Dual) had lost his phone and was going home to look for it. Soon enough we were all there and ready to leave. The ride was explained and the cornerman system adopted. It is easy to lose people on these longer rides when everyone gets separated.
We travelled via Mt Baw Baw Tourist Rd to Rawson, then on to have lunch at Walhalla. From there to Heyfield for fuel, and then a very quick blast up to Licola. After a brief stop we hit the road, doing a fair bit of dirt to end up back on Walhalla Rd and then down to Woods Point. My riding buddies have an unwritten rule that we are not to pass the Kevington Pub without having a beer, so I talked everyone into a quick refreshment stop. Then it was quickly onwards to the first motel at Mansfield before dark.
Weather for the next day was very doubtful. We decided to see how it was going to pan out before we left in the morning. by the weather forecasts and the radar, it looked like we would get drenched if we continued on, especially if we headed north as originally planned. Saturday became a rest day in Mansfield, while the weather passed over. About 2:00 PM Katman left us to go to Paynesville to attend to commitments he had. I suspect going over Hotham would have been damn cold and possibly very wet.
Sunday was looking much better. We geared up and got ready to leave. there may have been a couple of sore heads from the night before. This was when my troubles began. The Tiger refused to run. It either flooded or the fuel I got in Heyfield on Friday was crook. (I was the only one who got 91, which this model Tiger is OK to use) While I pulled it down Bigsy, Stu300 and Keyfinance did a quick run up to Whitfield and back. The Tiger ran when I was able to block the fuel line and spray some Aerostart down the inlet trumpets. With the Tiger operational again, and everyone back, we set off after probably 12ish. Headed towards Jamieson and across Mt Terrible. I was in my element over Terrible, I much prefer the off-road stuff to the bitumen. Then it was down the other side to blast along Big River Road, which was a lot of high-speed fun. We next stopped at Marysville for a bite to eat at the Bakery. As we left Bigsy found he had a flat front tyre. We changed that in the Main street and continued on. As we were changing the tube we booked into the Warburton Pub. This required a trip down the Acheron Way. I have not been on that road for a very long time, and never on a bike. It is a good road to do!
The night at the Warburton Pub was not one of the best. It is pretty run down. Meals were average at best.
We geared up and left after 8:00 AM Monday and headed to breakfast. Stu300 departed the group. I believe we went via Gembrook, Bunyip State Park and Neerim. Not sure of the order that occurred. It was not areas I am familiar with. Somewhere in the Neerim area Pepperjack hit something and badly dented his front rim. It soon went flat. That wheel has a radial tyre, so a can of foam sealant was tried to seal it up. after a few km and another pump up, it was decided that was a fail. We stopped and put a tube in. All good and then back on the road. We fuelled up at Labertouche and had a bite to eat and considered where to go next. DaveD and Keyfinance headed back home from there. Pepperjack and I went to Warragul to get another tube, just in case. We then rode the length of the Grand Ridge Road, down Tarra Valley Road and on to Port Albert. We stayed at Yarram.
Tuesday we went back a sort of similar way to the preceding day. We just took different roads. Mainly via Albert River Road, Budgeree Road and into Boolarra. From there to lunch at Mirboo North. Did a little detour there, because I know the area, then along the Strezlecki Hwy to Leongatha, on to Korumburra, then into the twisties again, coming out on the Princes Hwy at Drouin. I was home by about 3:00 PM.
All up 1320 KM and 21.22 hours of motor time.
Thanks to Ian (Pepperjack) for organising this. I doubt people realise how much goes into planning and a having back up plans for bad weather. Also thanks to all who came and made it a memorable ride.