Sunday, June 15, 2014

Through green fields to Maldon

I rode today with fellow members of the Royal Enfield Club of Australia (RECOA).  Greg and Kelly on Greg's 1975 Norton Commando.  Francis on his 1954 AJS twin, and...Francis' wife Norma at the rear in a 1950s MG.

It was a lot of fun.  We took the Burke and Wills Track north of Lancefield and wound our way through Golden Point to lunch in Maldon.  It was overcast and rained at moments, but the wintry weather suited our machines and relaxed pace of about 80kph.  There is something magical about travelling in a train of mostly old British vehicles.  It being June and there being moments of sun, the paddocks absolutely glowed with the gentle greens that are so special to me and particular to this time of year.

We had intended to stop for a photo shoot at the aviation memorial at Mia Mia however, a few hundred meters before the memorial, Greg's Norton died.  The culprit appeared to be the charging system, and so a drained battery. It didn't take too long to get the bike going again but we decided to ride without stops to Maldon.  At Maldon we sat in the sunshine at a cafe and fielded constant questions from passers-by about the bikes.  One of the people mentioned that he has a Royal Enfield and it turned out that he is a fellow club member.

Here are the bikes in Maldon.  Note the requisite oil leak.

Here is the MG.

And here is Francis heading off.

Greg, Kelly and I decided to head home via a southern route as they live in Melton.  Riding through Hepburn Springs, they suddenly disappeared, and when I circled back I found Greg pushing the tall, heavy thing up a steep narrow part of the road, to get it onto a clearing.

The bike had died again, and this time it would not start.  When this became clear it was decided best to leave the bike in front of a cafe, with Kelly ensconced inside, and I took Greg on the back of my W to Melton, about 60km away, so he could return with his trailer.

It would not be a RECOA ride without a breakdown.  This is my second such ride in a month, both of which I have organised, and I will continue to arrange such rides.  Not only are the people I meet very pleasant to ride and eat with, but the bikes and the pace through wintry grey, or soft gold and green, is absolutely soul-refreshing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Coming in to land

Here's Peter, whom you've met here, coming in to land.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Redesdale for kicks

Em likes to ride my bikes:

A fortnight ago she legitimated this new hobby by gaining her motorcycle learner's license.  See her blog.  And here she is taking her first ride on the road:

We went for a semi-sunny ride on Saturday, out to Redesdale via the Burke and Wills Track.  Such a wonderful road.  It was mostly empty.  We stopped at the usual monument near Mia Mia.

And then rode on to Redesdale.  Beyond the junction where I always turn north (only once in all these years have I gone straight through Redesdale) is a service station.  Because I never venture the distance I do not know how long it has been there, but it sells food and coffee.  It's so much fun when riding to come across such little places.  We were able to sit in the window drinking coffee and looking out over the fields.  On the buildings there were murals.

On the return journey we travelled for twenty kilometers down a beautiful farm road - a personal favourite - which is not on the map.  The sky ahead was a polyphony of soft hues - pink, blue - and the fields were scattered with ancient boulders and details that insisted on themselves: mossy creeks, weeping willows.  Great gums tortured the sky and masses of white cockatoos arched ahead.  We rode at 30kph and chatted.  Back on the sealed road, after dodging some large kangaroos, we rode slowly through the dusk and on to dinner at a Lancefield pub.  Motorcycling is truly soul-refreshing.