Following the Monthly meeting Marcus, Hans, Jim, Stig & Ross set of for the Monthly ride. As Stig was hung over we all met him at Tooradin
after he picked up his bike from home. It was then onto the Poowong pub via Lang Lang & Nyora. A few other bikes were present and the huge Stockmans Parma seemed to be the winner. After a leisurely lunch we decided not to hang around for the music jam
& so we bode farewell to Jim who was heading back to Wonthaggi via Loch & the hills. The rest of headed to Drouin which was a nice ride. There we had a coffee but no cake (See reference to Stockmans Parma above). We also purchased some
pink wristbands in support of a local (Helen) who is fighting Breast Cancer. After a bit of a look at the new memorial park ( the local said the last paver was laid 5 minutes before the start of the ANZAC dawn service) we departed. Hans left for Pakenham to
visit family. Marcus Stig & Ross spent some time navigating after ridiculous sign posts to find the back road to Longwarry. Between there & Koo-we-rup Marcus's speedo gave up the ghost, which was probably just as well. After around 180k we
returned for a coffee at Stigs place before heading home
Bob Hannon Run.
Despite it being a little chilly and slightly breezy, a few Crabarians set out for the “Bob Hannon - Forever Smiling Run”. Bob has been diagnosed
with an aggressive form of cancer and sadly this may be Bob’s last ride. Simon, Stig, Jim, Marcus and Berni met up at Longwarry. About 41 bikes and trikes set out for the run via Drouin, Lang Lang, Poowong and on to Coal Creek-Korumburra for lunch. As
it often happens, the tougher the conditions, the more fun is had. This was the case today as the dedicated riders banded together to give Bob a great last ride. From Coal Creek, the Crabarians made their way to a favourite bakery in Garfield and then home.
A great time was had by all thus proving the theory that it doesn’t have to be a “Queensland” day to have a good time. Thanks to the ride organisers, Coal Creek Cafe for making us feel welcome and the Hannon family for the huge chocolate
August Meeting Lunch Run.
After the August General a few dedicated riders headed south to the Rye Hotel for a "counterie". The food in the Sails Bar is alway well priced and scrumptious. From there they headed up to the Mornington
Brewery for a ale and the back to Stigs for a coffee. A good time was had by all.
The Wrong Way Round
It was a bleak and cold Melbourne that Stig and Simon left to go north and to chase the sun. The
sky was grey and rain threatening but we set off undeterred by such trivla matters
We followed the Western Highway and turned north to head through Daylesford and then to lunch in Castlemaine (which appeared to be closed n a Monday). We arrived
in Swan Hill and managed to set up our tents before dark. We then dug around in our tents for our passports so we could cross the Murray on a bridge that raised up to get to a pub with great pizza. Unfortunately the quality of the pizza was inversely proportionate
to the quality of the service and atmosphere of the establishment.
Our first night under canvas went well and the next day was a gentle run to Mildura where Simon learnt that when overtaking trucks to leave plenty of room as they will suck you
in. Once in Mildura we set up camp, found a bottleshop and settled in to endure the most annoying on and off humid rain that one could imagine. After a reasonable pub meal we retired only to be woken up at midnight by yelling and swearing as some locals tried
to break into someone's car.
Our third day saw us heading down the Silver City Highway to Silverton that included a 300km stretch with only one place to refuel and grab a coffee. Thankfully it was a good coffee. This appeared to be a speed limits
do not really apply zone but the pair of us being law abiding citizens stuck at 110kmh the whole way. Broken Hill was fairly bleak so we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to our digs in Mad Max 2 country in Silverton after travelling over the 39 dips in the
road. Silverton was a ghost town full of historic buildings and cows wandering the streets. The Silverton Hotel was what happens when an iconic venue tries too hard and just looks trashy. The staff were all backpackers with poor communication skills and the
food was either microwaved or deep fried. But the beer garden was nice and we had both developed a taste for West End.
The fourth day we made our way to Peterborough after stopping in Yunta for lunch. This day saw road-trains overtaken
and saw us leave the outback behind. We avoided the fruit inspector in South Australia who had the common sense to to stop two motorcycles. We visited the Peterborough Motorcycle Museum which had some fascinating bikes and was run by the biggest bike nut possibly
in the Southern Hemisphere. The town itself was a lovely looking country town that appeared to have the residents of Frankston deposited in it.
Day Five our destination was Gladstone SA via Port Augusta and Port Pirie. We had a lovely breakfast
in Yongala with the sun warming our legs and pleasant people around us, this was in stark contrast to Peterborough. The less said about the windy hell hole that was Port Augusta the better and Port Pirie saw us eating our lunch in a church that had been converted
into a Barnacle Bills. On to Gladstone were we spent the night sleeping in the cells of the Gladstone Gaol, this was a great experience although nothing paranormal happened. A great venue for motorcycles both singular and in large groups with a giant shed
with a stage, fire pit, kitchen, outdoor bar and lots of accommodation.
We started to head back to civilisation on Day 6. We breakfasted in Yacka at the general store that must have been run by the only two gays in the village who entertained
us with their old married couple banter. We then rode on to stay in a caravan park just outside of Adelaide in a place called 'Bolivar' and kill time until meeting up with the Blueys in their clubhouse for some beers and to see how they ran things. We were
both impressed with their set up and their hospitality as they were a great bunch of people.
The next day we headed for Mt Gambier and got completely lost leaving Adelaide but as a result of this had a wonderful ride through the Adelaide
Hills and the Barossa Valley. We stopped at Cogwebs Cafe for a really good coffee and a chat with the owner who is a wonderful lady and a bike nut. She got us to pose on our bikes for a photo and posted it on the Motorcycle Camping Facebook page with a spiel
about the CRABs. The enjoyment of the ride went downhill from there as we travelled along the coast road of The Coorong, nothing but saltbush and swampland. We arrived in Mt Gambier just before dark, set up and went to the House of Schnitzel for dinner for
some superb schnitzels.
Day 8 we rode to Ballarat in a howling gale, it was a relief to reach the caravan park and set up and wait for the storm to arrive. And arrive it did, we had to change our location in the Red Lion Hotel to avoid getting
our beers diluted. It rained throughout the night and despite Simon breaking his tent we both remained dry.
Our last day saw us heading home via Queenscliff and the ferry. This was a wet and blustery ride around Geelong to the ferry.
trip was great fun and our livers hope to recover soon. The only disappointing things were a couple of stretches of road and that many rural shops despite having expensive looking espresso machines still made a cup if coffee that tasted like warm milk or water
that had been threatened with coffee but none actually included.