Well, I kinda got that wrong. The Windy Harbour ride is yet to come, later in the year. This weekend’s event was a ride to Rocky Gully, where there was quite a gathering of bikers, nearly all Harley Riders, as a fundraising for leukaemia. a very worthwhile cause.
On Friday night we gathered at Roy and Sue’s place, where we had a barbecue and a drink or two and a yarn until fairly late. There was a bit of drama due to one rider breaking down on the way, and having to be collected. He arrived with his bike on the back of a ute, sparking a few comments about the similarities between Harleys and Dogs: They both like to come home from a run in the back of a truck. A second rider arrived with no front brakes due to a leaky master cylinder. So next morning there was a flurry of repair work. Departure delayed. Eventually Roy came to me and said that some folk were setting off now, and I could choose to go with them, or remain until the repairs were done and ride with him and the others. Once again I kinda misconstrued what was happening and told him I would ride out. It turned out only two riders; Brad and Phil (plus me) were setting out. And these two were not planning on riding over to Kojonup to meet up with the rest of the bunch but had chosen a different route via the wineries. So I blew the chance to ride in a big group of bikes. Next time.
It was a good ride nonetheless, over familiar roads until west of Mount Barker. Previously I had ridden out along Muirs Highway for a short way then turned south to Denmark. I had also ridden the other end of it from Cup Road to Manjimup. Now I rode to Rocky Gully, a small, shrinking settlement with a pub, a store and a few houses still occupied.
There’s still a bit of Muir’s highway left to explore, and a lot of interesting side roads in the area, so I will be back. But I digress.
We tried counting and estimating the number of bikes present and got lost around 80 or so. However many there were, all but seven that I saw were Harleys of some sort. Apart from my own VStar, there was a Kawasaki, another Kawasaki Vulcan, a Ducati, a couple of old Triumphs and a Moto Guzzi. I shall clean up the best of the photos and post them later. Nearly everyone was talking Harley, a language foreign to me. I am no expert. I shall have to look into the meaning of such terms as pan head, shovel, soft tail, and so on. All jargon to me. I did spot one bike , that if I were to convert, would be my pick. Not too gaudy, matt black and minimal chrome, she took my eye immediately. Apparently a panhead whatever that means, and I thought it was an Electra Glide. No doubt someone will correct me if I am wrong. One thing is for sure, this bike has an incredible sound system. Another of them (Bright green) was being used as a stereo over behind the pub. It played loud and undistorted music. An expensive stereo.
Beautiful bike, minimal chrome, maximum black.
Saturday night was quite a buzz for one who does not get out much. A rowdy, and for the most part good-natured bunch of bikers is quite an interesting crowd to watch.
The band was very good too. More about them later.
I pulled out my camera and started shooting, first bikes, then people. I noticed some folk were a little reticent, and respecting their privacy , did not photograph them. I desisted whenever caught a scowl and started giving an enquiring look before raising the camera. Eventually a small delegation came over to me. “Are you with a magazine?” A suspicious look. “Or are you a narc?”
“No I am just a biker like you, with a camera. Amateur only”.
“It’s OK! He’s amateur! Are you gonna put those on Facebook?”
” Yeah, why not? If nobody minds”.
“OK, heres my card. Send me a link. Can I buy you a drink?”
“Sure, Carlton Dry thanks” (I had already established there was no Carlton Black).
A couple of others also bought me a drink, suddenly friendly. I ended up drinking more beer that night than I usually do in a month. I was all the same still sober at bedtime, and probably the only one who was. I slept soundly in my swag with snoring competition all around me.
There were a lot of hangovers around me in the morning. No one was in a hurry to get moving. No one seemed to have a plan of what was next. I was beginning to feel a pang of conscience because I had remembered that my Dad would be flying home Monday night. I really should get up to see him before he went. I explained to Roy that i thought I should head to Perth. As it happened Phil was going back to Waroona. We elected to ride together again. Brad had already set off. It seems that Brad, Phil and I were the newbies to the group.
That was a really good ride that day. The back roads we rode were curvy and virtually traffic free. The weather was perfect. We stopped for an excellent fish and chip lunch accompanied by a lemon, lime and bitters at the pub at Quindanning. I spotted a whole bunch more roads to explore later.
I rode with Phil as far as Dwellingup, where he turned off to go back down the forest road to home, and I carried on to Forrestfield via Serpentine and Byford.
Bloody Fantastic day’s ride!
As it happened the whole family, Dad, sister Brother in law, nieces and their partners and offspring were going out for a Chinese meal. after a shower and change I was ready to join them. I got hold of my wee great niece Kharly and hung on to her until the main courses arrived and the risk of hot dripping sweet and sour sauce on her little head made it sensible to pop her into her perambulator.
A good night’s sleep on Sue’s new sofa bed in the other spare room. Dad was in the bed I usually sleep in there. .
The home trip was punctuated by a stop for my favourite fast food; an Angus burger with Mushroom and Swiss cheese from Hungry Jack’s (Burger King – it is a long story) and a visit to the Armadale Reptile Park that I last visited around five or six years ago.
Riding alone has its own advantages. I set the pace, I stop when I need to, and I get home in my own time. It was a long hot day with the temperatures soaring again. I was straight under a cold shower as soon as I got home.
It is time to put that new tyre I bought onto the front wheel of the Silver Lady. The front tyre is now as worn as the back one was when I returned from the Trip with Dave. I shall ring Pep tomorrow about it.
The total weekend ride over three days was around 900 Km or 560 miles.
Day one Katanning to Rocky Gully via Margaret River and Plantagenet Winery. Day two Rocky Gully to Forrestfield via the back roads. Day three home via Armadale, Dwellingup, Williams and Wagin.