Author Topic: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....  (Read 6574 times)

Offline Diesel

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Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« on: May 01, 2012, 02:35:26 PM »
Might as well pour yourself a Cab-Shiraz for this one as soooo much happened to our group during this adventure, even just point form would take up a fair bit of space....

The dream of holding a National get-together for Honda ST Owners started a long time ago. What helped this come to fruition was a lot of hard work in lobbying companies, organisations and businesses to help out with the cost from a sponsorship point of view, accosting many cross-sections of media to help get the promotional machine running, many hours of ‘elbow grease’ in planning activities, locations to visit and tour through, finding and communicating with establishments that could handle our numbers for catering and accommodation, and of course, organising nearly forty Members to register, plan and travel to the final destination from all over this great country.

You wouldn’t know the trials and tribulations that went on behind the scenes, as the final product (from all reports) went off seamlessly and without any hitches, and a good time (as they say) was had by all.

My adventure began with the usual excitement and anticipation that leads up to every distance ride. An oil /oil filter change, diff oil change and fuel additive I’m testing out, were all part of the lead-up.

This trip had the added pressure of all the above arrangements falling into place too.

I came up with a really great looking ride route (after a few versions) and made sure that I could drop in a see a few friends enroute whilst the opportunity was there.

A 4.00am start on Thursday saw me riding out the garage door into the great wild yonder.

Basically, the fun starts as soon as I get out my driveway as it is only a few streets to some nice Sunshine Coast Hinterland roads. Today’s run meant heading out the back way through Villeneuve, Kilcoy, Esk, and on to Gatton. From here a magic little forest ride along the Gatton-Clifton road will see you pop out on the plains just north of Allora and Warwick - where you can get sunrise snaps like this...



Temps went from 12* when I left home, and dropped to 5* as they do around sunrise, and then picked up a little again to 9*. A nice little ride in to Warwick and a stop for a ham/cheese toastie and coffee at a drive-through Zarraffa’s (that’s right - drive-through! - I sat inside though).

From Warwick, I headed south through Silverwood, Cottonvale, Applethorpe, Stanny. - Aaah the granite belt....



Saw this fella near Cottonvale....


Plenty of these wonderful decidu....desydyou.... yellow trees due to Autumn through this area too...



Pic of author.... LOVIN IT!....



I was to follow the New England Hwy over the border through Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Armidale and Uralla, then veer onto Thunderbolts Way for a fantastic run through Walcha, and down to Gloucester for lunch. There is some mighty BIG country out this way - and very picturesque winding through mountains and valleys too.



Anyways - kept heading south past Newcastle to stay with my very good, long time friends H, Shannen, Sarah and Pat on the NSW Central Coast. A great Italian wood fired pizza dinner outing and great company for the night - thanks guys. 976kms for the day and a head full of great sights and experiences to boot.

Next morning, after goodbyes were said, I set out for Blackheath - but via the Hunter Valley vineyards, Putty Road, and Bells Line of Road - Yeah I know - poor me!

Well anyways - this is what it looks like....



The Putty Road - WOW! A must do - but you all probably knew that...



A beautiful ride in the early morning through this region. Stopped at the Grey Gums Cafe (half way along) on the advice of my mate Pete and had a great B&E Brekky....



Then a right hand turn towards Windsor put me on the East Kurrajong Road and Bells Line.... Another WOW! Stopped at this old (1907) Community Hall for a Navi check and looked around the back to see this!...



Bells Line of Road...



Finally got to the blackheath Caravan Park around noon where Streak and Teela were just booking in as well.

More ST Owners Club Members started arriving at the van park soon after, settled in to their respective ‘digs’ and made their way back to an impromptu meet ‘n’ greet and welcome gathering in the vicinity of the main part of the park. It was great to re-acquaint ourselves with old and new friends, meet folks we had only previously met online and not in person, and generally sit around telling of our adventures in getting there.

John from around Orange NSW rocked up in this Classic JRZ 3 wheeled, ST1100 engined ‘motorcycle’...



Some general OzSTOC National Rally pics.....



An ‘entertaining’ night was had by all at the local Ivanhoe Hotel where refreshments were laid on (an eventually dinner). Later that evening, I was just heading out the door as I saw some members jump into a cab for the trip home. “You bewdy! I don’t have to walk!” As I’d just finished paying for the obligatory ‘roadie’ and tuned to see the cab lights disappear down the road. - DOH! After having a few ‘refreshments’, I thought what seemed like a nice little stroll back would probably do me good. I think I must have walked further that Leichardt by the time I wobbled into the van park. Lucky me - there was a party going on in cabin 5 - so I crashed it. A group of 7 of us ‘stayers’ raved on half the night and enjoyed some lovely (read cheap) port from a flagon that John brought with him - (that reminds me to delete his membership shortly). Whilst partaking and fellowshipping, I didn’t realise that I had turned on the stove’s grilling element that I was leaning on. Oh, I realised pretty quickly what I’d done.... YEEEOOOOWWWW! - Burn’t my bum! Those little studs that jeans have left pock mark brandings all over the nether regions! That’ll teach me!

Wasn’t much sympathy from supposed ‘friends’ at this point - although there were a few teary eyes!

That meant bed time.

We organised the Blackheath Rotary club to come and cook everyone’s brekky for a donation from us to them for the community and what a brekky it was! Well done Rotarians...



I organised a posse to accompany me down to echo point at Katoomba for a look-see. Another WOW! moment...



Another activity we had planned was a group ride around the region encompassing Oberon, Tarana, Mt Victoria and Lithgow areas. In what was the largest gathering of STs in Australian History, the line of bikes went back for over a kilometre! We were quite a sight riding through the peaceful boroughs of Blackheath and Oberon. You can see the bikes still coming over the hill in this shot....



Here we all are at the lunch stop at the Tarana Pub...



Thanks to Peter (blueheeler55) for doing the recce for us and organising such a fantastic outing! Many comments were heard about how professional and skillful the riding levels were and what a pleasant and enjoyable sojourn it was. I must say the comments heard over the uhf radio were ‘entertaining’ and enjoyable too - oh - and somewhat informative at times!

Another photo op at the end of the day to thank our sponsors for their help and input...



That evening was the official dinner/speeches/awards/trophies presentation.

There were trophies for: Best Presented ST; Most Farkled; Furthest Distance Travelled to Nat Rally; OzSTOC Member of the Year; and Funniest Moment. The winners were all most deserving except the Funniest Moment trophy - they decided to give that to ME for the bum burning episode in cabin 5! Bar Stewards! Mitch came over from Perth to easily clean up the distance award - 3,900kms each way I believe. What some blokes will do for a beer and pub feed! Great job Mitch.  I had the pleasure of thanking all the people responsible for their help in organising things, thanked the pillions who also made the weekend a heap more special, and to announce next year’s National Rally location - Victor Harbor.

A really nice night spent going from table to table laughing and talking with folks was had.

I think the kitchen went into melt down when Teela and Streak brought out this most delectable mudcake slice each for desert - 35 pairs of eyes widened - looking at the cake, drooling started everywhere, then a stampede to the ordering window so as not to be the one who misses out happened. I think everyone survived!

Next morning - another fine brekky from the Rotarians, and people started to pack and say their goodbyes. Great friendships were formed and re-inforced this weekend. It left everyone wanting more - but most of us had a nice ride home planned too so there was a bonus in this respect. For me - it was head out tothe famous Mt Panorama Racing Circuit for a lap or two, then up the back way to home. Some guys stopped in there on the way down and got great shots which will be posted up.



I was joined by long time friend Growly and new friend Mitch for this little outing.

The three of us parted ways in Bathurst as I was heading north, Mitch back west, and Growly south to Canberra. I had a most fantastic ride through the Wollemi Nat Park and recommend this to anyone - I did the Bylong Valley Way. I have been invited by FarRider TonyK to stop over at his house if I’m ever on the way through, but never had the opportunity before, so I made sure my plan included that, this time. We agreed to meet at the Big Golden Geetar in Tammy, and ride back to Barraba. I was most pleasantly surprised to see Gateman tagging along and we had a great coffee and chat before heading back to Barraba as a trio.



We stopped half way at Manilla for a pub tea. What a nice ride out there in the setting sun - OK - roo time - be extra vigilant. I had two of the best riding point for me on unfamiliar roads. We agreed to not worry about our high beams and use them as if the other guy wasn’t there - as you know, FarRiders tend to pack a punch when it comes to lighting up the roads, and I reckon you could have seen the three of us from space when we all lit up! Only saw one ‘Jack’ on the way. We pulled up and said farewell to Gatey and headed out. Thanks for a great evening mate - most entertaining.

Tony and I rode out of town another 5ks and pulled up at a dirt road. (I thought he lived in a little cottage in town - HA! - wait til you hear this!).  We’re stopped at this dirt road and he says to me....
“You might want to give plenty of room here so you can see through the dust - Oh - and when you hit the water crossings - don’t touch the brakes as it’s real slimey and you’ll slip - and then just avoid the the cow sh#t and you should be right.”  WHAAAAAT? You see, Tony’ driveway is 10KM LONG! He lives on 2,600 acres of cattle country. He forgot to mention “avoid the cattle, and watch the cattle grids”. Boy - what an experience!

I was down to (calf’s) walking pace for 200 metres at a time.....



...and there were heifers and cows laying next to the road that weren’t apparent until you were almost on top of them and heard their bellowing. All the while Tony was getting FarTher ahead until I crested one of the many knolls to see.... nuffin! Not a zack! He was gone. I followed the road which forked a few times and eventually had to stop and turn the motor off and look and listen. I couldn’t believe I couldn’t hear or see a 1300cc FJR Motorcycle with 11 million watts of lights out there in this tranquil, dark, lonley valley.

A few moments passed, then I eventually saw a glow from over the horizon getting brighter, and engine noise becoming apparent. I quickly grabbed my little LED torch and waved it profusely! Tony saw me and came to my rescue. Probably laughing hysterically all the way!

Turns out I was right out front of Danny and Bec’s place - two other great FarRiders - so that was my tyre marks Danny - sorry bout that - blame Tony!

Anyway - another great night was had, and I got shown around Tony and Laura’s farm, and treated to a great show of horse control - sans bridle or any head gear from Tony and his horse Chester (pictured with Paddy). Thanks for your hospitality mate.



Left in the morning to traverse the driveway in the daylight this time.



This is what some of it looked like...



Anyways … (nearly there...) Left for some great roads on the way home through Warialda, Yetman, Texas, Inglewood, Toowoomba, Ravensbourne National Park - then home to Caboolture.

Got a flat just after Warialda as the tyre was getting really tired now - 23,000kms.



I skirted in and around showers but never really got hammered.

Here is a cotton field heading in towards Toowoomba...



And here is one of the last shots I took, because it looked nice....



Thanks to all for putting up with me this weekend, and I’d like to thank all the Rally attendees and associated businesses who helped make all this possible.

Thanks for sharing my ride.

Cheers, Diesel


EDIT: - Should have added that you can see some footage on our Youtube Channel of the Rally here...
http://www.youtube.com/user/OzSTOC?ob=0&feature=results_main

And here is 'Stella' getting a well deserved steam bath and wax after never complaining once...



Cheers
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 08:40:39 PM by Diesel »
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Online Brock

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 03:14:55 PM »
Nice write up n pics.

No wonder you got a flat, some bastard left an industrial cork screw lying around!!!!!!!!!
 :nahnah :nahnah
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Offline Marcus

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 03:21:33 PM »
Awesome ride report
 

Online StinkyPete

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 04:20:14 PM »
Great report Diesel.   Can't wait for the next gathering.
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Offline saaz

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 05:48:17 PM »
You left out the bit about burning your arse twice..

23,000 out of a rear..you must push the bike alot as the best I have so far out of the ST11 is 15000kms
John
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Online Mitch

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 05:56:03 PM »
 Great write up Diesel, hope to see you again next year.  :beer  :grin
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Offline Biggles

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 06:49:05 PM »
What a saga!  Most of us had boring bitumin all the way.  It's a wonder your missus lets you out, the way you carry on!   :grin
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Offline Diesel

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 10:34:06 AM »
Thanks guys - I'd also like to make special mention of Tassie Kev of www.ozmugs.com.au and fantastic OzSTOC supporter who trekked up from Tassie to the 'important' island with a bag full of special OzSTOC 1st National Rally 'Commemorative' coffee mugs.         :hatwave

This was all done off Kev's own back and the mugs he handed out to all attendees at the official dinner looked sensational!        :thumb

Thanks a heap mate - I saw the faces of the recipients and that said everything. Mine has pride of place in the..... errr.... coffee mug cupboard, and gets used quite regularly.

Cheers, Diesel
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Offline Dan

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 01:15:06 PM »
Hey Diesel, how do you mean "head up to Mt Panama Circuit for a couple of laps" - can you just turn up and ride around the track?  (Assuming nothing is on).  If so, how much does that cost?
 

Online Mitch

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2012, 01:19:54 PM »
Hi Des
         Free to go around if you keep under 60kph, gets more expensive the higher your speed over 60kph.  :grin :grin :grin
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Offline Dan

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 01:26:00 PM »
Hi Des
         Free to go around if you keep under 60kph, gets more expensive the higher your speed over 60kph.  :grin :grin :grin
                                           :blk13

Really?  I've never heard of that before.  Do any other circuits do this?  I'm not a massive track day fan or anything, but it'd be good fun to try some out. 

I can't imagine getting many free laps in though....
 

Online Mitch

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 01:38:51 PM »
 Des.
        Mt Panaroma is a public road with a 60kph speed limit except when used for race meetings. :thumb
  The :cop tend to like patrolling it heavily.  :law  :grin
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Offline Marcus

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 03:19:07 PM »
So you CAN pressure wash them...someone told me it was a big no no


Really?  I've never heard of that before.  Do any other circuits do this?  I'm not a massive track day fan or anything, but it'd be good fun to try some out. 

WARNING - It's NOT a one way road, as we discovered on the first bend heading up the hill
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 03:21:10 PM by Marcus »
 

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 03:21:34 PM »
Really?  I've never heard of that before.  Do any other circuits do this?  I'm not a massive track day fan or anything, but it'd be good fun to try some out. 

WARNING - It's NOT a one way, as we discovered on the first bend heading up the hill

Tell me about it.
I was crankin it in a crnr at the top and just about became a hood ornament on a council truck. :fp :whistle >:()

Thank goodness for a bit of extra training.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 03:36:31 PM »
Ah right I see, I thought it was a race track.  Now I understand....

There is a similar one that I know of in the UK, Oliver's Mount in Scarborough.  It's really small but I guess the idea is the same, it's a road unless there is an event on.

I thought it was strange to just be able to turn up to a track and ride around it!  :fp
 

Offline saaz

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 03:58:49 PM »
So you CAN pressure wash them...someone told me it was a big no no


Really?  I've never heard of that before.  Do any other circuits do this?  I'm not a massive track day fan or anything, but it'd be good fun to try some out. 

WARNING - It's NOT a one way road, as we discovered on the first bend heading up the hill

You can put some suds on and give the bike a clean, but stay clear of the electrical areas, wheel bearings and brakes. Aim for bodywork only, and even then be careful as you don't want your switchgear/ignition switch cleaned under pressure.
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Offline Marcus

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 04:14:17 PM »
So that's a no then :p
 

Offline Greencan

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 10:20:28 PM »
Great write and pics Mate...well done! :thumbsup
...and Soooo pleased that there was some one else younger that then the rest of us in that cabin that was prepared to stay up and show us their 'party tricks' at midnight :beer


Quote
So you CAN pressure wash them...someone told me it was a big no no


Quote from: Des on May 03, 2012, 01:26:00 PM

    Really?  I've never heard of that before.  Do any other circuits do this?  I'm not a massive track day fan or anything, but it'd be good fun to try some out.


WARNING - It's NOT a one way road, as we discovered on the first bend heading up the hill

Yep Marcus...took a fortnight to sort out a non-starting 1300 recently after it's trip to the hi-pressure car wash...does appear that 1300's are like cats...don't like H2O thrown at em

Cheers guys, the can :)
 

Offline Shiney

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2012, 08:08:13 AM »
Great write and pics :thumb

Thanks for sharing :hatwave

Cheers
Shiney
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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2012, 12:27:08 PM »
Excellent write-up David. You could write a book about your adventures, eh!
Also, and I wasnt fully aware until now, very grateful thanks to Kev for the truly memorable (our first National meet & logo'd) coffee mugs
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Offline harieg

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 08:27:26 AM »
great story, thanx D for the experience,
and we can do it ALL again next year

cant let this one go by  I am ALWAYS thinking of you.







and NOTE
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Offline Barry and Marissa

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Re: Diesel's National Rally Ride Report with pics....
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2012, 11:01:35 PM »
Good read Diesel. Enjoyed it muchly.
Barry and Marissa :) :)

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Marissa 2011 VFR800 Red.