The July ride to Taralga hosted 15 randoms – Klaus, Lee, Anton, Paul, Greg, Ray, Kenneth, Alan, Nas, Marcelo, Marcello, Loris, Harry, Steve & Tom.
Loris arrived on a new bike, a white Yamaha V-Star 650 with lots of shiny bits (a nice upgrade from the Laro250). We were also joined by brothers Steve and Tom (introduced by Marcello) who both rode Honda CBX1100’s. Also joining us for the first time was Harry (introduced by Greg). Harry, along with a few of us, works at the IMB and he rides a Yamaha V-Star 250.
The Illawarra riders met at KFC Albion Park but left a little late after Ray’s bike was parked in and he couldn’t wake anyone to move their cars. Marcello volunteered to be the Sweep Rider for the day and after our safety briefing we hit the road.
I thought I’d try to capture some video footage by mounting my son’s GoPro to the engine bars of the Rocket. Quite happy with the result so I have put together a little highlights package which includes our departure from Albion Park, Macquarie Pass and the run into Moss Vale. There was so much more to capture on this trip but as I gain more experience using the GoPro and editing video clips, I hope to present something in the future with a little more of everyone.
But you have to start somewhere don’t you. This video will be best enjoyed using earphones/headphones rather than through the speakers of your Phone or PC.
45 minutes later, our group of 12 arrived at Moss Vale and there waiting was Klaus and Lee. After all introductions, we headed off to the highway via Bundanoon and Penrose.
By this time the temperature had remained a constant 8 degrees, which felt like 4 degrees with the chill factor. We turned on to the highway and the weather looked ominous. From here it got cold…really cold.
Marcelo, Lee and Klaus chose not to hang back behind the 90kmh pace I was setting for the P platers. So off into the distance they went and we would catch up with them at the Big Merino in Goulburn.
By the time the rest of us arrived, we were sooooo cold it wasn’t funny. Ray, who was only donning a t-shirt under his leather jacket felt it the most. Fortunately, the Big Merino shop had jumpers and glove inners in stock and with not much change out of $200 Ray had his souvenirs. i also noticed in the video that when we left Albion Park, Marcello wasn’t wearing any gloves….wtf???
After topping up the tank to get me home from here, I popped my head into the bakery which was packed with people but I didn’t see the rest of the group. So I headed back to where all the bikes were parked and grabbed a coffee from the Servo cafe. Ray joined me with his nice warm wooly jumper. Turned out everyone was in the bakery and we met up again at the bikes and prepared to head off on our next leg to Taralga (via Crookwell).
This was the best leg of the ride. We rode at a steady pace of 100kmh and the road into Crookwell featured long winding bends rated no less than 80kmh. We passed the Pejar Dam Slipway and the Crookwell Wind Farms, both amazing in their own right.
We hit a long stretch of road and from all accounts riders opened up their machines along here, me included. There was a crosswind that didn’t allow supersonic speeds but after checked my GPS log later that night, I didn’t get much change out of $1.70.
We regrouped just outside of Crookwell and to my surprise we didn’t have to wait long. Appears that everyone liked the faster pace during this leg. At the end of town, we turned right and headed east to Taralga. Again the road was great and I kept a steady pace all the way to Taralga. We pulled up in front of the hotel and there sitting on the verandah was fellow Random Anton. He’d decided to join us at the last minute but came in across country from Marulan and arrived only 5-10 minutes before the rest of the group.
The Taralga Hotel was very welcoming and open fireplaces thawed us out quickly. Now with a group of 15, we ventured into the dining room with its own fireplace and tucked into a hearty lunch. Those who chose the pizzas couldn’t eat more than half, me included. They were massive and good value at $15 and the beer was cold too, just like the rest of us.
After lunch, we headed outside and a quick time check saw us 45mins behind schedule. So I decided to cancel the Tarago leg and we headed back to Goulburn for a final fuel stop before heading back up to Moss Vale. Lee, Klaus and Anton said their goodbyes at Goulburn whilst the rest of us retraced our ride back through Bundanoon to Moss Vale and a final stop at the Robbo Pie Shop.
At the turn-off to Bundanoon, I could see it caught a few off guard and there were bikes dodging and swerving everywhere to get into the right lane to the merge. Anyway everyone managed to stay upright and together at this point.
Last stop – Robbo Pie Shop. Final goodbyes and we set off down the pass where we were met by those blasted traffic lights again. Marcelo and Greg took advantage and overtook the waiting cars whilst myself, Kenny, Harry, Ray, Loris and Marcello waited in the line. Behind us somewhere, Allan and Nas made a U-turn and headed down via Jamberoo. A smart move in the end.
Everyone made it home safe and sound after a big day in the saddle. I recalculated the trip distance using Woonona as a start and end point and was in disbelief when it returned 454kms. That was a big day and I’m glad we removed the Tarago and Bungonia leg.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the ride. we saw some beautiful country and enjoyed some good times and laughs amongst great company. Thanks to all the usuals who made Harry, Tom and Steve feel welcomed. I hope to see them join us again sometime.
Big thanks to Marcello for acting as the sweep rider. Our group riding guidelines set at the beginning of the day worked well in my opinion. We’ll leave Bungonia for another day and I’ll be mindful of the distance for future rides to not exceed 400kms where possible.
Klaus has agreed to put together an itinerary for later in the year for an overnight ride. We’ll try to give you as much notice as possible but look to book sometime in November for this. If there are any dates in Nov that do not work for you and you’d really like to participate in an overnight ride, please let me know and we’ll do our best to work with you.
Would love to get your feedback on the ride, so please share by commenting below.