Dams Ride – January 3rd, 1999

Wayne Grant ZX9 (leader) Rhys Williams ZX7R Dave (1st ride) ZX7R

Allan & Shelley Triumph Trophy Ray Walker GSXR 750 Derek Atkinson FZR1000

Jack Youdan Triumph Trophy (rear) Ben Warden ZXR750 Mark Blashki GSXR600

John R & Zara BMW LT1100 Cathy Robinson CBR600 (rear) Dianne Welsford CBR600

Well this was the first ride for ‘99 and was close on the heels of the Christmas camp so I didn’t have any big expectations. At King Bridge Car Park Allen & Shelley, Rhys and Ray were waiting. Often when the second pick up is Whitlesea nobody much bothers with KBCP. However, as Rhys was the only one who rides with the Club regularly, its understandable that newer riders head for the city. The Whitlesea pickup was quite busy with most people heading straight out there.

The first dam was Yan Yean, and only just down the road, about 6 km away. The tricky bit was going to be the journey from Yan Yean to the second of the dams, Sugarloaf. Thankfully John R had lived in this area at one stage and was familiar with the roads linking the two dams. He was happy to lead this section of the ride and I was very grateful. It was just two early in the ride to be lost.

Sugarloaf, it must be said, is probably the most interesting of the dams in the sense that there is a well built and located look out post. Models have also been built to show the dam and network of linking rivers and streams. Quite a complex arrangement.

After leading the ride to Sugarloaf John and Zara went their own way as it was starting to hot up. The good thing was we were heading into the mountains ie. Black and Reefton Spurs. It should be cooler up there. It was fairly familiar ground from Sugarloaf to the Maroondah Dam via Yarra Glen and Healesville. On the journey there were a few hero Harley riders going really hard and pushing their bikes ie. doing about 80-90 km/h. Thankfully none of us were, or had any desire to be, on Harleys and thus we were able to pass them with ease while enjoying both the road and corners at the same time.

The Maroondah Dam was surprisingly busy and Healesville was no different. I have no idea what the hell so many motorists were doing around this area. Shelley thought there was a market on for the day. The Maroondah Dam requires you to walk to the look out so I quickly lost interest in all that and continued. Ben and Rhys did the touristy thing heading to the look out. I figured both would catch up pretty quickly anyway so most of the group started to head off. By this time the stomach was grumbling and the bakery in Marysville was awaiting. This section of road up to Marysville is one of the best in the state in my opinion and is just a purer indulgence.

During lunch Dave Ward, Darryn Webster, Brony Manifold, Nick Prapas and Dave Moore stopped in before heading down the Black Spur. At this point Dianne was thinking a pool to be more inviting than the Reefton Spur and left for the day. At the top of the Reefton Spur the police were pulling ALL motorcyclists over to get their licence details. I have no idea why. Perhaps it makes it easier for them to identify you later in the day for speeding, who knows.

The next stop was the Upper Yarra Dam which most of us have seen. Cathy decided she would participate no longer after riding her new CBR600 very well and confidently for the day. Great to see! I expect Cathy will be on more Club rides in the future. Derek, however could not help himself and after threatening to leave stayed on just to get the last bit of value from that rear tire of his.

The final dam, Cardinia, was reached via Woori Yallock, Cockatoo and Emerald where I made a wrong turn. The worst thing about making this wrong turn was I had no idea how to subtly get out of it without having it look like a mistake. U turns during rides only mean one thing. After reaching the dam it was nearly 4.30 pm. Allan & Shelley had to travel back to Werribee and myself to Essendon, so it was a good time to end things. Thanks to JR for leading a section of the ride where I would have struggled badly and to all those who participated with thankfully no incidents.


Wayne Grant