Simpson via Lavers Hill����� ������������������ Sunday 17th March 2011



Tony Stegmar

Honda CBR1000

Scott Carsons (1st ride)

Kawasaki ZX14

Ben Warden

Honda CBR954

Cliff Peters (lead)

Kawasaki ZX10

Pina Garasi

Honda CBR600

Andrew Hill (1st ride)

Buell XB12R

Rita Brucella (1st ride)

Honda CBR600

Dave Mann (4th ride)

Yamaha FZ1

Willem Vandeveld (1/2 rear)

Honda ST1300

Geoff Jones (1/2 rear)

Yamaha R1

Mark Copeland

Honda VTR1000

Chris Pointon

Suzuki GSXR1000

Harry & Harrison Buckle

Triumph 1050

Bill Simpson

Suzuki GSXR1000





I joined the ride at Moriac courtesy of Ben leading a group of six from Melbourne, saving me a run down the Geelong road to Melbourne and back.


The ride followed the usual Freeway route to Little River and Lara before skirting around the back of Geelong, Lovely Banks, Batesford, Stonehaven, and across the Princes Highway to Moriac.Marc and Billy were at Moriac, though Billy was only wearing shorts and T-shirt.Something about rain was mentioned earlier when I texted him about coming along.Harry Buckle and son Harrison on the back were here along with some friends Andrew, Rita and Scott.


Morning tea dispensed with, we set off for Apollo Bay via Deans Marsh, Barwon Downs and Forrest.At Deans Marsh, Rita (CBR600) and Scott (ZX 1400) left us. Ben said Rita was complaining of a sore back.They went on to Lorne. We continued on to Barwon Downs and Forrest, the road continually changing from wet to dry.There had been a shower or two overnight. Now it was overcast but dry with sunshine forecast for the afternoon. The road always seem to be wet from Forrest to almost Apollo Bay.


We head through the rain Forrest section.Thankfully, the road surface is quite grippy, even when wet.Mind you, I was riding steadily. The others must have been going slowly as no one was looking to overtake me.I was expecting to see Ben give me the hurry up from behind, him being the wet road expert, but no one was in sight.


I corner mark at the Ocean Road turn and wait for some followers to arrive.Then we continue on to fuel at Apollo Bay and have a short spell. Chris, Andrew and our rear rider, Willem leave us here. Geoff takes over rear rider duties. Thanks mate.All fuelled up, we head for Lavers Hill and lunch, 48 kms away.


Ben and my theory about the police being busy in Melbourne for the dayattending to the Grand Prix crowds may be right, as I haven�t seen any so far.We have a good run through to Lavers Hill. This section is a very enjoyable ride with mostly drying, flowing road.


Lavers Hill and lunch. I�ve brought mine. I�m hearing complaints about the prices � ten bucks for a pie and coffee � yep sounds a bit steep.Petrol, by the way, is $1.59 c/l with only unleaded available.There used to be a servo up the road but it shut a couple of years ago. So no competition now.Pay or walk!


The �sea gulls� are hovering over the parsley side salad of Dave�s pie i.e. Ben, Pina and me. (squawk, squawk) Yum!Dave is keeping us amused by telling us what he has bought off eBay � an eighty-six grand helicopter � without his wife�s knowledge. When she found out and calmed down, she queried �What are you going to do with that? You don�t even have a license to fly it!So he resold it for a twenty five thousand dollar profit. Not bad!Now he had just bought a classic car on eBay.


Dave leaves us here.We are down to six riders out of the original 12 starters.We head for Simpson and the final fuel stop, enough to get us through to the break up point at Lara (245km) away. Yuulong to Lower Gellibrand is the best section.It�s mostly been resurfaced and is smooth as.Nice twisties, mostly downhill to the river on a good road.On to the Princetown twisties, a four kilometre stretch of windy road to the Simpson turnoff.But no fun today as there is way too much traffic � cars, vans, trucks and caravans in a convoy.It�s the most traffic I have seen all day, and all in the wrong spot. Bugger!


Ben and I corner mark at the Simpson turnoff. Marc pulls up. Then I see a Fireblade coming towards us.It�s Tony.I heard someone say, �I wondered who that mad......was!�He went through that twisty section so fast it�s now straight.What traffic?


A couple of kays further on I see a bike go past in the opposite direction.I recognise the helmet. Billy�s had a change of heart and caught us from the front. Way to go, Bill.


We stop at the Simpson Goodfellows supermarket where they have a single old style petrol pump. No you don�t have to swing the handle back and forth, but you have to swing the lever across and reset the clock.Not many of these left nowadays.The lady notes down our dollar amounts on a note pad. We�re pumped and paid quick smart.


Ben�s out with the camera. Happy snap time. We gather around the pump. I hope it makes the magazine front cover. So, can we see the pump?


We are about ready to go.Where�s Bill? Pina goes looking inside the store. Out they come.Bill�s eating something from a tin can which looks and smells like cat food. It must be off. Yuck. J


We take the road to Carlisle River, crossing the Gellibrand River again.Then there�s 1.5 kms of gravel. The twenty or so cats outside the dairy at the end of the gravel scattered in all directions as I rode past.


We stopped at the Shoe Tree for a short break.What makes people want to nail boots and shoes to a tree?There is even a clothes basket, maybe twenty feet up, along with shoes, boots, moccasins and thongs.Tony reckons we should do our own tree, maybe a helmet tree. I have three I can donate.Did anyone see that wallaby back there?It was still sitting there after I went past, totally unfazed.


Everyone seems to be enjoying the ride and the day judging by the smiles all round.We continue on to Deans Marsh for afternoon tea where Harry and Harrison leave us. It looked like Harrison enjoyed being pillioned around the countryside.


The sun breaks through for the first time today and its very pleasant sitting outside the coffee shop with Bill and Geoff telling tall, or maybe not so tall, stories to the rest of us.How much truth is being talked I�m not sure, but it�s certainly hilarious. We�re in stitches J


At this point there is around 80km to go to reach the Lara breakup via this morning�s route.So we head back to Moriac and Lara, with Tony taking a more direct route onto the ring road to Melbourne. The locals (Bill, Marc, Mark) dropped off along the way to Lara.


Cheers, guys and girls. Thanks for joining me for today�s ride.See you all next time. Thanks Willem and Geoff for rear rider duties and thanks to Ben for leading to Moriac.No incidents.14 bikes, 15 people and 505 kilomtres from Westgate Shell to Lara.



Cliff Peters