Yarra Ranges������������� Sunday 8th May 2011

Misho Zrakic

Honda CBR1000

John Willis (leader)

Kawasaki Z1000

Tony Stegmar

Honda CBR1000

Mark Copeland

Kawasaki ZX10

Paul Southwell

Honda CBR1000

Ken Goederee

Suzuki B-King

Ben Warden(lead)

Honda CBR954

Chris Pointon

Suzuki GSXR1000

Pina Garasi

Honda CBR600

Marc Marais

Triumph 675

Ron Johnston

Honda CB400 (rear)

Chris Antonopoulos (1st ride)

Yamaha FJ1200


Well, thinking back, it would be about twelve or so years since I last led a Club ride.�� (I�ve been living in denial. No, not the river in Egypt.) Here�s hoping that I will be leading a few more rides in future. I guess about 25 percent of the past Club members are still around from that era.

About twelve months back I looked up the Club on the jelly bean machine. As soon as I saw Mr Warden�s name I knew the Club was still in good hands and would be run in a similar way, cus if it ain� t busted, don�t fix it. Not sure about the name change; I still like the old touring club name. But what�s in a name, any road?

And so it came to pass that upon a cool, overcast Sunday morning, with the weather forecast looking fairly ordinary, I was off to Yarra Glen, five minutes down the road from Lilydale, to pick up whoever had managed to escape Mothers� Day duties, in preference for a blag on their chosen steed.Two minutes down the road and the Kwaka felt as though it had a puncture. On closer inspection I had gone the wrong way when adjusting the rear damping after taking Lou, the new female type person, for a spin during the week. A simple tweak had things feeling a lot less doughy.

Turned out there was to be twelve riders taking part in the day�s proceedings: the usual culprits and one first time rider on an FJ1200.

The roads were damp and the air cool as we headed off up the Crissy Hills Road before turning up the tight Clintons Road. As we went through St Andrews there was a camera car parked up in the opposite direction. We get at least a 50% advantage over the four wheel transportation devices, with no front number plates to get photographed. Different story for the Porsche car club we passed coming the other way. But they can afford the fines, or at least pass the points on to their Range Rover Vouge driving Mrs. But I digress.

I always enjoy the run up to Kinglake, even in the damp. Waiting at the top I was told our first time rider Chris had crashed. Seems he ran off the road on a left hand corner and ended up hitting the left embankment at a fairly slow speed. He somehow over corrected in quite an unusual accident. Pina said she would be keeping out of his way; too worrying.

Out of Kinglake to Glenburn the intrepid bunch headed. On through Toolangi and down to Healesville before we went up Don Road right till the dirt. Then back down again just for the hell of it - and the corners and lack of cars. But it wasn�t too much fun, the surface being rather slippery.

Smoko was at the Healesville Beechworth Bakery, including the huge queues for the desired fodder. Mothers Day, remember. Pina left her Honda here, knowing we would be returning later in the day.

The H2O arrived as we departed our empty coffee mugs and a thousand Mother-worshipping punters, and pointed our motorcycles in the direction of Woori Yallock, Yellingbo, Macclesfield, and Avonsleigh, all the while trying to put off the inevitable donning of the full body condom. The rain was constant and getting heavier. Finally, I could wait no longer; at Cockatoo it was time for a stop, and the wetties were duly installed. I hadn�t realised until this point, but participants had been dropping off the back, and sidling off home to their Mummies due to the damp nature of their crotches no doubt. Even Mr Warden retired back home to a warm cup of herbal tea and to watch a game of that so-called football they play with an odd shaped ball, in between thumping each other.

So the real men continued onward, well at least another 20 kays to Gembrook where a vote was taken. It was decided we also needed to abandon play, and go home to dry out. We headed straight back to Healesville to collect Pina�s bike. At this late stage, the official end of the ride, there was only Ron, Misho and Pina and yours truly left.

Lou has just read the draft of this article and told me I need to go and soak my head in a bowl of warm custard and take some deep breaths. Anyone out there got a spare snorkel?


John Willis������������������