Tarra Bulga MK II���������������������� Monday 25th April 2011

Unfortunately I was unable to go for a ride on Easter Sunday. A family game of golf at the local �Par 3 Chip and Putt� was in order. Don�t get me wrong; it was pleasant and I don�t want to make it sound like a chore. In fact the opposite is closer to the truth but the thing is, not a lot beats a ride on a Sunday with my MSR mates. However, this was a close second.

When I saw that there was an ANZAC Day ride on offer I was really happy. I could do the family thing and still go for a big ride, all on the one weekend. How good is that? And a big ride it was. I ended up doing 850 km from home to home, leaving at 0800 and arriving home at 8.15pm.

It�s at this point I should say a big sorry to Rod Merrett for the mistake I made during a corner marking (or lack of) manoeuvre. I�m very sorry, mate. I honestly thought that you were right behind me when I left the Toora servo. I only went past the corner 50 meters or so before Ben informed me that you had gone straight instead of turning. (At this point I thought he was wrong and that you were either at the servo or not far from it.)When I finally realised that you had gone straight, I high-tailed after you and rode at a fair clip until Meeniyan, by which time the fuel light on the Gixxer had been flashing for 15 minutes or so and I had to end the chase or else run out of go-gas.

I rang Ben and told him of my failed attempt to find Rod. Tail between my legs, I returned to Toora where we agreed to continue the ride with only the three of us, which we did, but only after a quick trip back to Forster just in case Rod was waiting for us there. You guessed it, he wasn�t!

The funniest part (depending on how you look at it) was that Rod had kindly offered Ben a ride on his recently acquired BMW S1000RR back at Foster. Of course, Rod wasn�t expecting to get separated from the main group. The result was Ben rode home a gorgeous $21K Beemer and Rod scored Ben�s very loved and well worn Honda. A fair deal I�d say, especially if your name�s Ben!

Of course, the plot thickens! They each had the other�s wallet, and we had Rod�s phone which meant we couldn�t even call him to sort it all out. �Bloody hell! What a mess!� I hear you say! Indeed, it was. But in true MSR style, the show went on and everything was sorted - the next day! I guess if nothing else, it highlights the importance of accurate corner marking!

So what about the ride? Well it started out quite chilly. �How chilly, Billy?� A silly amount of chilly, actually. The fog was thick right from when I left home in Geelong. I worked on the theory that when it lifted, it was going to be a really nice day. Which it was, but not until the sun broke through at about 11am. I was very cold in my perforated leathers.

As has been the case with lots of rides I go on with the MSR, the roads we travelled on were all new to me. I went through many towns I�d never even heard of, let alone been to before.Towns like Fish Creek, Foster, Welshpool and Yarram were all new. I really enjoy seeing these new places.

The view riding out of Balook, after riding through the spectacular Tarra Bulga National Park, was something to behold. And I enjoyed riding at a brisk but not break-neck pace.We eventually made our way into Moe for fuel to finish up as night was falling.

I glanced at my watch just before the long trip home. It said 6pm and it was already dark.Ben and I had said goodbye to Geoff a little earlier and we gave him another wave when we saw him on the highway a bit later on. I bid Ben farewell just after the Domain Tunnel and arrived home cold, hungry and with a very sore derriere indeed. But safe and sound. Despite everything, I still had a great time.

Thanks Ben, Geoff and Rod (sorry again mate) for a good day...


Billy Simpson