Fringe Dwelling and Wine Swilling Part One – Heading South
By Alan Lane-Richardson
One day Darren mumbled “Al, would you like to go to a couple of rallies?” What could I say but, “Yeah, what have you got in mind?”
“The Ragged Fringe is on the 10/11 September!” This got me thinking.
The rally was far enough to get a feel of the road, wind in the face and to meet some like minded characters from the Deep South. It just happened that Meredith and I had a couple of week’s holiday tacked onto the weekend which meant heading to Sydney was a must. And seeing as we would be down that way, we might as well pop over and catch up with Hendrik and Di in Adelaide.
Of course, like any trip, there were some serious decisions to be made before venturing forth and this trip was no different. For sometime Meredith had been considering getting another bike, especially for long trips. The Monza, although capable, had basically been outgrown by Meredith and there was no way I was sitting on the darn thing for 6,000kms. We also knew that when we get the bug for a bit of touring, we like to cut k’s which requires a bike that is reliable, economical, comfortable, and most importantly fixable. Of course, this meant a second Cali.
So, armed with two u beaut Cali’s, that were sort of ready to rock, we were ready to set forth to the Ragged Fringe Rally then head to Sydney, nip over to Adelaide, and rumble north through inland tracks back to Brisbane. As usual, nothing too rushed as long as we were back within two weeks.
After much rallying of the troops there were eight club members who left the BP Roadhouse in Goodna for Tenterfield. (Apparently the mighty Bob Klinke was franticly waved us goodbye on the Ipswich Motorway but was obviously not watching what he was doing as he almost ran up the arse of some cars in front of him.)
Things were looking real cool as we headed south until Joe took the lead this side of Stanthorpe just in time to get snapped for speeding. As he said, “This will be a tricky one for the accountant”.
We arrived that night in Tenterfield to find the Nomads had booked the pub, so we snuck out the front door, as you do, and found a better pub just around the corner. One where Pirate could lock up his Harley (no not in his bedroom either, although I think he probably wouldn’t have minded).
Saturday (10th Sept) we arrived at the rally site and set up camp, then did the rounds taking photos and chatting (as you do). Shame about the flying ants, little bastards stuck to you like glue while sucking off the sweat. Not a bad rally, the Ragged Fringe, checked out the southerners’ tents, ate tea, drank a lot, and eventually fell asleep. Sunday, Sept 11th, we were woken at 5am by Joe and Pirate, the noisy buggers. Meredith popped out to check out the action rugged up in her party gown (sleeping bag). This was a good hint that the rally was over and it was time for us to head off.
From the rally site we headed for the wonderful city of Sydney with Ian who was heading for the colourful town of Newcastle! Because it was raining and we were all a bit on the tired side we took it easy on the way to Gloucester where we stopped for a coffee and some munchies. Our next stop was Newcastle where we had lunch at some pie shop on the main drag that’s famous for pies before saying, “tu ru” to Ian.
As we were leaving we met an old bloke who used to ride a HRD. An interesting tale he spun about how he bought his HRD that had belonged to a bloke who had killed himself on it and he then sold it to another bloke who also killed himself on it! He reckons the bike just wouldn’t go around corners to the left!
From Newcastle the trip to Sydney was fairly uneventful. Although scenic, it was straight and bloody windy. It’s the sort of bit of road you have to do every now and again to appreciate the scenery, although you can end up hanging off your handlebars due to the cross winds, but you don’t want to travel it too often. Lets face it, just to the West is the Putty Road which has obstacles like trucks to worry about but is heaps more fun.
Without maps we traversed the Sydney streets (a mission) with the odd wrong turn or two but nothing we couldn’t handle, like accidentally taking the Sydney Harbour Bridge instead of the Tunnel. We did eventually make it to our destination in Randwick, to my mate’s place for a well earned rest and a guzzle of the good old red stuff that comes out of a 750ml bottle, and put the bikes to bed.
On Tuesday morning it was time to leave Sydney for Adelaide. But which way to go? The Blue Mountains of course! All started well as we worked our way across the car clogged streets of southern Sydney until disaster struck. I lost Meredith on a quick lefty into a dead end street, which wasn’t really planned but happened anyway. Quickly I tried to do a uee but she had vanished. S***! We were in Sydney, no real planned rendezvous, and no bloody maps that were useful. Panic! Lucky for the trusty mobile phone! Though in true Guzzi style, it turned out we didn’t have each other’s numbers but we both had my mate’s number so we were able to track each other down with some linked calls through him.
Our travel over the Blue Mountains was slow due to speed restrictions and traffic. In addition it was f****** freezing, literally at 0 deg C. On the descent into Bathurst, a cop car pulled in behind Meredith doing just under the speed limit. Eventually, pissed off that he wasn’t going to get a booking, the coppa tore passed in disgust not realising that if we went any faster we would lose our pinkies. And anyway it was also blowing a bloody gale and the bikes were almost scratching the cylinder heads on the bitumen from the cross wind.
We arrived at Bathurst frozen and hungry so it was decided a cuppa and a munch on something nice was the go. In the café, across the table we looked at each other and thought, “Is this for real?” as we ate our pies and sipped coffee.
From Bathurst the weather warmed slightly to below 10 deg C as we headed out towards Adelaide across the Riverina. Nope, we didn’t take any fruit past the demarcation zone because the signs said we were not allowed to.
It was along this stretch of road we spent the night at a place called Goolgowi. At the caravan park we were busy pitching the tent when this bloke on a bike comes roaring into the park. I thought, “F***! What have we done now?” He pulls up all smiles and starts chatting (thank god). “G’day, love ya Guzzi’s thinkin of gettin one for mi self.” So as it goes we had a chat with the bloke and let him sit on (not ride) each of our Cali’s as we raved about how great they are, except for the fuel economy of the fuel injected one (sore point fuel economy – hip pocket still hurts – more later).
We set off from Goolgowi on a nice cold morning for a place called Hay and a target of 805kms to Adelaide. An easy sort of trip one would have thought, flat and f****** straight (not to mention the headwind). It was along this road that disaster struck yet again, 15kms out of Hay. The white fuel injected Cali ran out of fuel at 239kms! “What the f*** is happening here?”
This was when I really realise that the white Cali has a really bad fuel drama that would plague us for the rest of the trip. So it’s out with the camp stove to siphon fuel off the yellow Cali and top up the white Cali so we can cruise into Hay for fuel (at 149.9 c/ltr). It was also about here that we started finding it hard to get hold of Premium Unleaded fuels, forget the Ultimate and all those fancy fuels they had disappeared many towns ago.
The rest of the trip from Hay was fairly straight forward with SAFF premium fuel, purchased at Ouyen, giving 12.8km/ltr (obviously a high octane rating here) and a magnificent trip across the Adelaide Hills to compensate. The Adelaide Hills were absolutely gorgeous but cold. Shame there isn’t a couple of thousand kilometers of them from Adelaide to Brisbane, reckon work would never happen again.
Finally we reached Hendrik and Di’s lair where we were treated to the best meal of our trip, except maybe Hendrik’s parting meal. During the meal we chatted with Tim, who owns a Triumph Bonni and lives with Hendrik and Di, and we played with Baxter and Princess Olivia, the Schnauzers. We also drank a bit of vino as, let’s face it, we were in Adelaide where vino comes on tap direct from the vine. The meal finished and after many an hour of chatting and so forth we went off to bed for a freezing night’s sleep whilst negotiating with Simon the wonderful cat who was prancing about during the night.
A couple of days were spent traveling in and around Adelaide. We checked out Parliament house, some wineries, the port facility and lots of back roads in the Adelaide Hills (ooh la la). We even got rained on and regularly pissed, how’s that! But, warning, if you ever visit Hendrik in Adelaide the one thing you should avoid doing is getting him to drive you to the wineries. It is strongly recommended to; take a taxi, ride your own bike, walk, grab a guided tour, in fact any other alternative is a better option.
Whilst in Adelaide, we did get to visit the Scenic Hotel with Hendrik and watch the sun set over Adelaide on the hotel verandah. We even got to partake in the down hill race with our motors off. Interesting how the Cali was able to outperform the Monza on this one. Though, there is some technical argument about where the race actully ended.
We also visited the motor museum and took plenty of bike photos. At the museum I was so engrossed with the Vincents at the doorway I forgot to pay and was apprehended part way through the tour (embarrassing). And most importantly we got to Hendrik’s favourite butcher to purchase some German smoked pork chops and sauerkraut for our final meal before getting quite pissed and leaving Adelaide.
Adelaide itself is a fabulous place. In particular I loved the city’s buildings and the interesting layout of the city block. It’s one of those places you can just about find anything you want within the one area without having to travel suburbs to find out what’s happening. And if you want to ride your bike there is plenty of space. After all, the cars even stop for pedestrians who J walk the main roads.
At lights you can count the cars on one hand. In fact you can just about count the buildings on two hands. The architecture of Adelaide’s buildings are generally un-spoilt by property developers and over zealous governments. Well this is my interpretation of the place. Got to say I liked Adelaide. Let’s face it, I wrote a whole paragraph about it.
It was finally time to leave Adelaide after a long night partying and finding lots of goodies around Adelaide – such visiting Andy’s private cellar and MV Agusta (Andy also gets up to Bris Vegas every now and again, where he keeps his Guzzi). At some ungodly hour of the morning, about 2:30am actually, we got to bed as pissed as. Anyway, getting beaten by Hendrik at Chess with Andy asleep in the chair didn’t make for fun once the rest of the crowd had dispersed.
Got some quick shut eye and stuff me dead if Tim didn’t bang on the door to get us up, “For cryin’ out loud Tim it’s 7am, what’s the go?” He was off to the Hills on his 650 Bonnaville for the day for a squirt with his mates. So I crawled out of bed and got out the camera for a photo or two, a bit of brekkie and a chat before he went South for the day and we headed North on the big trip back home.
To be continued in the February mag …
Heading South – Travel Notes
Day 1 – (250kms)
Day 2 – (420kms)
Tenterfield, Armidale, Walcha, Thunderbolt’s Way, Bretti Reserve
Day 3 – (300kms)
Bretti Reserve, Gloucester, Bucketts Way, Pacific Hwy, Hexam, Heatherbrae, Sydney
Day 4 – Sydney
Day 5 – (500+kms)
Sydney, Blue Mtns, Lithgow, Bathurst, Cowra, Grenfell, West Wyalong, Goolgowi
Day 6 – (805kms)
Goolgowi, Hay, Balranald, Ouyen, Tailem Bend, Adelaide
Day 7 – Adelaide City
Day 8 – Barossa Valley
Day 9 – McLaren Vale
Days 10 – 15 – to be continued …