The Great Victorian Bike Ride                  By Doug Cole, Vic State President

Nineteen eager motorcyclists gathered in Rutherglen on the 4th of March for a pre ride BBQ and get together at my home. It was a nice, relaxed way for everyone to socialise prior to the ride. The ride was pleasingly well supported with the 19 starters: 6 joining from NSW, 2 from SA and the rest from Victoria. As part of the pre ride briefing I stated that I would consider the ride to be successful if, a) everyone had a good time and b) everyone returned safely.

The weather could not have been better, meals at the country pubs and clubs were plentiful and good value, the fellowship, and the camaraderie fantastic. The accommodation also worked out well.

The ride as it happened:

Day One had us riding from Rutherglen to Bairnsdale through the Mitta valley and Omeo. More corners than almost everyone wanted and a very long day in the saddle. If you haven’t ridden this road then it’s one to add to your bucket list for its scenery, minimal traffic and twisted tarmac. Although breaking the trip with an overnight stay in Omeo could be a good idea!

Day Two was an easier cruise down the Princess Hwy to Eden with an early stop at Lakes Entrance for  breakfast and an opportunity to stroll the foreshore. A side trip into Mallacoota  for lunch before travelling onto Eden. The open roads were a chance to  recover after day one. The easy day become a little harder when we pulled
 into our motel in Eden which appeared to be perched on the side of Mount Everest. After a bit of juggling, we all  managed to find a spot to put the bikes to bed for the night. Another pub meal and again the country pub didn’t  disappoint.

 Day Three’s plan was for everyone to ride north from Eden and turn inland just prior to Pambula to ride to Bombala along the Mt Darragh road. Another magic motorcycle road and a good way to avoid the traffic of Brown Mountain. Dinner at the Orbost Club, the meals keep getting bigger and cheaper.

Day Four. A reverse trip to Cann River along the Monaro Hwy to Bombala for a refuel and coffee. Nimmitable further along the road heading to Cooma was our lunch destination at the renowned bakery. Apart from great food the shop assistant was one of the friendliest encountered in ages. We rode through Cooma without stopping and then onto Jindabyne in time for a walk along the lake foreshore for those that wanted. Our accommodation was at the Jindi Inn, well priced a good location and breakfast was included. Useful when there are limited food options along the way. Also of note was how friendly and helpful the lady owner was at the front desk. Dinner was booked at the Embers Fireside Grill @ Rydges, a bit upmarket compared to the country pubs and clubs we had been frequenting. Maybe the quality was better however we all noticed the smaller serve size and increased price. We said goodbye to two of our Orange members.

Day Five. Started with a presentation from our newest member Carolyn Millard. Apparently, husband Ron and Carolyn had been discussing nicknames for the entire group as they were riding along and Carolyn proceeded to entertain us with
their collective wit. Today’s ride was to Wangaratta via Kosciusko Rd, Alpine Way and Murray Valley Highway.

 Luck was on our side as the weather was perfect for a ride through the mountains,  the road was dry and the scenery spectacular. The bonus on this type of road is  that corner marshals aren’t required as there is only the one sealed road option,  any side roads are dirt and require some serious four-wheel driving. First stop was  at Geehi Flat Campground to stretch the legs. Lunch at Khancoban.

 Day Six. Our four Melbourne amigos headed home today, something about having  to go back to work? Our ride had two nights planned in Wangaratta with no fixed plans for day six. A few riders took the opportunity to explore the local area or just take the day at a slower pace. The remaining riders journeyed to Bright for lunch before heading over Tawonga Gap (I think my favourite 30kms of road) before heading back to Wangaratta taking in a few more turns along Happy Valley.

Dinner that night was at a local Chinese restaurant, maybe not the best choice as the ambience was takeaway chic, the food quality average and the service best described as interesting. However, everyone was looking forward to food other than std pub/club and good company made for an enjoyable evening.

Day Seven. The ride had come to an end, and everyone was planning on the best way home. Most seeking the most direct for an easy cruise, a few looking forward to continuing the adventure for a few more days and two planning on finding the twistiness roads possible for the journey home.

Final Note:

When you plan a group ride you hope that a few others will join in and that everyone will have a good time. I believe we achieved a successful ride in large part to everyone being happy to get involved and go with the flow. Not every aspect of the ride such as break lengths, start times, roads ridden will suit everyone everyday however I didn’t hear one word of complaint which was much appreciated.

Until the next ride keep the shiny side up.

These 3 just wanted to keep on enjoying the ride!

Great Victorian Bike Ride extended by three Rotacyclists for a further 3110klm’s.

Already having ridden over 2500klm’s Peter Perriman (C), Colin Nayda (R) decided to tour South Australia
from where the Great Vic Rid finished at Wangaratta, they rode all the way to Whyalla, Sth Aust and then back home to Orange NSW.