Category: H.O.G. Rides
This is such a pinnacle event on the HOG calendar. It's almost our home away from home, you might say. May of our members, including me, have been riding here for years and we are yet to have a bad time. There's nothing better than an old country pub and this one is one of the best.
The morning of the ride I was adamant about not needing wet weather gear so I stubbornly refused to don it on. Fast forward 5 minutes down the road I was already pulling into the Belmont Caltex as it was starting to rain. Seems my adamant stubbornness was short lived. Now with wet weathers on I made my way for the meeting point, BP servo at Beresfield.
Arriving at BP I saw a good number of bikes which is always encouraging. Lots of old faces and plenty of new ones. I promptly pulled up and began chatting. Chatting my way around you could feel the excitement of the old members and the anticipation of the new, it was quite electric. Before long Chewy made the call, announced our planned route and we were off.
The first stop was Nabiac for fuel and then it was on to Port Macquarie Harley–Davidson for a little browse and pick up Owen and Bron. So far it had been pretty dry so it was off with the wet weathers and on to Port Macquarie Bowling Club for lunch. Now the sun was really out and starting to cook everyone so lunch in air conditioning was a welcome break.
Back on the bikes we were now making a run for Bowraville. Through Macksville we took the second exit to Bowraville which is the back way in. A few corners later I saw a bunch of our bikes pulled over and a ute that rolled off the embankment. My heart stopped. I quickly scanned for any damaged bikes but thankfully everyone was OK. The lady trapped in the ute was a bit beat up but also OK considering. Paramedics had been called so there was little else we could do other than press on. It was this last few kilometres that the rain pissed down and soaked most of us. We almost made it dry! Now it was time for a tub and head to the bar for beer, some cheer and good grub.
Up at 7am for breaky was a little tough. To be honest, the forging of new friendships over tequila shots can be hard work at times but very well worth it in the end. Not even a hot shower could wash this hangover off but I thought a good dose of fresh air on the bike would definitely be the ticket.
Waiting for breakfast my newly forged friends surfaced and looked as hungover as I was, so I guess we could call it even. We all smiled at each other and agreed the bike would be the best medicine. Over breakfast we discussed the route and decided on Bellbrook for a lemon squash, then on to The Pub With No Beer at Taylors Arm for lunch, then back to the Bowra Hotel for happy hour.
Feeling energised by awful instant coffee and a belly full of bacon and eggs it was time to hit the road south for Kempsey. This was the only route to head inland to Bellbrook. After taking the turnoff from Kempsey the typical coastal–country scenery returned and the road was in great condition so for the most part we ignored the speed limits and rode to the conditions, a.k.a. got on the bloody throttle and chased each other! The most memorable part was following one of our Ladies of Harley, Lisa, behind a stubborn car that would move. The pass she made on him was so perfect I couldn't help but follow her around. We all arrived at the Bellbrook pub safely grinning ear to ear.
The Bellbrook pub was your typical country pub but out the back had an incredible beer garden with a vista out over a valley with the river winding through. You couldn't pay for a better view. It was simply spectacular. Everyone grabbed a squash or a water, had a chat with a few of the locals and just cruised around. It was great. Next stop we were off to Taylors Arm for lunch. Unfortunately, we had to head back into Kempsey and up the highway to Macksville before we could head inland to Taylors Arm but hey, it was a great road and I had no problem giving it another hammering.
Heading inland from Macksville to Taylors Arm was also a great road. I assumed the Pub With No Beer must have been a bit of a biking Mecca as we passed a few dozen bikes along the way. Arriving at the pub we all did our best to acquire some shade but it was mostly a fruitless exercise.
The inside of the pub was spectacular with all the olden day stuff hanging on the walls. Owen, our assistant director, seemed mesmerised by all the old treasures and quite surprisingly, displayed a depth of knowledge about each item that I'd never heard before. Colour me impressed!
Sensational food soon followed along with some more great chit–chat. Not sure who asked first but once it was noticed the pub sold patches it was a scramble to grab one before they sold out! Thankfully the lovely girls behind the bar were able to find enough to go around. Now it was time to head out the front for a big family photo and make a sprint home to the Bowra Hotel for happy hour.
Back at the Bowra our outgoing activities officer, Vera, put on a massive spread as she always does. The Broadmeadow HOG doesn't muck around when it comes to happy hour! Needless to say, everyone was stuffed and I don't think there was too much room left for dinner.
As the sun fell the band started playing so most of us gathered around for a good show. One pest of a local thought it would be a great idea to dance around in front of us while smoking, in a non–smoking area. This of course was pointed out to her which she didn't take all that kindly to. Thankfully, a few of the BHOG girls took matters into their own hands and ensured she buggered off without a scene. About the 10pm mark I was feeling pretty knackered and with the impending 6am start I took myself off to bed.
Up at sparrow's fart it was time for a quick tub, scrub the teeth, and pack the bike to beat the end–of–school–holidays traffic. We were on the road by half 6 with a first stop of Port Macquarie for fuel and breaky. Next stop was The Rock at Viney Creek. The sun was really up now and cooking everyone. We all arrived without issue except for Frank who was pulled over for his car being unregistered, which wasn't the case. All worked out OK so no dramas. From The Rock we said our goodbyes and each went our own way home.
Another awesome weekend to Bowraville with even more awesome people. Can't wait for the next ride!