Now this was an overnighter I had been looking forward to. I generally hate cold weather but I do love riding through winter and stopping at awesome country pubs and perching in front of a hot fire with a cold beer. Thankfully this weekend was looking sunny with a low of 3 degrees at our destination so I was pretty damn excited.
Waking up Saturday morning I sprang up like a little kid on Christmas day except I wasn't expecting presents, I was expecting 45km of perfect, tight turns up the Oxley Hwy and I was planning on giving the bike hell. I also knew a couple of the fellas along for the run were also a little throttle mad so it was going to be epic.
I arrived at BP Beresfield right on time and the rest of the crew arrived very soon after. Since we were all ready to go I called a quick briefing and we were on our way. We picked up a couple more just north of Raymond Terrace before making the boring trip up the freeway exiting at Herons Creek and stopping at Wauchope for fuel. Now, for all the sun that was forecast I was a little surprised to see damp roads and a little misty rain. I was praying like no tomorrow that the Oxley would be dry and tacky for us to hit it full throttle but I wasn't going to get my hopes up.
About 15 minutes out of Wauchope we hit major road works and a truck was at the front of the line. Thankfully there was enough room for us to make our way to the front and safely get away ahead of all the traffic. With only clear road and sunshine ahead things were looking up. We started hitting a few of the short runs of tight corners and two of the boys sat right on my tail so I knew they were keen to have a go. A few short minutes later I saw the 45km of tight turns sign and couldn't help but smile. And with that, it was on with the game face and focus like crazy on pushing the big girl around some tight twisties.
About 10kms in we were having the time of our lives. There was sparks flying everywhere as we dragged foot pans, frames, exhausts and any other part of the bike that got close enough to the ground through every corner. All I could hear behind were Harley's working hard and boys hooting. These shenanigans kept up for the rest of the 45km stretch and I tell you what, by the end my arms were pretty trashed from moving around so much and pushing 350kg of Harley well beyond what it's capable to do.
With the major section of twisties behind us we kicked our feet out and cruised the remaining distance into Walcha and pulled up outside the pub. We were all high fiving and carrying on about how much fun that was and how we would love to turn around and head back down again but we thought it best to wait for everyone to catch up and have some lunch before pressing on to our destination of Uralla. It was decided to have lunch at the Royal Cafe, which is always a good feed and thankfully also has cold beer. With full bellies we jumped on and got the last 40kms done before unpacking for the evening.
That night we just chilled at pub, had a few beers and watched some footy. We ended up having dinner down the bottom pub and the meals were huge. I was totally stuffed from the chicken parma there was no room for desert. We then headed back to the motel for a bonfire and a few more drinks. I decided it was time to sneak off and have a little quite time with a Cuban cigar. While enjoying my Cuban the motel owner walks past and asks me if I like whisky, to which I responded, "of course!". He said, "wait right there, I've got something for you". So I waited and then he came back with a glass of single malt from some local distiller and to be honest I was expecting it to be metho but it was bloody beautiful. I'm told it was 60% ABV and man was it smooth. Medium peat with a very rich, toffee style finish that just grew and grew. Colour me impressed! After this little night cap I took myself off to bed.
Sunday morning I woke to a very foggy morning and about 3 degrees. Thankfully there was no wind but my goodness it was fresh! I met up with a couple other hogs for breaky over the Bank Cafe at 7:30am. The cafe served up some epic pancakes and bacon with good coffee so I was more than happy. Time to go pack up and get ready for a 9:30am departure.
With everyone ready to go I started the short route home down the Thunderbolts Way via Gloucester. Some members stopped for lunch and others like myself just kept going. It wasn't long before I was home and back to the reality of washing and getting ready for the week ahead. In the very least my head was clear and I was feeling on top of things again so this was a good place to be. The total run was about 800km of heaven with some awesome people.