New Member's Ride
Category: H.O.G. Rides
Man it was good to throw a leg over the hog again. It had been about 6 weeks since my last ride so the loins were itching to get out! Now I'm certainly not making any excuses but after working on the house for a number of weeks and the amount of bloody rain we've had, I hadn't really made time to get out.
Waking up Saturday morning I was a little fearful the old girl wouldn't start. I mean, she's always on a trickle charger but something about not kicking over for so long bugged me. All good, though, she kicked over straight away so my fears were abated and obviously, the trickle charger was trickling quite well.
The second I got out of my driveway I felt amazing. Warm day, warm breeze and not too much traffic; it was perfect. While I was only heading into Frasers, it was still awesome to be out. Turning the corner to Frasers, I could see a few bikes pulled up, which was great; we had enough to make a day of it.
Pulling up out the front of Frasers, I could see the BBQ was in full swing and the lovely Maid Marion was organising rolls for everyone. Damn I love the New Member's Ride BBQ's. Actually, I just love BBQ's! With that, I quickly grabbed a roll, loaded up a snag and commenced a bit of chat with some friendly faces. Soon enough an hour had passed and it was time to get this show on the road.
I called everyone together to start the rider's briefing but as it turns out no new members showed up so I saved the gas–bagging speech and we all headed for our bikes. The plan was to do a small 74km loop around Stockton, Salt Ash, Raymond Terrace, and then back home to our local, the Kotara Bowling Club.
I lead the group out of Frasers and turned right onto Turton Rd. We got pulled up at the next set of lights so I took the moment to look back and check if I had everyone. Unfortunately, I had already lost a few bikes plus the Rear Road Captain, Lochie—great start! I pulled the group over before Griffiths Rd so we could wait for the others. Turns out they got stuck behind a world of traffic leaving Frasers and then a couple red lights. All good now, we had regrouped and were off again.
We managed to get past the Mater Hospital pretty easily and through to Industrial Drive without too much fuss. After the false start, this was a very welcome change. We now had pretty smooth sailing so it was time to kick the feet out and cruise.
No matter how many times I have ridden over Stockton Bridge, I still love the view. It always reminds me of my quad ridding days, heading over to Stockton Beach to rip it up and throw plenty of sand on the unsuspecting everything.
It wasn't long before we were past the Newcastle Airport and making a left onto Richardson Rd. Still had everyone in tow so this was a good sign. I lost a couple on a round about but I could see them not so far behind so all was well.
Next up was Grahamstown Dam (or lake, I don't know, some large body of water will do). It's funny, this dam seems to just pop up out of nowhere and is really quite pretty.
Heading towards Raymond Terrace, I made a left at the roundabout to head onto the freeway back to Newcastle. I knew one rider was going to head straight through the roundabout here but when I saw a second one head straight, I thought for sure I had lost a rider and the others would follow suit. I quickly pulled over to allow a regroup and watch to see how many followed. Thankfully, the rider meant to head straight and the rest of our chapter made the turn and pulled in behind me. I got a wave from Lachie so we were all set to go again.
There was now only a short, uneventful stretch back to our home club, the Kotara Bowling Club, for a couple cold ones and a bit of a chat. All in all, a great little ride. It was just awesome to be on the bike again in such great weather.