Category: H.O.G. Rides
Man I'd been looking forward to this ride since it was first booked in our ride calendar. Nothing better than a good ride with a bunch of great people and a country pub stay. Well, at least in my opinion!
Waking up Saturday morning seeing the clear sky made me smile ear to ear. I tucked into a little breaky and quickly loaded the bike and headed for the meeting point at BP Bero. I arrived on time to about 8-10 bikes, which only got me more excited. After fuelling up I rolled over to the rest of the cohort and started chatting. Now, I wasn't meant to be a road captain for this ride, but as it turns out the rear road captain couldn't make it at the last minute so I decided to chase up the tail and keep an eye on any runaways.
During the rider's briefing I learned the plan was to head to Uralla via Dungog, Gloucester and Walcha, which all sounded great. And sure enough, as soon as that announcement was made we were saddling up.
We made our way out through the back of Thornton and took a couple back roads on our way to Dungog. On the way we were broken up pretty badly so I jumped in front to lead the group only to take a wrong turn toward Stroud! Good thing our membership officer, Dave, caught up to me and flagged me down! Back on track again we caught up to everyone at Dungog and pressed on toward Gloucester. I really enjoy the route out through Dungog and on to Gloucester. It winds along with plenty of country scenery to keep you interested.
Arriving at Gloucester those of us with smaller bikes filled up and those of us with smaller bladders emptied out. Next up was coffee and a kitkat at Barrington. The poor girls here never know how to make a macchiato so as usual I gave them a brief lesson. They're such wonderful girls and always get a laugh out of my "snooty coffee request".
Now well caffeinated it was time to press on to Walcha via the Love Dunny lookout—as it is now, not–so–affectionately known. Just over Barrington bridge the last three riders missed the turn up Thunderbolts Way and headed for Scone. I stopped briefly to see if they noticed but unfortunately they kept riding on so I took off after them. A few corners later I saw Dave pulled over and was about to head back. He told me Sue kept going so I took off after her. Bloody love chasing down lost riders!
Heading after Sue—who happens to be our Director's wife, so I was damned if I didn't come back with her alive—I was soon stuck behind a couple trucks on very tight corners. It took more than a few corners and a little patients to get around them safely but I was now back on track in Eastern Creek style. About 10ks later I finally came up on Sue and flagged her down. We now made our way back to the Thunderbolts Way turn off and cruised up the mountain. Arriving at the Love Dunny lookout, everyone was lined up ready to leave so I gave the lead road captain a wave and pulled in behind the group. Once again we were altogether again and heading for Walcha.
The next part of the route through Nowendoc is incredibly stunning. Perfect country scenery and a few large pine forests line the route. No matter how many times I've been through here is there is always something magical about it. Interestingly, this time, there were thousands of sheep along the fence lines. They were all woolly ready for winter.
Arriving at Walcha we thought we'd grab a late lunch but it seems the pub shut the kitchen 15 minutes earlier so late lunch was out the window. Seems the only choice was to make the short final run to Uralla and have happy hour.
A few short and uneventful kilometres later we arrived at Uralla. As all the Top Pub accommodation was booked out I pulled into the Bottom Pub and headed in for a beer. Heading in the back gate I was welcomed by a very enthusiastic staffy who seemed hell bent on licking me to death! Sitting down for a cool down beer was awesome but now it was time to tub up and head up the Top Pub for more beers and eats.
As usual, it was a great evening with a bunch of laughs and plenty more drinks. Most people started turning in around 9PM so I headed back down the bottom pub for a couple night caps on the balcony accompanied by a sweet Cuban cigar. A perfect finish to a perfect day.
Day two it was time to head home down the New England Hwy, the first stop being at Scone. Everyone was keen to get going so we pretty much just threw a leg over, got some fuel and made our getaway for Scone. Me and a few other boys had to stop along the way due to the old trap of too much coffee and too many bumps! Before long we were at Scone Mc Donalds for a dirty lunch. Dirty lunch done, we all said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways home.
Another amazing overnighter with some great old friends and some interesting new faces. As always, now looking forward to the next one!