This one ?
Graham’s trip to the 2016 National Scooter Rally plus 4967 klms later
The first day of the trip started poorly with a shower of rain hitting as I was loading the scooter and delaying me for a crucial half hour, causing me to hit Wahroonga at 8:30. Just in time for morning rush/school zones, taking me 40mins. to do the 6kms of Pennant Hills Rd. That bit of road is about the worst bit of riding you can do, but bravely (or, no other choice) I plugged on.
The first stop was at the café opposite Richmond RAAF, where the service has improved, but the coffee hasn’t. There my wife caught up, having came that far with my daughter and son-in-law in their car, to ease my trauma from Pennant Hills Rd. A short break, and a mug of the aforesaid coffee later we started that glorious climb up the Blue Mountains, along Bells Line of (scenic, winding, spectacular Road, down through Lithgow, and our next break at Blayney, for a quick lunch. The ride thus far had been great. There’s nothing better that riding in the country. From Blayney to Mandurama was peaceful, very little traffic, and good surfaces. The scoot just hummed along, and carried the two of us so smoothly through some great open scenic country to Eugowra for our first night and some bushranger-history museum visiting. We saw Johnny Gilberts pistol, ( A relic of the Eugowra Gold Escort Robbery of 1865.A total of 460ks for the day. All good riding (except for 6km.)
The second day was mostly flat and straight. A lunch break at Goolgowi, then the iconic Hay Plains flew past, and we are in Hay, my old stamping ground from my days as a rep for Esso. It seem that the town has survived the recession well and is spreading out and looking good. Everyone should ride the Hay Plains at least once, and back, nonstop. We arrived in Balranald at about 3:30, with the bums feeling the strain of 545ks.
Day three saw us arriving at Renmark about 2:00 after a KFC lunch at Mildura, a really lovely 300k ride through miles of fruit trees, and glimpses of the Murray river. At Renmark we opted to stay at the (rather posh) Renmark Hotel with a second floor room overlooking the Murray. Bloody luxury but worth the extra. Friday nights function in the Hotel was the usual noisy rowdy affair, where the scooterists let their hair down, (if they have enough to spare), and catch up with old acquaintances, and make new ones. This is the core of the Rally and cause of many a sore head
Saturday was the ride-out to Barmera. The scooters gathered at the Paringa Caravan Park for the ride. There were about 50 scooters of all types, including some types I have never see, including Aprilia 850, Honda Spacey, and even a Heinkel. Also some very interesting Vespas. I am always surprised at the low attendance. One would think there would be more than 50. We took a ride to Barmera, and around Lake Bonney, where Donald (or was it Malcolm) Campbell attempted the world water speed record in Bluebird. The rideouts are all fun, especially when the group splits and half head off in the wrong direction. Saturday night was another riotous event, with presentations, awards, door prizes, more dancing (of a sort) and more grog.
We chose not to do the Sunday ride to Loxton, instead took a paddle wheeler trip up the Murray on the historic, authentic steamer the PS Industry, 1911 vintage.
These rallies are a real buzz, and it is such a shame that more people don’t attend. Perhaps it is just too far for the smaller scooters.
After we left the rally we travelled over to Ceduna, then did the Eyre Peninsular, up to Quorn for a ride on the PichiRichi Railway, then home through Broken Hill.(But that’s another story). The total distance of our little ride was 4967Kms in 15 days. We are both weary and sore in the obvious places, and my right knee is finally unlocking. But I would do it again, though I’m not sure my wife would. Hopefully I’ll be doing the Snowy Mountains later in the year, (Anybody Interested??]