2017 trip to PI (return) – we’re back jack

Back at work. Miss my bike and the road.

Last time I wrote we were somewhere north of the snowy mountains after a long day of carving. The following run is always a bit of a relaxing long cruise. When you spend the previous day going up and down the mountains in tight twisty tarmac, the fast flowing roads that connect the alps to the blue mountains feel like a long boring slog.

We arrived at our motel in Katoomba late in the afternoon and managed to find the perfect greasy Chinese bbq spot on the main street. We obviously proceeded to destroy a duck with a side of pork and tea. We then raced to the toilet. I won.

A very early start to the next day was greeted with thick fog and wet roads. The plan was to get to Bilpin for apple pie part two but since they only opened at eight (bastards) we kept going down the bells and into the putty. At the bottom the fog was gone and the sun was forcing its way through the clouds. A race for brekkie at the gum cafe ensued. Ron had a meat fest.

With improved traction (weight) we destroyed the twisty section of this legendary piece of bitumen and headed to Singleton to refuel and find our way through the range towards Dungog and finally Gloucester. Another quick pitstop and east through the Bucketts. Ron asked to make a detour to Nabiac to drool over the bikes at the museum. I had lunch instead as I had been there twice and I like eating. With the threat of a storm looming, we endured the final stretch to Wauchope on the highway and Ron got lost.

A group of friends from the Queensland Italian Bike Addicts group came down from the sunshine state to meet us here and spend the next two days carving the lovely roads that cross the great dividing range between here and home. Not before some enormous meals at the local tavern (that apparently does not own a cork opener).

Everyone (except Andrew obviously) was up early with the excitement of the Oxley run. It didn’t disappoint. It never does. That first climb from Long Flat to the cafe is one of the best roads in this country and that is why we keep coming back for it. We spent a few hours based on the cafe with everyone going for some random runs. On one of these Andrew managed to get a stick shoved on his rear tire and even though it was patched it required a replacement. Our friend Rosenthal happens to be based in Port and kindly offered to open up his shop and give him a used tire.

While they we’re going through this process the rest of us headed towards Walcha for refuelling. Most of us made it. Except Dan’s duke that got thirsty and drank all its fluid 15 kms out of town. Nothing that a rescue mission with a fuel can couldn’t solve. We also required fuel and the top pub at Uralla never disappoints.

The next run is pretty relaxing as we make our way through Armidale and along the first part of Waterfall Way until the turn off for the Grafton – Armidale road. Then there was a race. There is always a race on this road. Apparently old fat BMW baggers are quick. Honda engines are durable. Sticky tires like throwing rocks. I guess we knew all that.

Night was spent at the Grafton pub. It was a warm night, so it clearly required liquids and the boys made sure they would not be dehydrated. Some of them were in no condition for early morning runs, so the rest of us headed up the river valley to the Lawrence ferry crossing and into MacLean for an awesome hipster breakfast at the local coffee roastery. From here another stretch of highway was endured until we could turn into the hills towards Alstonville and then through the back of Byron Bay and to Mooball where we would wait for Ron to catch up, having come up the Summerland Way and over the mountain from Kyogle with two local legends.

The last run was over Tweed Valley raceway where mister redmist met mister redline while the orange puta laughed to tears at the sights. The road had ended for me but the boys would still enjoy a run over Tomewin as a good sendoff before the highway home.

All in, five and a half thousand kays, two weeks on the road, rain and sun, cold and heat. Kangaroos, brumbies, wombats and a bloody guana. Mountains, valleys, plains and forests. Lots of pubs. Lots of cofee. All bikes came home with battle scars as did most riders. But all well worth it. Can’t wait to go again.

PS: Thanks to all that shared the ride. Wouldn’t be the same without you gents.

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