June 8th this year is the last time I went on any form of ride. WTF! That’s right I work shift work and work 3 weekends out of 4. So when I saw that the NSW Boxerworks guys were going to have a meet-up weekend I hoped that my shifts would allow this. Roster came out and I did have this weekend off. Wow a ride with an over night stay. Last time I did this was when Jan and I rode the Yamaha Plank of Pain to Cuc Phou in Vietnam. This ride to the Boxerworks would be just me. Old BMW riders sitting down yakking all night about all things BMW would drive Jan insane.
|Packed ready to roll.|
|Bob with his R80RS.|
Bucketts Way parallels the New England Highway. Bucketts Way is not well looked after. It is a very rough and narrow road. Having said this it is so much fun to ride. New England is boring. Bucketts Way keeps you on your toes. Makes you think about your lines. Your entry and exit speed out of corners. I loved it. Lots of big pot holes. Gravel in corners. Twice I had the front end wash out on me due to the ball bearing gravel from road works. Whoa that was fun too.
All too soon Gloucester is ridden through and we are now on Thunderbolts Way. This road is named after Thunderbolt the Bush Ranger. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Thunderbolt for information about Captain Thunderbolt. Soon we will be climbing up the mountain ranges. The country side is so rich and green at present. Makes such a nice change form the dry brown we have so often here in Australia. As the road climbs up the rangers we enter National Forest areas. Stunning gum trees tower over the road. So close to the roads edge that one wrong move would not be nice for bike and rider. The trees clear and we are at the top. The road snakes across the spine of the range. The views are breath taking from the quick sideways glances I take. On the way home I will photograph this. For now the road has me in it's grip. I just want to ride. Bob's BM is booming ahead of me. Even through my ear plugs I can hear him on the gas.
We are now in sheep country. Gentle rolling hills dotted with grazing sheep. It is warmer down on the plains. My helmet and fairing are being assaulted by all manner of bugs. Butterflies wizz past Bob due to the air pocket the RS fairing makes. No such luck for them with me. My screen is filthy with bug guts.
At 240kms Sophie goes onto reserve. We are only about 15kms from Walcha. I back off the throttle a bit. Last thing I want is Bob having to go hunting for petrol for me. We find a servo that is open. Guess who has just finished filling up? The BMW S1000RR. We did catch him. I ask him what he thought of the road. He hated it. Said it was so rough. Sports suspension will do that for you. Even Bob's shot rebuilt BMW shockie soaked up the bumps with ease from what I saw.
Northward we head. Armidale is not far then Guyra. We “cruise” along past Armidale and arrive at the Guyra Summit Caravan Park. She'llbe has booked a “shed” for us for the night. A fine shed it was to turn out to be too. Having not seen a BMW at the Caravan Park Bob and I head into town for lunch. Local take-away for us. I am a vegetarian. So this will be a challenge for me to get something I can eat. The menu board has lots of chicken, burgers and fish. All is not lost for me. I will not have to go out side and graze off the grass growing on the footpath. They do Salad sandwiches. I don't think they have ever been asked to make them before. The girl behind the counter had to go and ask the boss if they made them. The boss comes out, “You want Ham with that?” No just salad. The girl had to find the button on the cash register for this. I would say that button had never been pressed before. Lunch consumed and back at the Caravan Park we arrive to find a white R90S and a big old yellow Merc in the drive. She'llbe and Sibbo have arrived. Sibbo has a hand injury so could not ride his R80ST. No problem. The Merc is now the BoxerWorks Staff Car.
|Sibbo with Das Merc Staff Car.|
|She'llbe's long range R90S.|
Introductions all round. We go find our shed. It is befitting for BMW riders when we see it. Great big thing it is too. Two rooms. Kitchen has 5 gas burners and tow BBQs. A fridge, Microwave, jug and toaster. Main room has big long table. Lounge chairs, a TV (which we never turn on) and a woods stove. Room on the floor for our bedding. Dry and comfy. We loved it. Many hours were spent around that table that night talking about all things BMW and many others things I will refrain for mentioning here.
The walls of the shed are festooned with graffiti. Not the normal type and this is encouraged by the park owners. People from overseas and Australia have commented on how much they love this country and the caravan park.
|She'llbe left his mark.|
|Caught in the act of defacing the wall.|
Being old BMW riders we hit the hay by 10:30pm. I sneak out to go to the loo. The night sky is truly brilliant. So many stars are out. What a stunning vista this presents for me. I stand staring skyward in amazement. Shame about the 2 old guys in the shower block with the shower doors closed showering together. I do a head count when I get back to our shed and all accounted for. So it was not some of our own.
Dawn and I am up. My oldest daughter is coming to my place to visit so I have to head straight home. Not before breakfast and some more BMW chat around out dew covered bikes.
|Wet bikes. Soon to head off for their homes.|
|She'llbe and his R90S packing. Details shots of this great ole BMW below.|
|Lester wheels. Another rare thing not seen that much anymore.|
|Those carbs can pump fuel a fair way.|
|Thats one sexy big tank. They don't make these anymore. Wish they did as I would love one.|
|Bob getting his Beemer ready for ride home.|
|Me packing up. photo by Sibbo.|
|One last view from the Carvan park.|
|The road between Guyra and Armidale. Hardly saw a car.|
|Thunderbolt's Memorial. Uralla.|
|We love to honour the baddie's here downunder.|
|Uralla War Memorial.|
|Bofors gun War Memorial Uralla. Most country towns will use a gun from either WWI or WWII.|
|Totem that announces the town of Walcha. This is on the south side of town.|
|A very big mansion on the outskirts of Walcha.|
|Looking East over pine logging forests.|
|Barrington Tops from Carsons Lookout.|
|Again view from Carsons Lookout. Stunning views from here.|
|Just outside of Gloucester.|
Thank you Boxerworks NSW guys for a great weekend. When is the next one?