Let’s talk about the weather. We have just had a mild Winter, with nowhere near the rainfall we need. The nation is in serious drought. The eastern states are in the grip of major bushfires. And of course global warming isn’t going away anytime soon. But look on the bright side before the planet implodes! The weather for motorcycle riding right now is just about perfect, and today was ideal. Comfortable temperatures, a bit of cloud, a bit of sun, not too much wind. Which probably explains why we had the biggest turnout for the start of a Sunday ride in quite some time, the near record fuel rip off of $1.75 per litre in Adelaide notwithstanding.
We also had two new riders with the group. The first half of the ride was from McDonalds Magill heading southwards via Greenhill Rd, past Mt Lofty, Ironbark and down as far as Scott Creek. At times this got tight and twisty, and also a bit technical, with a few steep, tricky corners. Just the sort of terrain to keep us on our toes and practice some of those rarely used skills. From here, the roads opened out a bit as we moved back north , via Bradbury, Mylor & Hahndorf, to Balhannah.
Here we rendezvoused with Lower Murray Branch, who had a respectable turnout of some 15 bikes, bringing the total up to about 40 bikes. The three other branches who were invited to join us were otherwise engaged, although we did have a few Torrens Valley regulars along as well. So it was really a 2 Captains Ride. Even so, as I said, it was still the biggest group we have had in a while. Had the full complement of members turned up, I think it may have become unmanageable, or at least, logistically difficult.
After exchanging pleasantries, the combined group headed out through Mt Torrens, Mt Pleasant, out to Cambrai & Sedan, up the infamous - and still very bumpy - Sedan Hill, through Keynton, to Nuriootpa and the Vine Inn Hotel for a very pleasant lunch. Personally, I enjoyed meeting some new people and getting into the Ulysses spirit with fellow members, and I think it’s a good thing. We should perhaps aim to do it a bit more often.
This last section of the ride was marred to some extent by a shunt at an intersection coming in to Angaston, which left one of the bikes involved with some damage. This was what the military would call a “blue on blue” incident, that is, no other vehicles (like cars!) were involved, it was all our own work. Fortunately, both bikes were rideable afterwards & nobody was seriously hurt (I think), which is the really important bit.
But it is a sobering reminder to all of us that we do have a potentially dangerous pastime, and we all need to maintain our skills, and particularly our concentration and vigilance, while out riding, so we can all get home safely. Remember, it’s a jungle out there.
Click here for a map of the ride.
(The gaps are where my GPS lost the satellites.)