It’s Sunday lunchtime and I’ve just unpacked my kit to try and dry it out.
Yesterday, Saturday, was work’s adventure-bike meeting at Green Valley Farm, and I’d organised to meet Nigel Harvey from Triumph. He was heading down from the Gold Coast, and the idea was we’d meet in Casino and ride down together on one of Marty HC’s routes. Nigel’s a really enthusiastic fella and a good rider, and he makes for great company. He’s always happy, no matter how drastic things might seem. The plan was looking really good when a part I was chasing for the KLR became available in Grafton, and the bloke selling the part, ‘Mac’, said it suited him for us to meet at the Macca’s at 8.00am on the Friday.
So I left home at around 6.00am and rode in the pissing rain to Grafton, where I had a coffee while I waited for Mac to arrive. He turned out to be an absolutely top bloke. I stayed in my riding gear, including helmet, because I didn’t want to let any water inside the gear. Mac didn’t care about that. He jumped out of his car and had a good long look at the Beemer and a friendly chat about KLRs in general. The water was dribbling off both of us, but it didn’t seem to bother Mac. It seemed if he was talking about KLRs, he couldn’t be happier.
From Grafton I headed up to Casino to meet Nige at 10.00am. The sun broke through at about Whiporie and I had a fabulous carefree run from there. I lobbed into the Macca’s early, so gave good mate Wilko a call. He wandered on down and we had a coffee and banana-bread toast and chatted about things until Nige turned up.
The run down the Clarence Valley Way and Carnham Road was fantastic, as always. Nige was on a 2016 Explorer – I bike I rate very highly – and the route was near perfect for both the Triumph and the BMW.
We stopped here and there to take a few photos and generally soak up the fabulous scenery before wandering into Green Valley Farm and settling in to a very nice cabin for the night. Our roommates were BMW’s Miles Davis on a 1200GSA – borrowed from instructor Chris Urquhart – and workmate Mitch on his KLR.
The weekend went off a screamer. The folks at Green Valley Farm were incredible, keeping fire pits stocked with hard, dry timber, doing a great job with catering, and chasing away the ostrich when it got a bit stroppy. Marty HC was on the Vince Strang stand giving away free GPX files and route sheets for the Paradise Loop, and thanks to the rain in the days before it was even better than last year. It was so green, and the roads were dust-free and had flowing causeways all over the place. Karen and Dave Ramsay were there to say hello, and I foolishly didn’t get a pic of them. I did notice the pink handguards on Karen’s Husky, though. They were hard to miss.
I think I missed getting a pic of Karen and Dave last year, too.
Good on me.
I elected to stay Saturday night because I didn’t want to risk running through the ‘roos and wildlife in the dark, and when I slothed out of bed this morning it’d obviously rained a little overnight and was still a tad wet. I rode through light, drizzly rain all the way home. The rain wasn’t a big deal, because at least it wasn’t too cold. The fog was the problem. It was much heavier than I expected, and stretched on and off from Guyra through to Ebor. The road seemed extra slippery, too (maybe that’s just me getting old).
All in all it was a great weekend. As enjoyable as any I’ve had for a long time.
Now, if I can just get the KLR rego changed over tomorrow, I’ll consider it the cream on the cake.