It was a fine but cool start to the ride at the Hume Caltex, with a forecast of fine but not hot weather ahead of us. Craig was on the inaugural run on his new Ducati Monster, red of course. (Lorraine) led the group & very gradually advanced from them, until I was nearly a mile ahead. This was not a concern as we were all competent riders on modern machines, & what could happen on the boring straightened Monaro Highway? I thought.
Well I was wrong in my assumption of a benign Monaro as foolish & careless motorists can turn any road into a minefield. And so it was that an innocent Lisa was almost walloped by a crash originating in the northbound lane. Craig & Lisa described their harrowing experience in the March magazine, & it makes sober reading.
Somewhat carefully we rode on to Nimitabel for a browse in the leather shop , before riding on to Bombala for fuel. I had planned a short detour to Delegate, primarily as I had never been there. The road was wide & sweeping with a good surface, but Delegate was a sad dying little town. The sort of place one feels sorry for. We found a WWII truck seemingly abandoned to its rusty fate, until we noticed that it was still registered, for goodness sake! Here we had lunch, a shallow fare I have to say, before we rode back to Bombala & rejoined the Cann River Highway heading for Victoria.
This road has been listed in the top 50 rides in Australia, an award it justly deserves. The northern section is open & sweeping, with pine forests & distant mountains. The southern section, roughly from the Vic border, is a wooded, windy river valley, which amuses riders all the way to the village of Cann River. Here we stopped & more fuel was taken on-board by the smaller tank bikes. Also afternoon tea refreshed us, at a cafe I had not frequented previously.
The weather remained fine , but with a minor threat of a shower on the coastal run East to Mallacoota for our overnight stop. Here I had booked rooms at the very clean & tidy Silver Bream Motel, which I can recommend to any of you visiting that little town. I have taken the Club there on at least three trips now.
Once out of bike gear & scrubbed up we took a walk to the sea. The village had an air of 'season's over' about it & the Victorian Holiday crowds had evidently headed home long since. It was quiet & almost faintly autumnal: this was fine by us. We picked the pub for dinner & were fed a delicious bountiful & good value meal. The pub also has motel rooms by the way, which are good value. We returned to the motel & had a bit of a party in the unit Graham & I occupied, before turning in for bed.
The next morning the stormy looking weather was still around as we ate breakfast in a lovely outside garden area. The Silver Bream does wonderful cooked breakfasts, also very good value.
Soon we were in the saddle again & heading back to the NSW border & Eden. Rain showers had passed before us, but we remained dry. By the time we reached Eden it was sunny again. We stopped at the wharf for coffee & I just missed a Triumph riding friend who rode by. By Pambula, more fuel was needed, which becomes quite tiresome if your tank only holds three gallons, like a US spec' Triumph for example. Luckily my Sprint has a range of nearly 500Km on a tank so I was not concerned.
Our route took us to Wyndham, but not onto the pass to Bombala. Instead we took the mountain road through the forest, to Candelo & on to Bemboka. We rode on to Nimitabel for lunch in the café next door to the leather shop, a good alternative to the pie shop. From here it was easy riding all the way home, but with one last farewell coffee stop in Bredbo at the food co-op.
This was an enjoyable two day ride, which could so easily have turned into a disaster in a split second. Thankfully for us & Lisa in particular all was well in he end.