Willowbank Superbikes Weekend September 2012

Willowbank Superbikes Weekend September 2012

Date:Dec 30, 2013 Time: Type:Weekend trip / Monthly RIde Location:Willowbank Raceway. Ipswich

Ride to the Willowbank Superbikes September 2012 .

Ride Leader  Warren W.

September 15th – 17th, 2012

 Seven riders turned up at Quay Street on Saturday morning keen to head off to Queensland Raceway to view the final round of the Australian Superbikes and other domestic racing championships. We tossed up if we wanted to ride straight to the track and watch some action in the afternoon or to take our time and meander down and just be satisfied with the race track action on Sunday. It was overwhelmingly decided that we would make the most of the days ride and worry about the racing the next day.

I prewarned everyone that despite having months to think about it this was likely to be a very disorganized few days as I had made no plans for our route down to Willowbank and in fact anything over the week end apart from our accommodation. I quickly made a rough plan of how we would get to our destination with some input from Tony who mentioned that the route John had lead us to Gympie via some dirt road some years previously was now bitumen. Not knowing exactly where these roads where I quickly agreed that we would attempt this, have lunch somewhere and finish the afternoon passing through Maleny, Mt Mee and Mount Glorious.

We departed just about on time and set off towards Childers. I turned off at Logging Creek and took a few back roads to bring us out at near the Childers Golf Club and then onto the highway a few kilometers South of Childers. Apparently several riders had never been on these roads and were a bit bamboozled as to where we were at some stages of this little detour.

Corner exit

Corner exit

A quick run up the highway before second breakfast was taken at Sexy Coffee. We eventually left there and headed off to Gympie. Keeping with the theme of back roads wherever possible to avoid the highway I turned onto the Maryborough – Biggenden before taking Mungar Road to emerge on the highway at Tiaro. Following the highway briefly we turned off just the other side of Tiaro and took the back way again through to Gundiah. Pulling up at the T junction at the end of this road to ask Tony and John where we needed to go to find the back roads we had discussed earlier I was met with answers indicating that after we passed through Woologah no one really knew. John mentioned we had to pass through Mirva but he wasn’t sure where this was. Deciding that this was in keeping with the disorganized nature of the ride I decided to head for Woologah and see where we ended up. Amazingly enough after we rode through Woologah and then headed back towards the highway on the Wide Bay Highway I noticed a sign indicating MIrva. Quickly pulling up I received a nod from John indicating he thought that was the right way. So we turned off passed through some rural areas and eventually found ourselves coming into the back of Gympie. A lovely bit of road with some nice bends but somewhat ruined by the ancient vehicle in front carting a load of hay. We pulled up at the usual fuel stop at Gympie. Well at least I did, it appeared that I had lost the entire ride group somewhere between where I had seen them behind me as I turned onto the highway and the service station some five kilometers down the road. Eventually they turned up explaining that they had been delayed by a set of lights that I had just gotten through apparently. Fueling up quickly I suggested we didn’t hang about but took off quickly to get to the Kenilworth Pub in time for Lunch. This was agreed to and we did exactly that heading down the highway briefly before turning off and taking the Traverston Crossing road before emerging on the road to Kenilworth. A spirited bit of riding, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone brought us to Kenilworth in good spirits and ready for lunch. A good lunch while perusing the passing bike traffic, always worthwhile in this area, saw us well relaxed but the day was definitely getting away from us. We eventually got away sometime after 2:30 with a fair bit if riding still in front of us.

I decided to head through Maleny as we had not really ridden that road for a while before heading to Woodford and onto Mt Mee. Somewhere along this piece of road Terry decided he would relieve me of ride leader responsibilities and passed me. I’m sure this was more to do with the numerous bends then it was with any desire to guide us to the next destination. Fuelling up at Mt Mee service station I calculated we would arrive at our night’s accommodation just before dark if we had a good run.

Considering the number of roadworks we had already run into I wasn’t sure this would happen. Sure enough on the run up the range to Mt Glorious we were held up with roadworks and traffic stops on several occasions. Turning towards Fernvale we wound our way down the range. We were delayed by a Commodore wagon which seemed intent on destroying its brakes by gradually burning them up. Everyone, even those who had taken it easy on the bends and were a few kilometers back smelled the burning scent leaving a few to wonder if they were having bike trouble. I decided to hang back a bit more from the Commodore when I saw the trail of blue smoke pouring out as he passed through one particular bend. Apparently the driver had no idea on using gears to slow the vehicle and I was worried he was going to run out of brakes before we got to the bottom of the range. Quickly regrouping at the intersection on the Brisbane Valley Highway  it was looking like we would get to Willowbank a bit after dark. We passed through Fernvale before turning off to pass behind Amberley airbase somewhere along here I pulled up to allow everyone to catch up only to discover the Triumphs headlights had failed. As we were now losing the light I knew the next 10 – 15 kilometres was going to be fairly disconcerting. I asked Tony to take the lead while I hung back at the rear of the pack. Terry stayed back with me and by riding side by side or with Terry just in front or behind I was able to continue. Eventually we got to our destination. The Willowbak Motel is not hard to find being marked by two old Canberra bombers position in the park at the front of the motel. Ironic then, that the only person to see it and pull up was the rider with no headlights. The rest of the crew did a u Turn a few hundred meters up the road to return to the motel.

Unpacking the bikes and settling in we started to make plans for the evening. Given my lack of lights we decided to get a maxi taxi to the nearest hotel for dinner and then return with supplies to continue discussions etc. back at the motel. We all quickly showered and prepared for the evening. Querying the cab driver we decided that the Yamoto Tavern was the place for us. Not a bad spot with a huge choice of imported beers and some good meals. We eventually found a sheltered area out the back with a gas heater. It was getting a little cool. We purchased supplies at the bottle shop adjacent and precede to wait for the maxi cab we had called. And waited and waited. Eventually Tony rang the cab company back who informed us that here were no maxi cabs in the area and we were waiting for something that would not happen. Not happy. Tony suggested they send two cabs instead and when the first one arrived we thought we were OK. Matt, Ken and I waited and waited before eventually hijacking a cab which had just dropped someone off. Apparently there was no job outstanding to pick us up. Getting back to the motel somewhat disgruntled we joined the rest of the crew in a few beers before we all decided to hit the sack. Some attempts were made to watch the MotoGP being broadcast that night but I think must people crashed with out seeing too much of it at all.

Supermotard

Supermotard

The next day we were up early and after breakfast and refueling the bikes down the road at the service station we ventured on to the track. We enjoyed the day with some close racing, a few falls, a brilliant stunt riding display and some good weather although it did get a bit warm later in the day. The track is one of the few where you can see the entire course from most places around the outside and with some long straights and tight turns is affectionately known as the Paperclip. The talent of our domestic race riders is something to see and yet the spectator numbers were really quite low. With out more support from spectators sponsorship will

How low can u go

How low can u go

become increasingly difficult for these riders and organizers to continue. I only hope they can find a way because these guys are our future international riders and without a domestic race scene the exposure needed to attract international recognition will not be there. We left in two groups some deciding they had seen enough and leaving before the last couple of races. The rest of us arrived back at the motel to see John A limping and lamenting about dropping his bike when taking off from a parked position in the parking area.  Twice. After the second time John realized that the front wheel won’t go around with a disc lock fitted. No damage to the bike and John was Ok by the next morning but I am sure he will not forget this for a while, nor will we let him.

We had a few drinks at the motel before deciding that the Yamoto Tavern was the place to be again. We taxied back and forth again and enjoyed a good meal but I think we were all quite happy to call it a night early before ride home the next day.

We were away fairly early the next day before breakfasting at the same service station. I decided to come home along the Burnet Highway with a trip up the Blackbutt Range. Tony suggested there may be roadwork on the range but after the amount we had come across on the way down we couldn’t see how we would not hit road works on the way home no matter which way we went.

Setting up for the corner

Setting up for the corner

Deciding that no one needed to fuel up since we had only done 18 kilometers since fueling up the day before we headed off, through the back of Ambereley again and on through Fernvale. Passing over the dam wall and enjoying the sight of all the stored water we continued on turning off towards Blackbutt at the intersection. We were held up by road works on the range for about 10 to 15 minutes and I took the chance to ask Terry if he had enough fuel to get to Goomeri. He answered yes so I decided we would continue right through to there before stopping. As we approached Goomeri I noticed Terry exhibiting some strange behavior and following quite closely. About five kilometers from our destination Terry suddenly dropped back slowing right down and eventually stopping. He had actually run very low on fuel and had been attempting to slipstream me before eventually running out. Apparently he had misheard me at the road works and answered Yes to the wrong question. Fortunately Terry comes prepared and had a small fuel container holding about a litre of fuel. Quickly topping up we took off and made it to the usual service station we use at Goomeri. Unfortunately it had no fuel so we had to use the one a hundred meters up the road. Knowing he wasn’t the only one to run out of fuel that day may have made Terry feel a little better.

We had a bit of a break coffee and some smoko before continuing on to Biggenden. Some fueled up before we traveled onto the Cordalba pub for a refreshing drink and to discuss the week end before heading home.

We were all home by about 2:30, a stark contrast to the time the trip down had taken us. I think we all completely enjoyed ourselves. Apart form my headlights failing, John dropping his bike in the bike park (Twice), the cab debacle and Terry not quite making it to Goomeri everything went smoothly. Considering the lack of planning that went into it I would have to say I was happy with that. I think we travelled about 900 kms all up. Thanks to Peter H and Ken Cutler for undertaking tail end Charlie duties during the week end.

 

Crowded corner

Crowded corner

Club member Matt on the track

Club member Matt on the track

In the car park

In the car park

More supermotard

More Supermotard Action

Not falling off

Not falling off

Support class 2

Support class 1

support class 1

Support class 2

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