May 2014. Kilkivan and Tansey

May 2014. Kilkivan and Tansey

Date:May 18, 2014 Time: Type: Location:

Ride to Kilkivan

18th May 2014

By Warren Walker

 

Arriving at Quay Street to meet up for the monthly ride we were greeted by a mass of pushbikes and riders occupying our usual meeting place. Yes, it was the annual push bike ride to Burnett Heads and we had struck it again. No matter, we grouped up in the corner near the cafe and discussed the plans for the day.

Tim rocked up in his car to let us know the sad news that circumstance had forced him to sell off the FJR and he would be leaving the club for the foreseeable future. We wish him the best for his future endeavours and hope to see him back and riding with us at some stage in the future.

Deciding that it was time to leave, six of us navigated the sea of cyclists and made our way out of town. We pulled up at Sexy Coffee outside Maryborough where I assured everyone that only a quick stop was needed as we would be at Bauple soon and could have coffee and Macadamia nuts at the service station there. So after those who needed it fuelled up we left for the short ride to Bauple. Unfortunately it was a little longer than I thought because I took the wrong turn-off outside Tiaro. I realized fairly quickly that I had done so but continued on hoping it would join up to another road and takes us to Bauple. It didn’t. After a consultation with John A who informed me we were heading to Tuan we did a U turn and returned to the highway to find the correct turn-off.

I blame Peter Hansen for my mistake. You see, he was originally scheduled to lead the ride but was off with Terry and Tony to a rally in Tenterfield. Somehow I had adopted his navigation skills to ensure that the ride was up to his usual standard.  At least that was my theory.

I am not sure if I can blame the next problem on Peter however. Apparently the service station where we used to stop for coffee and macadamia nuts had closed. With nowhere else for coffee we pulled up outside the Museum and considered our options. Deciding to head to Kilkivan and not worry about coffee (because there was nowhere to get any) we first checked out the array of MG and other sports cars that had arrived before us on their way to Theebine for a club event.

The old sports car left a few minutes before us and after crossing the highway we went across a winding but very rough road before catching up with them just as they turned off to Theebine. If it wasn’t for the terrible state of the surface this section of road would be a terrific sports bike road but it was so incredible rough that discretion was the order of the day.

From the Theebine turn-off the road improved before we passed through Woolooga and joined the Wide Bay Highway for a pleasant ride into Kilkivan.

We pulled up at the local hotel for lunch and met up with a group of riders from Childers. Apparently they knew we were coming having read it on the website. Nice to know that it is being looked at by others and hopefully this will mean new members. Lunch was ordered and we settled into the dining room to wait. Given the large numbers of riders from the Childers group who had ordered ahead of us the wait was not long at all and the meals were all filling and good quality.

After lunch those of us who needed to fuelled their bikes and we started for home. I think we all enjoyed the lovely section of winding, smooth road before Tansey. How this great section of road happened to be built in the middle of virtually nowhere is a mystery but who cares, we all enjoyed it.

After this the section of the Burnett Highway to Bam Bam Springs seemed a bit boring and the next piece to Biggenden only slightly better with a few nice curves to cruise through. A pit stop at Biggenden followed where John A informed us that as we would be taking the North South Road he would leave us there and head to Childers. Apparently he has been infected with a fascination for Mercedes cars and wanted to check out one he had spotted for sale at Childers that morning.

We hit the road again fairly quickly as with the shorter days at this time of the year we were keen to get home before dark. After we had passed over the North South Road and crossed the Bruce Highway I led the way past the Isis Sugar Mill and on to Cordalba. As I approached Cordalba I noticed that the rest of the group seemed to have dropped away. I pulled up to be joined by Harry who informed me that he had passed Jason who was riding slowly and may have some problems. Harry had to get home so he left while I turned back to shortly after meet Kathy who thought that maybe Jason and Ken had taken a wrong turn. As we considered our options they appeared with Jason riding slowly and carefully.

Unfortunately he had suffered a rear puncture and his tyre had deflated almost completely. We moved to the street in front of the Hotel to ponder our course of action. While we had tyre plugs and repair kits we were unable to locate the puncture. The tyre had completely deflated and the bead had actually started to come away from the rim. Deciding that it was too dangerous for Jason to try and limp home and it was doubtful we would be able to make an effective repair even if we could find the puncture we came up with a plan to trailer the Ducati home.

Ken and I left Jason and Kathy and headed for my place and the trailer. After Ken helped me set up the trailer and the cradle I have for carrying bikes I headed back to Cordalba. Ken was willing to come back with me to help load the bike but with limited room in my small 4WD this was impractical

By this time it was dark and I arrived to find Jason and Kathy keen to leave the hotel and get home. After a bit of time we managed to load the bike and tie everything in securely. Jason jumped on Kathy’s bike with instructions to follow and signal me if he noticed anything amiss while Kathy got to be passenger in the 4WD. A steady and careful trip back to Jason and Kathy’s home followed. Being dark I could not see the bike on the trailer at all well and could only carefully watch for a headlight signal from Jason if anything was to go wrong. But all went well and we duly arrived at our destination with no trouble. Jason reported the bike and trailer was very stable with barely any movement of the bike despite some rough road surfaces in places. I left the bike on the trailer for Jason to get it to the shop for repair and eventually got home about 7:30. A long day in the end but all ended well.

I believe that this sort of event is one of the best parts of being in a club. Members helping out fellow club members can only make the club stronger and help cement friendships.  When situations like this arise somebody is always willing to help out and the assurance that this happens and help is at hand gives us all confidence when travelling far from home.

Thanks to Ken for being tail end Charlie for the day and helping me get the trailer ready. And thanks to everyone else who came along. Despite Jason’s puncture we all had an enjoyable day and hopefully good days like this will continue to happen.

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