Royal Enfield Club of Australia Winter Rally 2016 Gundagai

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Winter Rally 2016 Gundagai

Royal Enfield Club of Australia Winter Rally 2016

Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend – Gundagai  NSW.


Trip Report by Craig Katen and Jon Hinton


We all travelled independently to Gundagai with people coming from Victoria, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and ACT.

The Trip

Some of the NSW group (not on Enfields by the way) left on Friday for a more adventurous route via Nowra, Nerriga, Tarago, Bungendore and stayed overnight in Yass. The bulk of us left on Saturday. The Blue Mountains group travelled by Ute via the Central West to Cootamundra and rode from there. Stewart rode from Bowral as Terry trailered the Penguin which was their accommodation for the weekend. Due to predicted inclement weather ( and lack of space on the bike for winter clothing) Jenny and I also chose the comfortable option of trailering my bike there, which turned out to be an added bonus in the end as a second recovery vehicle. Since we arrived fresh at lunchtime Jenny and I decided to do a quick ride to the “almost” ghost town of Junee where it was difficult to get a hamburger at 2pm on a Saturday arvo!.

Excerpt  Part 1 from Jon Hinton’s Report  

From the Victorian side to the other side.,,,,Or: On the Road to Gundagai

The members going from Victoria to Gundagai from Melbourne initially had a few drop outs due to relocations and changed circumstance. On the day all we could muster for the ride up were 3 of us who had crossed the Nullarbor together.

Tim, Sir Anthony and I arranged to meet at Kalkallo just north of Melbourne on the Hume. We arranged to meet at about 9 O’clock, knowing that Sir Anthony wouldn’t show up ‘till sometime later in the day. As Tim & I waited around and got a coffee, filled up with petrol, watched the clouds roll in and wondered if this was the Kalkallo that Anthony had suggested, or whether there was another one.

I asked at the service station and the young lady there told me that “No, this is the only Kalkallo”, and so we waited a bit more.

The rain has now started.

Tim & I put on our waterproofs and waited. We watched a group of about a dozen old Holden’s meet up, and leave – maybe on their way to Winton for a fun day.

After a while we heard the noise of an Electra pulling into the servo. Here he was.

Apparently the rain had caused him to pull over and put his camouflage gear on. Probably not the safest way to travel through the woodlands alongside the Hume!!

Once refuelled we headed off north in the rain and trucks and what seemed like the rest of Melbourne leaving town. I had worked out a route that took us away from the Hume and over to Mansfield and Benalla to add a corner into the mix.

We turned off at Tallarook, and it was getting pretty cold and staying wet. I lent Sir Anthony a pair of silk liner gloves for his gauntlets and we moved on, but he was still pretty cold. Tim and I were faring better wearing ‘proper’ motorcycling gear with better insulation, even though Ant had about 7 layers on. On to Trawool and the Goulbourn Valley Hwy. A fair amount is limited to 80kph due to previous accidents, and that may have been good for a wet day. However we couldn’t get rid of the traffic heading to the High Country.

Yea was full – hardly a parking space to be found, and we got rid of a few of the cars as they paused for a break.

It was still damp, and very cold; but at least the heavy rain had finished. We motored on to Mansfield where we stopped for lunch. We found a great bakery which served a good coffee and thawed out. Anthony was feeling pretty worn out by the cold, but he was persuaded to carry on.  By this time Charles was concerned that we would take the High Country route and I must admit that I had also begun to think that the destination was more important than the journey on this occasion.

We left town to head up towards Benalla. The original plan was to head across country parallel to the Hume and catch it up around Wangaratta, but we needed fuel at some time, so we headed into Benalla proper and refuelled. We had a quick discussion and all felt that we should just travel on the Hume and get to Gundagai. Our arrival time was working out to be around dusk as it was; never a good time to be riding in bad weather.

The country around here is spectacular – more so in summer – and a great area to ride in if you’re on the back roads. When on the Hume you just wear your tyre square.

The rest of the ride was now completed as a fairly straightforward run in the now dry and cool conditions. We arrived at the Criterion to meet up with all the other members that had found the bar.

The Arrival

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After our ride to Junee  Jenny and I headed to the Criterion Hotel for the Meet & Greet. We caught up with the NSW guys that had arrived earlier and Charles and Owen from Victoria and Leon from ACT.

Others who braved the weather like Anthony,  John and Tim, Paul and Sue, Alastair, Roger and Narelle on the ” Monster Outfit” and the Lyons’ , turned up a short time after the rest of us for a well earned drink.

We then proceeded en masse to The Family Hotel for dinner which was just across the road.

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We awoke to a cold and foggy Sunday morning in Gundagai. The ride was scheduled for 10am start which we were thankful of since the temps were below zero overnight which frosted our seats.

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Sheridan St on a cold Sunday morning Luckily we weren’t scheduled to depart until 10am.


Ian’s top box was frosty

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Alastair’s BMW and my Enfield also copped the frost


The Ride

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We assembled across from the Criterion Hotel at around 930am.

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Our route was a loop south from Gundagai to Tumut then to Coolac for lunch and then north to Muttama and back down to Gundagai thru Burra Creek.


We headed off for the trip to Tumut and a about half way thru we we behind Stewart and Terry who we following Roger and Narelle on their Harley outfit when suddenly an “object” flew of the sidecar and hit the road and bounced up over Stewarts head,  Initially I though OMG Narelle has dropped her camera as on trips she spends more time looking backwards taking photos than facing the correct direction ! When it landed in front of us I realised it was an indicator as it hit the road and sent a spray of orange plastic into the air. It luckily bounced over the ARMCO and disappeared down the embankment. The sheer power of the Harley must have ripped it off.

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Morning tea was at Tumut where Mick a friend of Jenny’s  who has a motel in Adelong came to meet us and have a cuppa. If we ever decide to hold a rally there we now have accomodation.

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Jenny and I heading off from Tumut

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Just out of tumut we came across some cows and bulls on the road, one of which took a liking to Stewarts bike and decided to take a closer look which scared Jenny and I for a second time


Mark concentrating on his line

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Mike “Ponch” Floyd on his Californian “Highway Patrol”

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Lunch was the Beehive Hotel at Coolac where the hamburgers are as big as your head

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Just near the red ute in the photo on the right Mike spotted an echidna

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The Hinton boys

The Museum


It was then back to Gundagai where Charles had arranged for the Gundagai Historical Museum to stay open late for us to check out an eclectic mix of old homewares, newspaper articles, books, photographs, office equipment and a shed full of both rustic and rusty farm equipment.


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We also discovered Ian’s secret weapon and marvelled at how people communicated back in Ye Olde days

The Presentation

Sunday’s dinner and presentation was held at Gundagai Services Club


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They provided the club with our own section us being rowdy biker types !

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Mark Reynolds won best UCE

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Charles Todd – Best British

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Ian Lyons – Best Electra

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Ian also received an appreciation award for enduring such a long trip and for services as Tail End Charlie which he valiantly offered to do and noted that it’s the only time you’d see him at the back of the pack.

He was in slow-mode due to a rattle in the engine which he guessed is a cracked skirt on his piston. Jokes were forthcoming that he always seems to be  “piston broke” !

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John Wright – Best Iron Barrell

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Anthony Wright finally won something  – Most Distance Travelled – or did he ? 😉

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We thought there was some nice looking wine on offer from Charles however he gave it to Owen Bentley as some sort of bribe presumably to help fix his bike!

The Town

Such a nice part of the world where things haven’t changed too much

Click on the photos for larger images

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There was a truck show in Gundagai on the same weekend, not sure what the Ariel was doing

The Return

Monday morning Jenny and I went for another walk thru town, we caught up with Jon, Tim and Anthony at the Bushranger Cafe and then waited for the Lyons’ whom we had arranged to have breakfast with.

As we sat outside in the sun it was interesting to watch people from the club coming and going from their various abodes, meeting for breaky, strolling thru town, or refueling their bikes before making their way home.

Melissa, Kevin and Ian turned up and we as we ate we discussed the fate of Ian’s “Baby” who had an upset in the internal organs. Eventually he relented and we put her on the trailer next to mine bound for Campbelltown.

Speaking of upsets in the internal organs……

Excerpt  Part 2 from Jon Hinton’s Report  

From the Victorian side to the other side.,,,,Or: On the Road to Gundagai

On the return trip to Melbourne we left Gundagai on a cold and frosty morning. The plan was to leave at 9 O’clock again, and Sir Anthony called me at about 8am to ask if I was coming out for breakfast. I was impressed. He was up and running.

Tim & I joined him for breakfast to find that while he was no longer in his pyjamas he hadn’t got much further – still needing to pack and refuel his bike.  Oh well……..

After brekky the clouds and the mist cleared to leave us with a lovely winter’s day ride. We saw a number of the Club leaving with their bikes to travel back from whence they came as we waited for Sir Anthony to be ready.

We made the decision to travel back the shorter way, and stick to the Hume Hwy. My bike had started to make some interesting ‘clacking’ noises that I thought the hydraulic lifters were making. I had tried to track it down by ‘listening’ with a screwdriver and they seemed to be at the top of the motor and at all parts of the cycle.

By sticking to the Hwy we would save about ~150 kms from the planned alternative.

So off we pottered and we were quite happy to be travelling along at about 100kph. The noises seemed to have abated and all was going well.

Until we neared Wangaratta.

Then there was a loud ‘clatter, clatter – bang’ and my back tyre locked up just as I had overtaken a car, and my companions were catching me up. A quick dive to the side of the road as I pulled in the clutch lever allowed me to coast to a stop with a much seized engine. The kick start lever felt welded to the block.  It was obvious I was going no further on two wheels, so I invoked the “Recover My Ride” clause, and waited 2 hrs on the side of the road before being picked up and taken home on a flat bed truck.

The other two had left me to my own devices and so were home just 2 hours ahead of me, having had an uneventful ride home.

Thanks again to Charles Todd and Anthony Wright for organising such a great event

Thanks to Narelle and Jenny for the photos

Thanks to Jon Hinton for the “Victorian Perspective”


The Pie Project

The Pie Project

A good pie is pretty easy to find now days, and there are plenty of pie specialty places, Sylvia & Frans, Heather Brae, Pie in the Sky and Crescent Head Bakery, But you can make your own too!

I can’t remember eating a bad pie in ages, mainly because I have been spoilt by the efforts of the places mentioned above and won’t eat one from a petrol station oven.

But what is a bad pie? One where the main ingredient is missing. What annoys me most when I find a bad pie is that they have not put care into it. They have selected crap meat to save money, it’s chopped roughly into too-large chunks with bits of fat and sinew attached and the flavour of the watery gravy tastes like a rendering plant due to all the gelatine. Another pet hate is soggy pastry due to runny gravy making it impossible to eat without it running down your arm. Then theres the lack of imagination when selecting fillings. (STEAK, STEAK & ONION, STEAK & CHEESE, BEEF AND BACON and CHILLI if you are lucky)

I like pies, I like beer, I really like pies made with beer like a Guinness Pot Pie which is something that I just have to order if it’s on the menu, same goes for Kangaroo and eggs benedict some things I just can’t say no to.

So you should be able to put anything in a pie if you think about it a bit and compliment it with some veggies, spices and creative sauces so I’m going to try it.

Now that I can make pies I would like people to come up with some ideas and I will design, test and review the creations

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Not having made pies before I went looking for a pie tray in Big W but no luck the closest thing was a Texas Muffin tray so I just bought this gadget


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Diced round steak from the butcher was too chunky and contained some sinew

So I chopped it into smaller sugar cube sized chunks

I also dismembered a chicken and kept the scraps to use later in a pie but it didn’t eventuate – see below

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Fry up some onion and the brown the meat

Add some beef stock, tomato paste, red wine, worcester sauce, salt and pepper and simmer for about 1 hour

Then add some corn flour and water to thicken the gravy before use

When the meat is almost cooked get out the pastry sheets to defrost 1 x puff (lid) and 2 x short crust (base)

The Pie maker came with a pastry cutter that puts slits in the base so you can overlap and fit the base into the mould, It’s a bit tricky as the pie machine is on and bloody hot

Spoon half a cup of filling into the base and put the puff pastry top on and close the machine which then crimps and seals the pies

Cook for about 12 mins, i checked after 10 and they looked done

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The one on the top left mustn’t have had  enough filling – still tasted good though

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The finished product

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Verdict – Excellent especially with beer and potato crisps

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So I had some leftover chicken  and pastry scraps and was going to make a chicken pie for Emma but she didn’t want it and went off to Venturers after having 2 min noodles as usual

I thought a dessert pie was on the cards so I chopped up about 1/2 cup of banana and then topped up with thin sliced apple

I chucked it in the base and then spooned in some peanut butter and some raspberry jam and topped it with some Rum & Raisin chocolate and brown sugar

Banana and apple cooked in raspberry jam and peanut butter with chocolate melting on top!

Oh It was horrible !… don’t ever make one !… really it was crap….. I’m not lying…i had to give it to the dog … no need to experiment people… stick to boring old beef  ….don’t try anything new  😉

Now seriously it tasted UNREAL…However you could virtually chuck anything in there and it would taste good

I am going to ask for suggestions and do some experiments, give me some ideas,  let me know what I should try next?

Winter Fitness Campaign

Winter Fitness Campaign

Tricks to stay fit over winter

Regular morning exercise, Simple diet, Hydration, Sunshine all help.

Being involved in the surf club over summer guarantees some regular exercise since I am at the beach at least 3 times a week. Board training is Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoon, then Nippers on Sunday morning. There are also swim sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. You could very easily spend every afternoon training.

We tend to make it to the beach on Wednesday, Friday and most Saturdays, however Angus has pool swimming on Tuesday and Scouts on Thursday so these are our days off from the beach. The Nippers season goes from September to March so autumn is usually busy with trips away at Easter, School holidays and having a break from the summer schedule. Free weekends are a welcome change in autumn and this year we made use of them to go to Thredbo Mountain Biking and also had some weekends away on the motorbike with the Royal Enfield Club.

With no set training during the week over winter it’s very easy to get complacent and drop out of regular exercise. I saw this article on Five Things You Should Do Before 9am which I have been doing for a while now.

During summer I start work early to enable me to leave early and get to the beach in time for training, This time of the year (with no daylight savings) I tend to start work later and try to get things around the house done in the morning.

My routine was to get up early and do some stuff online or on my PC, Jenny would get up a bit later and make me a coffee and I would then do some work around the house or yard or cars once everyone had left the house. I would then go off to work later in the morning without breakfast and I’d have something to eat at work – usually bacon and eggs or more coffee and cakes/biscuits/muffins as i was getting hungry by mid to late morning. Eating later then affected my lunchtime appetite which would stretch out till 3pm some days which would then in-turn affect my night time eating habbits.

I changed my routine recently and have had good results. This is what I did.

Regular morning exercise

Recently I started walking the dog again of a morning.

When I get out of bed I still do my computer work until the sun is up around 600-630  but this time sans-coffee. Then I fill up a water bottle and take the dog around the block for a 1.5km 15min walk. This week I have added a bush section where i can extend the walk  to 2.5km and incorporate some trail running in an attempt to increase my heart rate. The walk was only returning about 1 to 1.5 Training Effect  which means I was between level 1 and 2 or in other words no real training benefit except moving my legs and sucking in some fresh ones.

According to Garmin

Training Effect measures the impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness. Training Effect accumulates during the activity. As the activity progresses, the training effect value increases, telling you how the activity has improved your fitness. Training Effect is determined by your user profile information, heart rate, duration, and intensity of your activity.


Heart Rate Zones are based on percentage of maximum heart rate which is 220 BPM minus your age. Zone 1 Minor is between 50%-60% , Zone 2 Maintaining is 60%-70%, Zone 3 Improving is 70%-80%, Zone 4 Highly Improving is 80%-90% and Zone 5 Overreaching is 90%-100% of maximum heart rate.
Click on View Details on the image or click here to load the workout info from  Garmin Connect

Aside from the obvious cardiovascular and aerobic fitness of trail-running the big benefit is to get off the pavement and into the bush. Another article of interest was recently shared on Facebook by Steve McLaughlin What Hiking Does To The Brain Is Pretty Amazing

This is one of the reasons I also prefer mountain biking over cycleways, dirt bikes over road riding, body surfing/ocean swimming over lap training and XC ski touring over resort skiing.

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Simple diet

Upon returning home I immediately make some breakfast consisting of either Be Natural muesli which has raisins apples grains and seeds etc or porridge with a banana and a handful of trail mix thrown in.

Making Porridge is easy, I’m not sure why they sell instant porridge? – the stuff out of the box  is pretty instant if you ask me ! See my blog  Making Porridge is Easy

I then get some food together to take to work which is not only good for you it saves me about $20 per day and means I don’t waste an hour driving to the shops and back.

For second breakfast I have some multigrain sourdough bread with vegemite and OJ, morning tea is usually a coffee with some home made muffins or biscuits and lunch is more sour-dough bread with ham and tomato along with a V8 juice. Sometimes I will take leftovers or some salad and cold meat and once a week I might get Japanese or a pizza on non training days as a treat.

It’s about time to swap menus to winter mode and incorporate some soup or stews etc. Jenny has already got the slow cooker out on a few occasions which I’m sure will give me some blog-ammo over winter…. Stay Tuned !


I fill up a bike water bottle which i take on the walk, i also use this for breakfast and take it to work to drink during the day. It’ s only 750ml but the physical presence of the water bottle forces you to make an effort to drink regularly. For me it is quite hard to force myself to drink when sitting at my desk, “they” say you should drink 8 glasses a day or 2 litres. I found this article  Recommendations by life stage and gender kindly produced by our government, that tells me if I identify as a 50-71yr old male I should drink 2.6lt per day of fluids.  Take away almost 2 litres of beer and the 750ml drink bottle seems enough !



After breakfast I try to get some tasks out of the way whilst I have some sun light as I know that after work I will not have the opportunity or the inclination. This time of year I find it difficult to leave early enough to do something after work. It’s now getting dark and cold earlier and earlier ( well until june 20th) and after 5pm there’s no point beginning a project like replacing the shocks on my bike which I did one morning  last week assisted by my helper monkey Roxy.

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Starting the day with some outdoor activity like the walk I do with the dog, then having breakfast outside ( with the dog) and then doing some chores around the yard (again with the dog) is a much better way to start the day. The trip to work is way less stressful since all the 9-5 maniacs are already at their desks having their 4th cup of coffee needed to get thru the day. The other benefit is someone else has to deal with the early morning emails, phone calls and emergencies that I would normally have to deal with.

Making Porridge is Easy

Making Porridge is Easy

I’m not sure why they sell instant porridge? – the stuff out of the box  is pretty instant if you ask me !

Looking at groceries and prices, it’s a pretty simple concept that over packaged items not only waste resources but cost more. I have used pre-packaged porridge on some ski camping trips just for convenience, however, next time a zip lock bag will do the trick,

Here’ s what I do


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Boil water in kettle

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Add half a cup of oats to a saucepan

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Add half a cup of hot water to it

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Stir whilst heating

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When it goes creamy add a splash of milk, stir in and reheat

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Pour some boiling water into the bowl to pre-heat

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spoon in the porridge remembering to save some for the dog 

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Add a handful of trail mix and some banana

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Done, feed dog leftovers and eat

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