Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc – 2017 AGM Rally Trip Report
By Craig Katen
The Royal Enfield Club of Australia 2017 AGM was held on November 18th at Deloraine TAS, about 50km south of Devonport and about 50 km west of Launceston. We had approximately 48 people registered 10 from NSW, 17 from VIC, 19 from TAS and 2 from the UK. Of the 10 people from NSW 3 dropped out and only Ian Lyons and myself rode our bikes, Bruce and Cynthia Walker and Bill Rice transported theirs and the Penningtons came in their Campervan sans bike.
My journey started as a late entry having recently taking myself out of the workforce and I discovered that Ian was planning to ride down and also stay for the following week’s tour around the island. I thought this would be an opportunity that I should not miss. I quickly got onto booking boat passage and hotels for the AGM and went about investigating the planned ride that Charles Todd was organising. Ian and I decided that we would tag along with their group and not make any formal plans for accomodation etc.
I left Northmead on Wednesday morning and met Ian at a rest stop on the Hume Hwy just past his town of Minto and we proceeded on our way to Holbrook, which was our first night’s destination and where we would meet up with the Walkers and Bill. Having stopped for a pie at Goulburn for lunch, not far along the Hume towards Yass my bike began to splutter and eventually stopped and I found I was out of fuel, Headwinds, lots of luggage, Wide Open Throttle riding and filling the bike on the side stand all contributed to a reduced range. I also had the tank off to run electrical wires to the bars and had not correctly reconnected the sensor cable for the low fuel warning light. As you may or may not know a Royal Enfield does not have a fuel gauge as they usually break down before running out. Having just past the Breadalbane turn off this was the choice for the hunt for fuel. I layed the bike over to eek out the last of the petrol and made it back to the turn off and a bit down the road and she stopped for good. Ian rode into the town proper (what’s left of it) and confirmed the Petrol Station was gone and spoke to a council worker mowing lawns who had a bit of fuel. In the meantime a local resident pulled into their driveway so I walked up to asked them for advice and they had a jerry can and filled me up and advised that it would be best to continue to Gunning which we did. We got to Gunning and refueled and there was a Pub that served Resches next door so we stopped for a refreshing ale before riding on to Holbrook.
The next day we left for Melbourne after having breakfast with Cynthia, Bruce and Bill at the cafe in the Service Centre. The weather did not look promising but was only overcast when we left however not long into the ride it started to rain and we stopped in Wangaratta and refueled and changed into wet weather gear. We encountered some heavy rain exacerbated by spray from large trucks and cars and then stopped at Euroa for lunch and a dry-out. From there the weather picked up and we made it to the meeting point before boarding which was the Local Pub in Bay St. There we met Richard, Patrice, Stuart and Laurie and had a beer and waited till boarding time before making our way onto the boat and cabins and met up with the others in the Bar area on deck 7 for dinner and drinks.
On Friday, after disembarking we assembled at the petrol station around the corner and had a chat about what the day entailed. The plan was to ride to Ulverstone to Trevor and Sue’s place as they had kindly offered to make us all breakfast which was lovely. From there we rode up to the coast through Penguin to Burnie and had lunch.
From Burnie we went on a bit of a tour the long way to Deloraine through some stunning countryside arriving late in the afternoon and then proceeded to our Meet n’ Greet which was held at the Cruzin in the 50’s Diner which was packed with automotive memorabilia that would have been worth a fortune.
Saturday we had the first of our AGM rides and some great old bikes turned up in the motel carpark like a mini historic bike show including Matt Blunt’s beautiful ’63 Continental GT 250, a few old Enfields owned by Mick and some Brough Superiors.
We had our riders briefing and set off for the ride through valleys and over mountain passes to arrive at the Mole Creek Hotel for judging and lunch.
Unfortunately during the ride Cynthia had a spill on a wet slippery corner and had to be taken to Launceston Hospital where she was diagnosed with a cracked rib.
Sundays ride was to the Burt Munro Cafe in Exeter
On Monday a group of us left for the trip around the Island – Charles Todd, Ian Lyons, Jon Hinton, Tim Hinton, Anthony Wright, Don Havelberg and Shelly, Patrice Renaudin, Richard Mulcaire, Stuart McKenzie, Laurie Reeves, Geoff Best, Barry Southern and Eileen, Mal and Sue Mogar, Trevor Marshall and Myself.
We headed north to Stanley and stopped at the Bischoff Hotel Waratah for lunch then to the Stanley Cabin Park
Views from Deloraine
Bischoff Hotel Waratah
Waratah was an old mining town and you can still see some of the relics
There is a chairlift just visible on the left hand shoulder of the “Nut” which is a geological feature at Stanley
On Tuesday we headed south and stopped at Tullah Pub on our way to Strahan and then to Roseberry for fuel.
We stayed at Strahan Beach Tourist Park where it was so hot when we arrived I went for a swim in the warm brackish water a short walk from the campground. A popular place with the locals, there were families barbecuing and kids playing on the beach and in the shallow water.
On Wednesday morning I went for a walk from Strahan Beach around to the harbour and took some photos before we left for the next destination.
We left Strahan and headed to Strathgordon via Queenstown and Derwent Bridge stopping at Ouse for lunch at a truck stop.
This trip showcased the diversity of Tasmania. We had the tropical like bays and inlets of Stanley which were like the Whitsundays,the alpine mountain plateaus like the Snowy Mountains, subalpine rainforests complete with Dicksonia ferns like the Victorian Alps, steep rugged valleys and peaks like the Blue Mountains and then open semi-arid plains near Ouse were like the Monaro .
Pedder Wilderness Lodge was a spectacular place to stay with beautiful scenery and wildlife in abundance.
A quick trip to the end of the road on Thursday morning to check out the Gordon dam was required before setting off back thru the Mt Field National Park and refueling at Westerway and then on to New Norfolk to visit Rick from Mountain Engineering the Royal Enfield dealer there and have some lunch. Laurie had to arrange a new rear tyre which he did with Rick’s help.
This is where the group split up. Half the group headed towards Port Arthur and the other half went to Hobart to a backpackers but due to our accommodation requirements Ian and I stayed in New Norfolk at the Junction Motel which had great hosts and lots of art and succulents around the place. When I asked the owner if the room fridges had a freezer as I had some warm beer in my saddle bags he asked what type and proceeded to swap them for some coldies from his fridge. Later we ordered pizzas from reception and he shouted us another coldie while they cooked.
Friday we went thru Swansea to Bicheno and stayed at Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park where we copped a bit of rain
We stopped at Swansea for lunch but unfortunately the Horny Cray was closed for good but worth a photo all the same.
Bicheno lent itself to some more photo opportunities with the sun coming out after the previous nights rain
Saturday we left Bicheno and travelled through Lake Leake stopping at Campbell Town and had a pie, This is where Ian and I left the group who were going to Longford to meet up with the guys arriving from Port Arthur and then onto the Ross Motorcycle show on Sunday. We headed to Devonport to catch the boat back and bumped into Santa Claus in the marshalling yard prior to getting on the boat
After the boat trip we left Melbourne early and hit the highway in an attempt to make up some time and get ahead of the bad weather that was looming. Forecast thunderstorms skirted around us and after a quick stop for fuel and coffee at Euroa we pushed on and found ourselves in Albury for a late lunch and fuel. Not long and we were stopping again to stretch the legs and refuel at Gundagai by this time it was 4pm and we could either stay or go. The storms persisted around us however we had been lucky and a decision was made to push on as the motel in Gunning did not answer. The clouds blackened as we made another quick stop in Goulburn at about 6pm and a review of the weather showed that the storms were still circling us however being only a few hours from Sydney tempted us towards home. We left Goulburn and rode through one quick torrential thunderstorm to make it home about 730pm for Ian and 830pm for me after a full day in the saddle.
I would like to thank everyone on the trip for the great riding and fun times, Trevor for breakfast and being our sweep rider and especially the organisers Club President Mick Lemon (AGM) and Club Secretary Charles (Road Trip) for such a wonderful experience,
My 5 year old Royal Enfield C5 bike had only just clicked over 10,000Km on the way down to Melbourne and now has over 14,000Km – the total distance on the trip seems to be approx 4,386Km less some local running around – It will have to be a big one next time to top that.
I received a trophy at the AGM for the “Furthest Distance Travelled on an Enfield” having travelled from Sydney’s west to Melbourne and then to Deloraine from Devonport.