Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc
Gloucester/Forster Rally – 12th – 14th October 2018
By Craig Katen
This year’s Gloucester/Forster rally was a great ride, with 10 people in attendance.
Despite a forecasted wet weekend we were greeted with all four seasons and limited inconvenience due to the rain.
We left Sydney on Friday morning meeting Peter and Johanne at the Myrtle House Cafe in Wollombi for lunch. As Mark and Jane and Ken and Helen travelled via Wisemans Ferry it was a logical meeting spot due to the convergence of the roads and the opportunity to avoid the M1, which Jenny and I used sparingly. We went via M1 and Old Pacific Hwy and stopped at the Pie in the Sky at Cowan for morning tea and then travelled to Peats Ridge and then down George Downs Drive to the Great Northern Road.
After a quick lunch we made our way back to the A1(Pacific Hwy) via Cessnock / Kurri Kurri and on to Bulahdelah for fuel before travelling along the Lakes Way to Pacific Palms / Elizabeth Beach where we were staying at Pacific Palms Caravan Park. It was a good days ride arriving in time to freshen up.
The park has a variety of basic but comfortable cabins and was located a few minutes’ walk to both Elizabeth Beach and Pacific Palms Recreation Club (the “Recky”) which is where we went on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Club is situated on Wallis Lake and normally provides stunning sunset vistas. The weather was good enough to allow us to enjoy an afternoon drink on the deck before dinner. Whilst relaxing and enjoying the serenity we heard the thunderous roar of Roger and Narelle arriving on the “Monster” .The food was great and the consensus was that it was the best club food that anyone has ever had.
Before setting off on Saturday’s ride we had breakfast at the Kembali Cafe at Bluey’s Beach which was a fusion of Indo and Aussie cuisine. Great bacon and eggs !
Despite the spring weather, grey skies loomed in the distance and it wasn’t long before the heavens opened on us whilst retracing our route to Bulahdelah along the Lakes Way.
A quick change into wets was required, we forged on through the rain and it wasn’t long before favourable conditions returned making the trip more enjoyable.
Mark on his Royal Enfield Bullet following Ken on his Honda CL250s ( Helen in the Honda support vehicle in the back)
We stopped at Bulahdelah, some requiring fuel, and then rode along the winding Booral Road to Stroud for morning tea at the Crepe Myrtle Cafe.
From Stroud the rain came and went as we travelled north towards Gloucester through “Shakespeare Land” crossing the Avon River at Stratford and on to Gloucester.
Peter and Jo leading, Jenny and I followed by Mark
We turned off at Gloucester and went along the “twisty turnies” of the Buckets Way through Krambach to Nabiac.
Mark leading Jenny and I on our Triumph Tiger which we had to bring this trip due to my Royal Enfield C5 being prepared for the long ride to the Mt Gambier AGM via the Great Ocean Road later this month.
We arrived at Nabiac and had lunch at the Greenhouse Cafe. After a quick look around we made our way back to the highway and then down the Failford road to Forster and back along the Lakes Way to Elizabeth Beach where Humpback whales were breaching out at sea on their migration south back to Antarctica for summer.
Thanks to Peter for organising this ride again and thanks to Narelle for taking the action photos from the sidecar of the Monster.
Royal Enfield Club of Australia Inc
Winter Rally 2018 – Tathra
By Craig Katen
The 2018 winter rally was held on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend at Tathra Beach on the NSW south coast.
Tathra was chosen for a number of reasons, one being the location is easily accessible by both NSW and VIC members being close to the New South Wales / Victoria border and another was that we wanted to assist by giving our patronage to the local community after the recent devastating bushfires which claimed 69 homes, 30 caravans and cabins and damaged a further 39 houses.
Attendees were; from TAS Club President Mick Lemon, from VIC Anthony Wright, From ACT Allan and Elaine Bartlett and from NSW Bruce and Cynthia Walker, Jim and Jean Pennington, Ian Lyons, John and Viv Wright, Roger McCall and Narelle Whitworth, Peter and Johanne Jackson and Craig Katen and Jenny Graves.
Being a long weekend, two rides were organised for the weekend, a shorter ride on Saturday up the coast and a longer Rally ride on the Sunday heading up the escarpment and looping back thru the mountains.
Saturday saw us heading north from Tathra crossing the Bega River at Mogareeka Inlet then through the villages of Tanja and Wapengo, where the Walkers lived from 1979 to 1982. Bruce and Cynthia stopped to show the group the house that they had built.
One of the many one-lane bridges that cross the creeks, lakes and inlets on the far south coast
Allan leading the pack on his Electra-Zuki
Continuing through Murrah and Cuttagee Beach we arrived for morning tea at the fishing village of Bermagui where my Grandmother was born in 1900, by the side of the road under a horse dray as my ancestors passed through this area via the same roads we had just ridding on, travelling from Cooma to relocate their family to parts unknown before eventually settling in Sydney.
The picturesque fishing village of Bermagui
Upon leaving Bermagui we crossed Wallaga Lake and joined the Prince’s Highway briefly before turning off towards Tilba on Corkhill Drive.
Central Tilba is a perfectly restored and maintained period village protected by National Heritage listing. It features a host of unique shops and galleries showcasing antiques, traditional crafts and woodwork, a range of cafes and the ABC Cheese Factory.
Craig and Ian checking out Ian’s Triumph opposite the tiny Tilba pub.
After bite to eat and a stroll up and down the village looking at the wares we headed back.
Jenny and Craig
Most people chose to return the way they came and to quote Sir Bruce “A road ridden in the opposite direction is a different road”.
Notwithstanding, Craig and Jenny and Roger and Narelle decided to go back via the highway stopping in historic Cobargo to check out the town which has similar tourist attractions to Tilba and then through Bega to Tathra.
For Sunday’s ride, which would see us going to Nimmitabel for morning tea and Bombala for lunch, we assembled outside Tathra School before proceeding thru Bega and up Brown’s Mountain.
Allen’s well engineered Electra-Zuki
Mick Lemon’s Carberry
Anthony wearing three sets of riding gear but surprisingly no thongs !
We went through Bega and along the Snowy Mountains Highway through the foothills of the mountains before our climb up to the plateau.
The “better half” of John’s outfit !
The road wound up Brown’s Mountain which has an elevation of 1243m ASL through the White Ash forests and ferns and up onto the Great Dividing Range.
Peter and Johanne, Craig, Allen, Anthony and Mick enjoying the corners
Wringing its neck to maintain momentum up the hills
Once we reached the summit it was evident that we had climbed to a fair altitude as the temperature dropped considerably.
From there it was a short ride to Nimmitabel for a stop at the bakery which has an elephant next door !
From there we rode to Bombala over the freezing cold high country plains
Anthony looking cold
Some nice rolling hills and corners to warm us up on the way to Bombala
We stopped in Bombala for lunch then headed through Cathcart and down Mt Darragh to Wyndam and on to Candelo via Myrtle Mountain.
Both of these mountain roads had plenty of bends and scenery to keep us entertained.
Bruce and Cynthia leading in the Camry due to Carberry problems
More curves !
A catch up with Mal Gilles at the Candelo Pub
Sunday’s dinner was at the Tathra Hotel where we awarded the following trophies.
Best Non-Enfield – John Wright – BMW R80 Outfit
Best Royal Enfield – Allen Bartlett – “Modified” Electra
Longest Distance Travelled on an Enfield – Mick Lemon
Thanks again to all those who attended this year’s Winter Rally, for me it was good to ride an area that I hadn’t been to on a bike before. I think there is scope to return to discover another part of the NSW South Coast in the future.
Dometic Origo Stove Test
Some time ago I bought a Dometic Origo 3000 two burner alcohol stove for use in our campervan.
I didn’t want to install gas in the van as I was happy with a two way 12v/240v fridge and will be using diesel hot water and heating. I also don’t like those cheap canister gas stoves as I worry what temperature the car gets to during the day. It would be nice to have a gas BBQ though, so I am trying to work out how to carry a 4kg gas bottle, however I learnt that you can not ( or should not) carry them lying down and that is the only way for one to fit under the car. Another option is to fit a sealed gas cabinet to the inside of the car just to store the gas bottle and have it vented outside in case of a problem – but that’s another project to add to the ever growing list of things to do.
I thought I better test it out as ski season is approaching fast and this year I am going to try to eat out of the van rather than spend ”Thredbo Dollars”.
We have already worked out how to do the first two meals of the day on the cheap with our “up-and-go / oat bar” breakfast and our “down-the-pants” cheese burgers or pizza lunch. However, dinner is a bit more difficult and socially it is easier to go to the pub and have a few beers and a bistro meal with the guys. I calculated that it was costing me about $100 per night for beer and two meals at the Local which had to stop. It can get particularly expensive if you follow that up with a bakery breakfast of bacon and egg roll or meat pie as a heart starter and then a coffee and cake for “morno”, add fuel and sundries and the weekend can cost about $400 before you even hit the slopes. Due to mental stress I won’t even attempt to add up the cost of our seasons passes, skis and equipment.
However one of the prerequisites for being able to cook and eat in the car in the cold is a heater – which be the next project followed by the water tanks etc.
When I opened the stove I was shocked to find no tank and two open canisters. our previous campervan had a metho stove that had a tank and produced the flame by running the fuel delivery pipe thru the burner to turn it into gas and to get it to ignite you had to let liquid fuel spill over into a small tray under the burner and light it and it would flare up and then once hot it would turn into gas and light the burner. This was a dangerous method as if you let too much liquid run in it could spill over then when you light it it is a raging flame in your face.
This stove has canisters that have some fibre in them to absorb the metho and then they seal to the underside of the burner which has a “trap-door” mechanism allowing you to to vary the amount of flame and close off completely to extinguish.
It came with these neoprene pads to put over the holes when not in use to stop fuel venting thru the burner
The canisters are easy to fill and have a maximum capacity of about 1.2 litres or a bottle each. I just poured a cup full in as it won’t be used every week.
The two tests I wanted to do was cooking and then boiling water to clean up since I have not yet installed a hot water service in the van.
I propose to potentially cook a hot breakfast of porridge or bacon and eggs depending on my mood.
Dinner would be kept simple to make life easier and for this I will bring some pre cooked meals to re heat like mince and pasta or chicken and rice or tuna and noodles. The main thing I want to avoid is cooking fatty foods and making a smell and mess in the van.
Bacon and eggs for breakfast was the first test which was quick and very easy.
After a few seconds on the stove the butter melted and I added the egg which cooked pretty quickly on the number 2 setting.
I had to turn it down once I put the ham in as it was sizzling too much and was very thinly sliced which is preferable over bacon due to less fat and splatter when cooking in the van.
I wanted to know how long it would take to boil water so i measured 1 litre into a saucepan and cranked up the burner to number 4 and whilst it heated up I prepared the meal.
I had some leftover chicken and vegetables with Singapore noodles from last night’s meal. This was a perfect test as it would be similar to what I would bring with us to eat during the winter.
I took the chicken straight out of the fridge so it was cold and put it in a saucepan and turned the stove down to low.
I also put a bit of water in the saucepan so it would not burn on to the bottom.
The food was heated in few minutes on number 1 with the lid on and then another couple of minutes stirring on number 2 with the lid off.
The water took about 10 minutes to boil however it was windy, by the time I had eaten the food it had boiled so i was ready for washing up.
If you use it sparingly 1 litre of water would easily be enough to wash up two plates and two saucepans/frypans
This will have to be the way we do it until the hot water service, water tank, pump, sink and taps are installed.
Royal Enfield and Motociclo
OneRide 2018 Trip Report
By Craig Katen
This year a few of our members having purchased bikes from them, were invited to attend the One Ride organised by John from Motociclo one of the Sydney Royal Enfield Dealers.
The One Ride is a Royal Enfield global ride day and is typically arranged by dealers as a way of inviting their customers for a ride.
There were 4 bikes from the Royal Enfield Club of Australia, Bruce, Roger and Narelle, Trevor and Heather and Craig plus about 8 of Johns other customers making a dozen or so which was a good group for a Sunday ride.
We met at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels at Tempe where we were given our One Ride T-shirts and posed for a group photo
From there we followed the Princes Highway south on our way to Sublime Point Lookout but did not get very far before the traffic stopped dead with an accident not far up ahead holding things up.
It wasn’t long before we were moving again
We stopped a few times to re-group along the way but soon we were out of the city traffic and on the highway
Sublime Point has a cafe and picnic area servicing the visitors who arrive either by motor vehicles or via the walking tracks that terminate there.
The lookout is 415m ASL so the views from the escarpment down to the Illawarra coast are fantastic
An excellent Sunday ride with fellow Royal Enfield owners
Thanks goes to John from Motociclo for organising the ride
RECOAINC Hill End Rally 2018
Trip Report by Craig Katen
The Hill End Rally is run each year by Mark and Jane Reynolds and is one of the four yearly weekend rides organised by various people from NSW.
Hill End is a former gold mining town located in the Bathurst Region approximately 250 kms from Sydney.
“Hill End owes its existence to the New South Wales gold rush of the 1850s, and at its peak in the early 1870s it had a population estimated at 8,000 served by two newspapers, five banks, eight churches and twenty-eight pubs.
The town’s decline when the gold gave out was dramatic: by 1945 the population was 700. At the 2006 census, Hill End had a population of 166, which now has dropped to 80 people during the year 2017.” (source Wikipedia)
Hill End Lodge, where we stayed, has 30 cabins and is located on a large bushland setting only a short walk from the old town consisting of a Pub, a cafe, a heritage centre, a church, a school and a Police Station.
We arrived on Friday afternoon and took a stroll down to the town for some pre-dinner drinks at the Royal Hotel before returning to the lodge for our meal.
On the way we had an opportunity to meet some of the locals hanging out in their front yard.
Our dinner guests included the 2 resident hounds Brutus (on Jenny’s lap) and Missy
The next morning we assembled near the cafe for our ride.
The ride consisted of a trip through Hargreaves to Mudgee for morning tea at the Mudgee Bakery.
Then a loop taking us to Gulgong and Ulan arriving at the Cooyal Hotel for lunch and back to Mudgee for the return to Hill End. A total of approx 257km.
After the ride there was time to take in the town. Jenny took some photos of the buildings and surrounds.
Saturday night’s dinner was also at the Hill End Lodge’s dining room .
Sunday morning was a good opportunity to take some photos of the property and wildlife.
Kangaroos were in abundance in the lodge and town area – this Joey was right outside our cabin.
There was plenty of birdlife as well
After breakfast we headed home via Sofala, another historic ex gold town.
Some old fashioned parenting advice “Sofala Child Minding” or Mending !
Old mining equipment repurposed as a sculpture
Another Royal Hotel
Thanks again to Mark and Jane for running this ride for another year. It was our first time and we really enjoyed it, the Lodge was a lovely place to stay with very accommodating hosts, good food, country atmosphere and great company as always.
The riding in the local area is top notch as well, incorporating winding hilly sections with open country lanes.
We will be sure to come along again next year.
Craig and Jenny
Photo credits : Narelle, Helen and Jenny