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.
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.
“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.
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.
The Royal Enfield Club of Australia 2016 AGM was held on September 17th at Temora NSW, about 400 km south west of Sydney and about 600 km northeast of Melbourne. We had 47 people registered 27 from NSW 17 from VIC one each from TAS, SA and WA plus some hangers on.
Jenny and I decided to ride down and as we left the weather didn’t look too bad, it was only slightly raining as we headed along the M4 towards our meeting spot at Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains. As we approached Penrith there was a distinct gap in the clouds and I assumed the weather was localised to Sydney even though the forecast was for some showers.
We arrived early at Glenbrook and went and got a pie whilst waiting for Hugh who lives locally and the Sydney crew Mike, Gerard and Gupreet. We then took off and caught up with Marie at Springwood and proceeded thru the mountains to our morning tea stop at Lithgow. The rain persisted as we crossed the mountains and as we reached the top at Medlow Bath the wind kicked in. I had not brought my winter gloves nor put on a pair of thermals and was feeling it in the legs and hands. As we descended Victoria Pass towards the never-ending road works zone that is Hartley I was able to warm my left hand on the flats and uphills and my right on the downhills by alternatively placing my gloves directly on the head of my engine, however my wet leather clad frozen knees had to wait till we reached Maccas so I could pull on my wet weather pants.
After a cup of coffee we hit the road to Bathurst and then down to Blainey where I went looking for thermal gloves to put under my unlined cold wet leather gloves, After a a few attempts I found some at IGA but alas they were too thick to fit inside my gloves, a waste of $3.75.
We meet up with Doug Bourke who was trailering his Interceptor and Ian and Roger who decided to sleep in and avoid the cold.
Next stop was Cowra for some lunch and a warm up. We pulled up at the Lachlan Hotel which didn’t look very inviting at first glance but after speaking to a couple who had just dined there we decided it was good enough for us and we grabbed a beer and ordered some food where we had the whole dining room to ourselves since it was about 2pm.
Young was our next destination as people needed to get fuel, just a quick stop on the side of the road opposite a service station where we waited for Mike who was going to fuel up at Cowra and waved us on.
Mike never showed up so we rang him and left a message that we had left Young – he rang back but I missed the call and subsequently also lost the group when I tried to answer it and then return the missed call.
I did not fill up at Young as I had a full tank at Blainey and thought I’d be fine, however when we left my fuel light soon started to flash as I did not account for head winds, luggage and two-up riding and after another 20km it came on on solid so we backed off a bit thinking Mike would catch us up. By the time we reached the outskirts of Temora we were doing 70kph and enjoying the scenery of canola fields etc.
We arrived at Temora around 4pm, I dropped Jenny at the Motel to check in and went and refueled where it took over 12 litres.
The Goldtera motel was conveniently located near the main street of town, the Ex-Services Club where the AGM and dinner would be held and the Terminus Hotel where our friday night meet and greet was being held and where a fair amount of people were staying.
It was the intentions of the organisers of the AGM to visit the Temora air show on saturday since many had ridden a fair distance to get there, however the traditionalists of the club insisted that an AGM is not an AGM without a ride and that some had trailered their bikes, so a ride was organised to Cootamundra with a Lunch stop at the Family Hotel where the bike judging was held.
Here is a short video of the group Leaving Terminus Hotel for the ride
We stopped at the Family Hotel in Cootamundra for judging and lunch (click on the photos to see larger images)
The Annual General Meeting was held at the Temora Ex Services Club at 5pm on Saturday followed by a dinner.
Bill Rice was nominated for Life Membership. Proposed by Sir Charles Todd and Seconded by Sir Anthony Wright. The proposal was carried.
Prizes were awarded as follows:
Age of Bike plus age of rider – Sir Frederick Garland.
Best UCE – Mark Reynolds
Best Electra – Ian Lyons
Best Cast Iron Barrel RE – Owen Bentley
Best Non Enfield – Matt Bunt
Best All round Enfield – Sir Frederick Garland
Best Royal Enfield or Best Twin Enfield – not sure actually – Three awards were given Sir Frederick Garland, Mick Lemon, and Sir Charles Todd.
Longest Distance ridden to the AGM on a RE – Bill Rice
Longest Distance ridden to the AGM on a non RE – Graham Morell
Chook Award actually now a Duck Award. To Marie from Winmalee for a slight dropping of her bike.
Passing the Baton. Matt Bunt passed the baton to Laurie Reeves.
The baton was designed by a past Member to be handed over and a track of the kilometres be kept. It is believed that the instructions contained within the baton don’t make much sense.
Jon Hinton and Craig Katen each received a bottle of whiskey as promised for writing the Winter Rally Report for our Newsletter.
As one of the photographers I tried to do a selfie with Bruce but it was all blurry so Thanks Stuart McKenzie for the additional photos and video
T Shirt Competition to identify Members featured on the shirt was won by Doug Bourke out of four entries. Doug won 3 years free Membership.
The weekend before the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride is the Royal Enfield Club of Australia’s 2016 AGM at Temora in country NSW and they are both “long” trips I thought I’d make it more comfortable for us on both rides.
The DGR is a long day in the saddle as the event sees us going all over sydney – well really just from Sydney Uni across the bridge and back – but it seems like a long trip due to the large number of bikes . It’s worth noting that 725 riders have registered and raised $103924 already. This is just the Sydney ride mind you – In 2015, over 37,000 participants in 410 cities in 79 countries raised over $2.3M (US) for prostate cancer research.The goal for this year is $5m USD.
I will take to the bike’s shiny bits with some metal polish before both events to make it look its best and I might also do some facial manscaping myself to try to look even more dapper.
Please check it out and if you can help out and sponsor me it’s all for a good cause – Raising money for men’s physical and mental health
The Temora trip is also an all day ride that is 430 km each way on our route through the Blue Mountains, Bathurst, Cowra and Young to Temora and back.
Trying not to sound like Goldilocks but my original exhaust was “a bit too big and soft” and the one I bought some time back was “a bit too small and loud” this one is just right and will ensure I arrive without industrial deafness.
I also installed a windshield which may or may not protect me from the wind but it just might stop my leather jacket from getting squashed bugs splattered all over it.
My Saddle bags were bursting at the seams from trying to shove too much into them so they had to be repaired.
two-piece rivets are usually crap and either rust out or just come apart and easy fix is two stainless steel washers and an aluminium pop-rivet
Due to a rivet tearing the leather where it was too thin on the edge (cheap and nasty) the stitching had come undone which I had to replace.
In order to do so i had to visit Lincraft and buy all this sewing paraphenalia
It looks impossible to replace the rivet so I will need to rivet in a piece of leather strap on the inside now that it’s all stitched up but finding suitable leather is a problem since that when you buy a leather belt it’s not really leather – some type of papier-mache composite material made out of leather scraps, apple cores and old chinese newspapers I suspect. – that was a waste of $7 and the belt wont even fit me.