Australian Wing Riders Association (Qld) Inc

A club for riders of Honda GoldWing and Valkyrie motorcycles

December 2002 Ride to Sandy Creek Pub

(click on any pic for a larger version)

I like to put the effort in to planning my rides in the hope that every thing goes OK and I don’t end up looking stupid for one reason or another.  The planning for this ride started months ago and with the route and destination finally decided, only the riding of the route remained.  With a roundabout route to Aratula via Rathdowney, a bit of gravel, plenty of corners, and country roads, I hoped it would have something for everyone.  With the exception of one small section we were to travel after lunch, the riding was completed about two months before the ride and agreement reached we start early with breakfast to avoid the heat and that a BBQ lunch was the go.

About three weeks before the ride, family matters intervened and Therese and I had to attend a 21st birthday party, no not mine that’s yet to come, in Warwick the night before the ride.  As much as we would have loved to make the start of the ride, it was not worth riding two hours back from Warwick just to go back there five hours later.  Hence, Clint stepped up to the plate and, armed with my detailed plans and map, led the group to the smoko point at Cunningham’s Gap.  I’ll hand over to Clint to tell the tale to there.

OK. Here goes.  Bevan dropped off an elaborate map and full details a few days before the ride, so I went for a quick recce as soon as I could.  I carefully measured the section of dirt road so there’d be no mistakes as to how long it was.  Exactly  one point five kilometres.  First thing to do on the day was to put everyone at ease, so I did this by dropping our bike in the car park.  After everyone ran to my aid (my foot was pinned by the peg) there was much laughter and frivolity at my expense, and a glare or two from Charleen, as well as Paul, who gallantly stopped me falling completely by placing his very expensive BMW in the way.

After Breakfast, away we went, sending Chris off early and on a short cut.  We caught up to him before Beaudesert and continued on to Rathdowney.  Then it was right turn and in past a cloud covered Mt Barney and the twin towers of Mt Maroon.  Then that little bit of dirt.  It was quite rough so we all took it gingerly.  I’m sure I heard an echo of “Are we nearly there?” from an earlier trip.

Back on bitumen and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep us busy until we found Chris again - waiting for us at Aratula.  On up the range we went, reveling in the new smooth surface, allowing us to get up some great leans on the sweeping 50kph advised corners.  I was having such a good time, I missed the correct park for morning tea and so opted for the one just past it.  Bevan and Therese met us here so he can resume his narrative…….

Therese and I were running a bit later than planned and on the way toward the Gap, we met a number of motorcycle groups heading for Warwick.  Each time I thought, “Oh no there’re ahead of schedule and we’ve missed smoko”.  But no, it was some other group out enjoying what looked to be a beautiful day with enough cloud cover to keep the temperatures down on what it had been when we road up the day before.  We were approaching the planned smoko point at a reasonable pace when suddenly, there was everyone in the picnic place at the bottom of the Gap rather than the one halfway down.  Stopping was a good test for the new tyres and brake pads.

Turning in, I was looking for Chris’s new blue trike.  It was hard to spot because it’s actually yellow and red.  Never mind that’s close to blue.  And there was Lionel and Mary’s BMW, good to see they could make it.  Apparently it was going well except for the occasional misfire.  Smoko was enjoyed by all and it was good to catch up with every one.  Dave spent most of the break cleaning his shoes and the Yamaha.  After a run-in with a large cow pat, he claims no one could put sh*t on him because he could do it himself.   While I was disappointed that we weren’t at the correct rest stop, a surprise was in store.  When I had ridden the route, the earlier rest stop had had an abundance of currawongs and bowerbirds.  In particular, I had wanted Mary to see the satin bowerbirds that were so shiny that their shimmer was almost purple.  The surprise you ask.  During smoko, Santa’s reindeer arrived across the road in preparation to the Australian Run on “The Night before Christmas.”  Another photo opportunity for Eric and Deb.

Morning Tea Stop

Back on the road and we turn off at Gladfield to take a back road into Warwick.  I hate staying on the highway and this ride was about country roads.  And the country was looking good following a couple of inches of rain early in the week.  Tanks of fuel in Warwick and off to Leslie Dam.  The water was a bit low and suffering some algae problems but many had not been there before and were impressed by the huge granite rock carvings of Allan Leslie and his wife Kate.  John wanted one for his revamped yard but Chris refused to try out the trike’s suspension unless someone sat on the back to hold the rock.

Leslie Dam

Off to the Sandy Creek pub for lunch……no, Lionel’s BMW won’t start.  A quick tour around the saddle wall of the dam, BMW still not going, back to check on progress.  Some of us head for the pub to confirm that we are coming so lunch doesn’t go astray.  No problem, the publican has returned from wherever.  The extra hands are missed as the cook is run off her feet.  The salads are all prepared; can we cook our own steaks?  No problem.  The rest of the crew arrives with the loose connection having been found and the BMW started. 

John and I cook the steaks, sausages and onions with differing opinions on what constitutes cooked.  Somewhere between red and black but no agreements only compromises reached but no one complained.  We even got compliments, so they must have been OK.

Sandy Creek Pub

After lunch it’s back on the road for home via the section I had not ridden.  No problems; finally found the first turn about where it should have been.  The next one, not quite so sure but a quick map check appeared to put us in the correct direction and eventually the Allora - Warwick road is reached.  We head toward Toowoomba then toward Gatton via Heifer Creek.  Weather has warmed up a bit as the cloud has burned off but it is not too bad.  Through Gatton and onto the highway to the final stop of Blacksoil.  Chris is still running the trike in but so as not to cause a hazard to traffic we maintain traffic speed and will wait for Chris at Blacksoil.  When we arrive, cold drinks and ice creams are the choice rather than coffee.

After a round of Merry Christmas’s we head for home via our separate ways.  With five bikes still together we head towards the Centenary Highway turn-off when suddenly there is a loud explosion from Lionel’s bike and I thought I’d been shot.  The BMW slows so we all stop to help.  Not that we were any use and eventually it seems to be only a low fuel problem.  With a few more loud bangs the BM starts we are mobile again.  Hope it got you home, Lionel.

It was great to see 10 bikes and 17 members on the ride.  One of the better turn-ups we’ve had for a while and everyone seemed to enjoy the day.


After-Ride problems for Lionel and Mary on the BMW