Australian Wing Riders Association (Qld) Inc

A club for riders of Honda GoldWing and Valkyrie motorcycles

Ride to Aubigny

This Photo inspired me to repeat this ride.


Picture us huddling under the shelter at BP Blacksoil.  Grey skies and rain drizzling down.  Waiting for other Wing Riders to turn up for the ride but actually hoping that none would.  Not a good day for a ride.  Thankfully no one was silly enough.

Well, that was a couple of months ago and today could not have been more different or any better. We arrived at the BP on a fine, clear and mild autumn morning to find six other bikes with riders waiting in the sunshine, eager to ride.

Bevan and Therese, Thommo and Val, Kevin and Morag, Scotty, David and Caroline and first timers Keith (Thommo2) with his passenger Gail and Colleen in the car.  We set it up for Colleen to follow Thommo who was to be tail-end but Keith told me she had our destination plugged in to the GPS and if we lost her not to worry.  This plan backfired a bit but more on that later.

Off we set and turned on to the Brisbane Valley Hwy and made our way through Fernvale then a short loop through Wivenhoe Pocket to see just how deep the river had got a few months earlier.  Coming out of the crossing, I managed to drop the bike into an enourmous pothole with a tremendous bone-jarring thud.  Almost swallowed whole, we managed to make it back out and everyone else sensibly went around the gaping chasm.

Back on the highway and over the Wivenhoe dam, now at a nice 82% and looking good.  At Esk we turned up the Esk-Hampton road and across the new causeway on Redbank Ck which replaces a bridge that was totally washed away in the floods.  It took about two years to build that bridge and a couple of months after completion, only one night for the floods to make it look like it was never there.  Amazing.

Being such a lovely clear day, I though the Gus Beutels lookout at Ravensbourne might be a better morning tea spot than the advertised Perserverence Dam.  Both places had picnic tables and amenities, but the Lookout today had a wonderful view.  It is fun to surprise everyone by riding straight past a turnoff they expect to take.

The view was everything I expected and morning tea was a little chilly on the mountaintop, but well worth it.  Click the picture for a larger panoramic version.

At morning tea, Bevan noticed a few drops of fluid sitting on the left engine cover and traced it back to a wet spot on the radiator, right near where he had been recently hit by a car.  He decided to keep an eye on it and continue on with us.

Off again and we went down along the planned route through Perserverence where the creek was still running and the dam at 100% for the first time in many years.  We could also see where a huge wall of rocks had come off the side of the road and blocked it completely.  All fixed up now though and we continued towards Pechey and across the New England towards Goombungee.

From there it was a little further west then turn south towards Oakey.  It was here we lost sight of Colleen and Gail in the Toyota and Thommo asked should we go back.  With Keith's earlier advice that they had the destination tagged and would meet us there, I decided to keep going.  This didn't take in to account that they might have a breakdown and of course that is almost exactly what happened.  They hit a large stick which then wedged itself under the car making lots of noise.  Colleen flashed headlights at the bikes disappearing over the hill but we kept going - on my advice.

They managed to pull some of the stick out from under the car and were able to continue on, but the GPS idea didn't work so well and they were lost.

Meanwhile we made it to Oakey and a few minutes later pulled up at the Aubigny Pub.

Keith's phone was ringing.

While he sorted out and attempted to placate an upset partner (good luck with that), Bevan's problem was now noticably worse.  Radiator fluid was now all over the side of the bike and on his and Therese's boots.  They decided to turn for home immediately rather than letting more fluid drip out during lunch.  Thommo made a few calls for the rest of the day to make sure they were OK and they indeed made it home safely.

The new owners of the Aubigny Pub were happy to see us.  Maybe it was because we looked like we eat a lot more than the couple of dozen push-bikies who were already there.  Certainly they showed no sign of disappointment at there being half the number of us I had promised a few days earlier.  Anyway, they had the BBQ ready (almost) and salads made and served us a hearty meal of lovely tender steak and fresh salads for just $10 per head.  I offered more due to our lack of numbers, but they wouldn't hear of it.

Once again, click the picture for a large panoramic version.

After lunch we made a zig-zag route to Clifton, where Scotty left us to make his way down through Boonah to the Coast.  Communications were a little difficult as the morning's pot-hole excursion must have loosened some plugs and my CB was playing up. The remaining few of us then went across to the Maa Maa creek ride down the range.  I had filled up 55km before the start of the ride so I was sympathising with the 1500's lesser capacity and by the time we reached Gatton the fuel light was threatening to burn a hole in the dash.

First garage out of town was the BP where we discovered they were all out of premium fuel.  Oh well, a little 91 occasionally doesn't hurt, although it does make the engine ping.

Here we were caught up by Gricey and Robyn who had been chasing us all afternoon with no knowledge of where we might be at any one time.  So we all had a cuppa and a chat and then departed separately for our own homes.

My thanks to all who came for making it a great Wing Riding day and apologies to Colleen for the mixup.

Thommo2 and Colleen are now full members so we had better not lose them again.