Australian Wing Riders Association (Qld) Inc

A club for riders of Honda GoldWing and Valkyrie motorcycles

AWRA Victorian XMAS weekend ride to Bright 11-12 December 2010

This was a great weekend away, with full attendance of the Vic members.

Departing from Jeffrey Honda, we all had the chance to look at the new Black Gold Wing. Whilst it looks good, the consensus seemed to be you would always be cleaning it.

Having provided our expert opinions, it was time to head off. Out a few back roads to Maroondah Highway then Victoria Rd out to Yarra Glen, One of our concerns for this weekend was all the rain we had in the previous week and many reports of flooding. Yarra Glen usually has a few problems but nothing this day.

Our first stop was at Yea after a fairly good run. A very leisurely coffee saw us depart for our ride along the Midland Highway to Mansfield. We have stopped here a number of times but I decided we would go somewhere else for lunch today so we rode straight through and on to one of my personal favourites: the Mansfield – Whitfield road.

We were not disappointed as we all got to enjoy the many climbs, tight turns and sweepers that make this road so good – and the usual lack of traffic. We pulled up at the Whitfield General Store for lunch. Advice from a few other riders was that there was water across the road on our next stage, so we weren’t to avoid the floods after all. These other bikes had gone through, and given one was a Harley, I knew we would have no problems!

Whilst we had a full turn up for the ride, we weren’t all together for the whole ride. Steve had to leave us at this stage, and head back home.

The next stage is fairly flat (well ok, totally flat) but has at least a few nice sweepers but not much else. When we were turning onto the Snow Road just outside Oxley, there was a nice bright green cop car. I was first around the corner and he jumped right in behind me. As we came into the town area, sure enough the Christmas lights came on (very festive!). Even though the bunch of cynics I ride with reckon I talked the guy into sending my fine in the mail so no one saw it, I know our Qld friends will totally believe me that it was just a license check.

After that slight delay (and the pleasure of all the smart comments over the CB afterwards – where is that off switch?) we headed for fuel at Myrtleford, where we met up with Tony and Robyn who had come up from Gippsland over the Great Alpine Road (a really great ride). We also met Jeff from Wodonga who came over on his 1800 and joined us for the next part of the ride. Given Tony and Robyn had already come though Bright to meet us, and it only being 15 minutes down the road, I had decided we would take some of the nice back roads of the area. Everyone enjoyed another hour of some really great roads (and barely any traffic) before we pulled into our Motel for the night. Ok, so a few of us missed the driveway entrance, but who was noticing?

After getting supplies we had a relaxing drink on the lawn at the motel before heading down to one of the two pubs for dinner. This was a great meal enjoyed by all, On behalf of everyone from Victoria, I would like to thank the club for the contribution towards dinner. It was most appreciated.

Bright, for those who have not been there, is a really picturesque little town at the foot of the mountains, with a year round tourist appeal. A great place for a weekend away.

There was discussion about our route home the following day with some support for taking the Great Alpine Road back with Tony and Robyn, however that is a significantly longer trip home to Melbourne (but great fun!). In the end, with other commitments at home, it was decided to re-trace our route.

Sunday saw us leaving at 9.00 heading over to Whitfield for coffee. We gave our custom to the café this time (the only other place there apart from the pub). We met a couple who had been up to Mt Buller for the HOG weekend. Due to the potential flood issues, numbers were well down on expectations, unfortunately. Did I mention before that ALL of our Gold Wings turned up for this weekend? I could make some low, derogatory comments about Harleys here, but we wouldn’t lower ourselves to that, would we?

A car was in front of us as we headed for the Mansfield – Whitfield Road (a sure way to ruin a fantastic ride) however he was good enough to let us all through. Lindsay, our resident photographer, had gone on ahead to get some shots of us coming around the bends, however it was where the car pulled over so not as good as we wanted.

A stop in Mansfield for fuel saw us surrounded by Harleys from the HOG weekend. One of their support vehicles was a brand new Falcon, and we were held up at the servo whilst all and sundry tried to find the fuel cover release. In that time quite a few of the Harleys took off and we thought we were going to get stuck behind all that noise, however they were not heading back to Melbourne just yet (thankfully).

Yea was our lunch destination, which saw us split up a bit after some made the decision that the one person already swamped with orders at the take away was not going to handle ours very well. We all rejoined for our farewells, as John and Marj, John and Karen, Lindsay, Dean and Jenny were all heading back to the eastern side of Melbourne along the Melba Highway, whilst Ken and Christine, Julie and I were heading for home via Flowerdale and Whittlesea.

Another great weekend enjoyed by all.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Craig Dixon

Bright Ride
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