no politics...just ridin'

Bikers Dream

Our planned meeting spot was the Park Ridge Tavern car park early on Saturday morning. Kat and I packed what we needed for the weekend (minus my poor camera) into the bags and headed out into the gloomy, wet weather. Out on the Gateway, the rain was light and intermittent making riding conditions not too bad. About 25 minutes later we rode into the tavern car park and there were already a couple of bikes there - Grasshopper and another couple on a Trumpy (I am hopeless with names) who had ridden up from Ormeau. We waited for about 1/2 an hour watching the others arrive - all up there were 7 bikes (being Grizz, Panda, Eddie, Grasshopper, Koff, the Trumpy and us), 1 trike and Lynne & Tamara in the ute. We ended up ringing Dodge to find out if he was coming and he said he would meet us at Aratula - no worries!!

Hit the road and headed out west along the Logan Mwy, Ipswich Mwy and then onto the Cunningham Hwy - the further west we went the heavier the rain became and a few of the guys were still riding in jeans - man it must have been cold for them. Kat and I had all our wet weather gear on and this made the ride ok, although it was still cold. Rolled into Aratula and pulled into a servo to re-fuel and wait for the Dodge. After finally getting hold of him on the phone, he advised us that he was still working and would come up later - yeah, yeah.

From Aratula we headed up Cunninghams Gap - that was a freaky ride - lots of fog/low cloud and the higher we got, the thicker it got. It was also raining which added to all the fun. Panda led us up and most of the time all I could see of her was her brake light. Just on reaching the top I reckon that visibility would have been down to about 20 metres. Once over the top of the range however, the low cloud and rain disappeared and we cut a fair pace to the turn off for Goomburra. It was this part of the ride that I learnt you never try to keep up with Panda - she assumes that she is holding everyone up and so just keeps increasing speed - think we hit 160 at one point but the roads were dry and in good nick. We pulled into the driver reviver stop to re-group, grab a free coffee and have a chat - the turn off was right next to this stop and it was only another 30kms down a sealed back road to Bikers Dream, so we agreed to get there and have a few drinks instead of doing a ride as initially planned.

Rode the short distance to the Goomburra Valley Camping Ground Ground (Bikers Dream as we know it) and met up with Grimace who had already spent a night or two in a tent there with his family. We sorted out our accommodation, parked the bikes/trike under cover and then proceeded to warm up with a few drinks. This place is perfect for a weekend getaway when you're on the bike - everything is supplied, plenty of undercover areas and the surroundings are fantastic. It was originally called Bikers Dream but some of the local farmers assumed that the 1%ers would be attracted and have a negative affect, so the owners made a commercial decision and renamed it - seemed like the right thing to do coz there were plenty of people in the camping ground.

Anyway, we had a few drinks and then ate - the feed that was provided for us was spot on. After eating - well...more drinking whilst standing around the fire chatting. Eddie brought his tennis ball cannon along for a bit of fun (boys and their toys!!!!) - it is a length of PVC with a screw-on end that has a piezo igniter mounted to it. To activate it the end is unscrewed, tennis ball inserted, hairspray sprayed into it and the end screwed back on. It is then just a matter of clicking the igniter. Now this thing has got some force behind it and after a few shots up into the night sky, the man once known as Koff decided to see how powerful it really was. He stood against a tree with Eddie aiming this thing at his ass from about 20 metres - after a couple of false alarms Eddie actually fired it, hitting him fair on the ass cheek. Man did it leave a mark!! This is how Koff became Bullseye.

Grim & Bullseye (formally known as Koff)

The next morning Kat and I got up early and headed for the showers - man it was cold but the water was hot which was good. After finishing our shower we sat around outside and waited for the others to surface - they slowly appeared one by one. About 8am we ate a fantastic cooked breakfast that had been prepared for us, and finally geared up for a ride further west through Stanthorpe and out to Texas. The day was bloody cold and we seemed to be riding into a pretty stiff head wind. Rode from the campground onto the main highway and headed out through Warwick - it just got colder and colder the further west we went. We finally arrived on the outskirts of Stanthorpe after battling a bitterly cold headwind and pulled in to re-fuel - whilst there we all decided that it was too cold to continue any further and decided to head back to the warmth of the campground. We re-fueled and whilst waiting, the local police drove past and then returned to have a chat with us. I am sure they thought we were lunatics riding in these conditions. We also got a call from Dodge who had just missed us riding out of the campground - we arranged to meet him at Warwick on our way back.

We rode the short distance into Stanthorpe to have a look (I had never been out this way) and then turned around and headed back towards Warwick. The return ride was much easier as the wind was now behind us and as such, we made pretty good time. Pulled into the McDonalds at Warwick and finally met up with Dodge. He brought his dog Regal with him in a lap bag that sits across his chest - she looked cute sitting in the bag with her doggles on, but she must have been absolutely freezing on the ride up. Dodge decided to let her ride in the ute with Lynne and Tamara for the journey back to Goomburra. We conferred and decided to head to Allora, not far from the campground, for lunch in one of the pubs.

The ride to Allora was interesting to say the least - we decided to stay off the highway and took the back roads from Warwick. Of course when you get onto a good road with no traffic, one tends to wind it up a little. Grizz decided to go for a squirt along a long, straight and flat section of road not far out of Allora, and most of us followed. I know that I had my bike up to the fastest speed I had ever had it to (won't say what coz you'll think I'm irresponsible) and he was still pulling away. Now just as we started to back off we were passed by a police car heading the opposite way - I kept one eye on the mirror and noticed that as he reached the last of the group he did a u turn. We had now spread out a little and he slowly moved his way through the group - he tailed the guys at the rear for a short period, then passed them and tailed us in the middle and finally passed us and tailed Grizz and Dodge at the front for a while, checking our speed as he went. I think we were lucky that there was a group of us.
We stopped at a pub in Allora for a couple of hours and had a few drinks and a feed - it was nice to get out of the cold and a good little pub! Once we had all finished, we headed back towards Goomburra. This was another spirited ride along the narrow bitumen track out to the campground - no major dramas except for Kat getting up me because of my riding. The thing she doesn't understand is that the bike is a lot more stable with a pillion and I find it easier to ride at speed when she is on the back - with no weight on the back it tends to jump around a bit. Anyway, we arrived back late afternoon and had a few quiet ones before dinner. Once again, we were served another fantastic meal for dinner and spent a few more hours around the fire. I ended up hitting the bed pretty early on Sunday night.

Grasshopper looking more like an orthodox priest everyday...

Well Monday morning was a different sight around the camp - lots of fog and really still. I decided to get up and get the fire going again from the still smouldering ashes. I watched as one by one the others emerged from the bunkhouse/ute. The fog was slowly lifting and you could see the day was going to be cloud free. We ate our last breakfast together for the weekend and then moved the bikes from under cover round to the bunkhouse so as to pack. Well Grasshopper was the only one riding a Harley and guess who couldn't start his bike??? Battery must have drained overnight - it was funny watching the guys trying to push start it. In the end they ended up towing it behind a ute and dropping the clutch - after the fourth or fifth try it finally started.
As the weather looked good, we decided to head home via Queen Mary Falls, near Killarney. We left Goomburra at about 9:30am and headed back to Allora to refuel. After that was done we took the road back to the Cunningham Hwy and rode east for a while before turning onto one of the backroads running towards Killarney. These roads are fantastic for bike riding as they are in relatively good condition and have very little traffic - just gotta watch out for farm machinery. We rode at a moderate pace in an attempt to all stay together, following the signs towards the falls. Finally made Killarney and then continued on to the turn off to the falls. This road is very picturesque and windy so we took our time on the short ride to the falls.
Queen Mary Falls is a popular destination for tourists and day trippers from Brisbane so it was relatively busy when we all rode in. We decided to have something to eat at the store there and sat outside in the sun. No one bothered to go and look at the falls - they would have been almost dry anyway. From the shop onwards the road decends down from the range and gets narrow in some spots and there are also unfenced portions of road where stock roam, so you need to be on your guard. There was no rush to get to the bottom so we all rode at our own pace enjoying the sights. About 20 minutes down the track we pulled over to take in one of the many spectacular viewpoints - all the others had either already stopped or did so after us. Eddie pulled out the tennis ball cannon to see what kind of distance he could shoot out over the valley below - we witnessed his first that seemed to go on forever!!
Kat had an appointment to get to so this is where we had to leave everyone - we said our goodbyes and headed off down the range. The rest of the ride down to the highway was really enjoyable. Once we reached the highway, we turned towards Brisbane and made good time to Boonah, but not long after was when I had my encounter with Mr Policeman. No point in denying what I was doing - he said 119 in a 100 zone. Ended up costing me 3 points and $150, although I thought they were doubling the points on long weekends - maybe not!! Anyway, we finally made it to Kat's appointment (albiet late and a little poorer) and then proceeded home.
Was a great weekend - all I need now is to get hold of some more of the pix!!

Grizz & Panda



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