no politics...just ridin'

Bay To Bay Run

Over the May Day long weekend just gone, Kat & I rode with the Honda 750 Four Club on their annual pilgrimage north to Tin Can Bay. This is our third year we have joined them and it is always a good weekend, with this one being no exception.

We rose early to meet up with the group at the Deception Bay Shell servo by 8am. I loaded the GSX with gear in both a tankbag and the Gearsack, which was fastened to my newly acquired rack at the rear. The bike felt great and the extra load was almost unnoticeable. The ride up was uneventful and the view looking north as we crossed the Gateway Bridge was fantastic – cloudless skies and warm weather forecast for the entire weekend. Yeehaa!! We reached the servo just after 8 and caught up with a few familiar faces after grabbing a much needed coffee at the nearby Maccas. There were quite a few of the old Honda’s as well as a couple of old Suzukis (GSX1100 was nice) and a mixed bag including a Triumph Bonneville, Speed Triple, Marauder and others - all up about 24 bikes. Phil, the club President, called us all in and briefed us on the route that we would be taking up to our destination and also added that one of the wives would follow the group in a support vehicle – a few of these old Jappers just don’t run like they used to when new - I think the oldest one was just shy of 38 years but looked fantastic for an old girl!

We hit the road just before 9am, heading north along the Bruce Hwy and took the Glasshouse Mountain turnoff on to the newly named Steve Irwin Way. We followed this for its entire length, passing the turnoff to Montville/Maleny and the always busy Australia Zoo, and then crossed over the motorway to head out towards Caloundra. Turned left onto Nicklin Way (this becomes the Sunshine Coast Mwy) and followed this all the way up to Noosa. In hindsight it probably would have been better to stick to the Bruce Hwy and avoid a lot of the lights and traffic, but we found it interesting as we had never ridden this way before. From Noosa the group headed towards the Bruce Hwy via Cooroy, where we pulled up to regroup. After a 10 minute wait it was back on the bikes and onto the highway. We pulled up at the big Matilda servo for lunch and once finished, took the turn-off onto the road out to the coast just before coming into Gympie. I always enjoy riding this road – lots of chances to wind your machine right out with long, flat, straight sections and fast sweepers with a good surface – but unfortunately we were kind of stuck with the group so we took it at a more leisurely pace. We finally rolled into Tin Can Bay at about 3pm and checked into our rooms at the Sleepy Lagoon Hotel. The rest of the day was spent observing the clubs AGM, which was held in the front bar, as well as catching up with everyone that we had not seen since the last ride. After dinner, the club took part in their annual pool competition against the locals – was good fun.

The agenda for Sunday sounded interesting – apparently the club along with the pub had arranged a show ‘n shine in the park across the road for Sunday morning. I thought to myself “Gee…that will be fun, not!!!!” I was surprised to learn that anyone could partake and some interest had been shown. A few of the fundraising locals had the BBQ set up and were already cooking as we rose from a fairly late night. Most of the guys moved their bikes from the pub car park over to the park and more locals with bikes slowly showed up as we ate the sausage sizzle. There were quite a few other bikes that ended up showing up, with one attracting the attention of all – yes, the chopper. The judge turned out to be one of the barmaids from the pub. She gave out 2 awards – Best Honda 750, which went to the President, Phil (surprise, surprise) and Best Non-Honda 750 which went to Pete on his VT1100.

The afternoon could be spent either relaxing or on a scheduled ride to Hervey Bay. As I had never been there before, we chose the ride, as did the majority. The road to Maryborough was pretty rough due mainly to the logging trucks, but it is a nice ride through the pine plantations. I was amazed by the straight before reaching the outskirts of Maryborough – it is soooo long. I reckon it stays straight for about 5kms before a slight bend – great for flat out speed!! We passed through Maryborough and rode out to Hervey Bay along a very busy, bumpy and shitty road. On reaching our destination we headed to the pub for lunch and after eating, dropped into the house of a couple of club members which was just down the road. They gave us the tour of the shed – this guy has about 5 bikes on the go, a couple of 750 Fours and a Z900 as well as 2 Rickmans (like a kit bike). He doesn’t work – just plays with his bikes all day, lucky bastard. One thing he told me which really got my interest was what he pays to get a frame powder coated - $140 – very, very cheap for an excellent job. Anyway after much dreaming, we headed back to the pub. Kat and I decided to head off on our own along the Esplanade – what a beautiful place, with groups of cafes along one side of the road and bush on the other and the water visible beyond. After leaving the waterfront we followed the same route back home to Tin Can Bay - we were able to really open up along the straight and riding through the pine plantations as the sun was setting was just fantastic.

We were late to rise on Monday, and so we missed seeing a few people head off. From the sounds of it they were all heading directly home, but Kat and I didn't need or want that. We finally packed up and left Tin Can Bay at about 10:30 - the weather whilst warm, was overcast and showers were on the cards. The ride back towards Gympie ended up being wet for about the last third, but no plastics were required. We reached the Matilda just as the sun re-appeared - here we topped up the tank and enjoyed a coffee and decided to steer clear of the traffic on the highway home, instead heading back via Kenilworth and Mt Mee.

There was next to no traffic on the run from the highway, through Kenilworth and Maleny and down to the D'Aguilar Hwy and with the sun hiding behind the low cloud, the ride was very comfortable. We took the turn towards Caboolture and pulled over a little further down the road for a quick stop in D'Aguilar. The Mt Mee road was great fun to ride on the GSX even with a full load - Kat assured me that she was fine on the back but could see that I was holding back. One thing that she did say was that she felt a lot safer riding these roads on the back of the GSX over the VTX, due to the way it holds the road and doesn't kick back at every little bump. I have to agree with this - on the VTX I never felt part of the road, where on the GSX I do. We rolled into Dayboro and stopped for lunch at the Crown - what a great place on a holiday, with plenty of bikes, a great view of the road and a band. Kat and I sat out the front for about an hour, watching the bikes negotiate the turn before they continue to either Samford or Mt Mee. There were heaps coming through with a lot of them stopping off at the Crown for a break - there were also a lot of guys on trail bikes coming in for a feed. The off-road riding must be good around here coz we saw quite a few trailers hauling pairs of trail bikes as well!!

We finished lunch and headed back home to Brisbane via Samford - a lot better way home than the Bruce Hwy, that's for sure!! Was a good way to end the long weekend.

The road out to Tin Can Bay

One of the stops

Heading north on the Bruce Hwy

Everyone ready to head off

Another shot of Phil briefing the group

The bikes

Phil briefing the group

Where we slept with the pub off in the background

The bikes in the pub car park

The Sunday morning "show 'n shine"

Three variations of the 750 Four

The paint on this Roadstar looked fantastic

Look Eddie.....another Drifter - yours looks better though!

Really nice GS1100


One of the locals brought his HD along

VT1100 looking very nice - sounded great too.

Another local fella rolled up with this....

Now this little fella looked real comfy

This is the best (and only) way to get a close view of the road

On the road from Maryborough to Tin Can Bay

On the way home via Kenilworth



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