Mudgee agm 2003

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Post by glitch_oz on Wed Feb 22 2017, 10:43

Derek Smyth wrote:.... myself on a 1983 Suzuki GS1100G

Shocked Who woulda thunk? At least it was the shaftie, though.
Slowly catching up now? Razz
Great yarn, thanks for posting.


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Join date : 2012-11-12

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Post by Mongrel on Fri Feb 17 2017, 10:42

Now that’s a decent ride report. What a great adventure. Would love to see a map of your trip.

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Join date : 2012-11-07
Location : Up them hills

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Post by Tinas_Harley on Tue Jan 24 2017, 20:27

This was a great read, amazing where you find a Ulyssian.

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Post by Derek Smyth on Tue Jan 24 2017, 09:54

I have just discovered some of my ride reports that were lost during a website change some years ago.
I'll use this report to see if I have the skills to load them on the current site. No pics with this one.

Mudgee Meanderings.

I had planned for some time to follow the Darling River from Wilcannia to Bourke, so the trip to Mudgee for the AGM seemed like a suitable time to incorporate this project.

We had a group of four consisting of myself on a 1983 Suzuki GS1100G, Eric Gunstone on a 1986 BMW K100, Wayne Mays on a 1999 Triumph Tiger, and my brother Rod Smyth on a 1986 Honda Transalp.

Day 1. Lilydale to Ivanhoe. Wayne, Eric and myself met at Lilydale at 0900 on Sat 29th March. Eric realised that he had left his cooking gear at home, so he went to get it, planning to catch up to us further up the road. Rod was leaving from Bendigo, and running in his motor, so he left early and we were to catch up with him somewhere.

In overcast, but dry weather, we had a pleasant run up the Melba Hwy to Yea and across to Seymour, where Eric caught up to us. Wayne led us from Nagambie, around Goulburn Weir and through the Whroo forest to Rushworth, then to Moama to refuel. I was able do discard my Dririder here as the weather was lovely and warm, switching to summer riding gear. We stopped again at Deniliquin for a lunch break, and Hay for more fuel. Between Hay and Booligal we stopped at the One Tree hotel, which is fast deteriorating, but has been an interesting structure. If it could talk, I reckon it would tell some good yarns.

Arriving at Ivanhoe about 1700, we found Rod already established in the hotel, and we refueled ready for next day, as the pumps would not be open till late. The club there has good cheap meals but they have very little patronage at present due to the affects of the drought. Later, in the pub, we were warned of bulldust holes in front of some of the cattle grids which could cause us some problems. We decided to use a warning system and keep an eye on each other on the dirt sections. The first rider would stop and identify any dangerous patches for the following riders, taking up the rear spot. If no dangers were seen, the first rider would stop after 10 kms, and see that all the others passed him okay. This way, if anyone got into difficulties, we would not be too far away. This system worked very well.

Day 2. Ivanhoe to Tilpa. After breakfast, we headed up the Cobb Hwy. And after about 40 kms started to find some patches of bulldust. (very fine dust, like powder, that fills holes of unknown depth). Eric unfortunately found one and dismounted in an ungainly fashion, wrenching his shoulder and bruising his hip. I was further ahead and found a long section which was difficult to ride through, so I explored the country beside the road, and was able to lead the others around it, after Eric had recovered somewhat from his get off. With the narrow handlebars on the road bikes, and Eric's sore shoulder, the last part getting back on the road was too much and Eric went down again. We were a bit concerned at this stage as, if he couldn't ride his bike out, we would have to pillion him out and come back for his bike again. We still had about 145 kms to go, but Eric stoically pushed on and, despite a couple more falls, made it to Wilcannia for our refuel and lunch stop.

We had been warned to be very careful in this town as the locals can cause problems, but we never saw any untoward behaviour. We were now running well behind our expected times but not too concerned. We had tents with us so we didn't have to reach any preset destination. Our plan was to follow the road up the west side of the Darling to Tilpa, as the fuel man in Wilcannia had travelled both rds the previous week, and told us the west was in better condition. Eric decided that he'd had enough of the dirt for one day, so he went across to Cobar for the night, planning to meet us next night in Bourke. My nephew had given us very good instructions on which roads to take leaving Wilcannia, so Rod, Wayne and I headed off up the road. After 20 kms of tricky dirt, I came upon an intersection that didn't look right. When the others arrived, we perused the maps and decided to go back to Wilcannia and investigate further. Note: Never trust nephews for directions! Departing on the correct road this time, we made good passage in smooth, grey sand and arrived safely in Tilpa for drinks, dinner and booked into their huts out the back. The Darling had been dry for some time but, due to some heavy rains in the north, about 9 ft of water was coming down the river, and it looked good from Bourke to Tilpa. We were lucky to see it as the level was already going down again.

Day 3. Tilpa to Bourke. The recommendation was to keep following up the west side to Louth, and then cross to the east side to Bourke. We found quite challenging riding to Louth and were unable to spend much time looking at the surroundings as we had to keep within the wheel ruts or risk dismounting involuntarily. The other wheel rut always looks smoother!! About 3 kms before Louth, we met an old chap riding a push bike. He had caught the train from Sydney to Broken Hill, and was riding to Bourke. He had everything under control so we went on to Louth and he met us again there. The lady in the pub has been there for 35 years and can tell some good stories so, with the cyclist, we had a few drinks and a good chat. Conditions were not too bad into Bourke where we met Eric again, and set up camp at Kidman park, on the Cunnamulla road. This is a very good park, away from town and quite secure. The lady there organised a bus to take us into town for dinner at the club. We had a good night.

Day 4. Bourke to Lightning Ridge. We rode across to Brewarrina where we refueled and bought sandwiches for lunch, as we had been told the road ahead was very poor. We thought our progress might be very slow, so prepared for the worst. Eric left us here to continue on the tarmac to Hebel where we would have a drink at the historic hotel. The road was far better than expected and we had no problem arriving in Goodooga for lunch, which we had sitting in the shade of a local building. This is an aboriginal town with only one white family. Everyone was friendly and waved as they passed while we sat eating.

On leaving town we noticed a modern Community Health building, really a small hospital. Ten kms up the road, Rod stopped and I went past, finding some fairly horrible stretches of bulldust in long trenches. Some locals had explained that the councils are given a certain allcation of funds for road grading, which should be done after rain. If they don't use it, they will not have it allocated in the next budget. As the drought had made everything ultra dry, they graded the roads to use their allocation,causing the very fine dust to form worse than usual.

Arriving at the 20 km mark, I stopped and waited under the shade of a tree. After a while, when no-one else arrived, I realised that Rod or Wayne must have had a problem. Hoping it was mechanical, I made my way back and found them at the 11 km mark. Wayne had got off his bike when his front wheel hit the dirt piled up between the wheel tracks. Rod had found him lying there unconcious with the Tiger motor reving very fast. Just before he switched it off, it seized up. Wayne had recovered conciousness, but it was obvious that his collar bone was broken. After making him as comfortable as possible, Rod rode back towards Goodooga to seek assistance, and met a kangaroo hunter heading our way. The hunter transported Wayne back to the hospital, and Rod organised some locals to bring out a trailer and pick up Waynes bike and belongings. The people of Goodooga were fantastic with their help.

It was discovered that Wayne needed more help than was available there, so they arranged for an ambulance to take him to Lightning Ridge and the Air Ambulance flew up and took him to Dubbo hospital. In conversation at the hospital, it came out that the white man in the town was a Ulyssean, so I located him and he has stored the bike in his lock up shed. The head nurse asked Rod and I where we were planning to spend the night. We told her that we were going to Lightning Ridge to camp with Eric. She invited us to stay at her house in the Ridge and gave us the use of a flat behind her house.

That night we picked up Eric at the caravan park and she took us to the club for dinner and to the natural hot spa for a soak later in the evening. Travelling from Goodooga to Lightning ridge in the dusk, and then the dark, was difficult because of the wildlife. Rod actually ran over the front legs of a roo which slipped trying to avoid him, and I managed to stop in time. The roo got up on the third attempt but I think his front legs were broken. He hopped off into the bush again.

Day 5. Lightning Ridge to Gilgandra. We had planned a lay day to get to know Lightning Ridge. None of us had been here previously. However the morning was spent doing our laundry and arranging for Wayne's personal gear to be freighted to Dubbo, where we could have it sent back to Melbourne. We rode around town exploring some of the opal diggings and took the nurse out to lunch and then departed for Dubbo. The weather changed with isolated showers during the afternoon and we arrived at Gilgandra and booked into the Royal Hotel ($10 bed and cont breakfast). Later we met a couple travelling across from Broken Hill who had battled nasty weather for quite a long way. They were happy to dry out and we shared some time together at the bar. Day 6. Gilgandra to Mudgee. When we arrived at the hospital in Dubbo, we were riding around looking for a place to park when a man hailed us and introduced himself. He was the librarian and a motorcyclist, and he directed us to where he parked his bike and told us to make his library our base while we were there. He then took us to the IC ward where Wayne was located. They had not operated on him, but had done many scans and xrays, finding broken collar bone, 7 broken ribs and possible broken thumb. Wayne did not laugh at my jokes so I can only assume that it hurt too much. Couldn't be my crappy jokes could it? Wayne's wife Kaye came up in the car, so we were able to take her around to the transport company to pick up the goods we had sent down. Rod, who was flying out to Europe the next week, was feeling flu type symptoms, so he elected to book into a motel, and avoid the wet weather that was approaching. Eric and I rode through light rain to Mudgee and booked into the AGM, setting up camp at the showgrounds. The next few days were spent meeting with friends, checking out the trade stands and just generally socialising. Rod arrived next day while Eric and I had ridden to Hill End, Sofala and back. Beautiful country.

Days 6 & 7. At AGM.

Day 8. Mudgee to Lithgow. Sunday morning we packed our gear again. Rod headed home (as planned) and Eric and I left with a couple of friends from Wyong, to travel NE through Bylong to Sandy Hollow for lunch. After lunch they took us to the top of the Putty Rd where we said goodbye to Jim and Peter, and continued down to Colo and across the Bells Line of Rd to Lithgow. We found all the hotels booked out and had to settle for a motel. It was dark when we arrived and we didn't feel like camping. Had a pleasant night watching the moto GP racing on pay TV.

Day 9. Lithgow to Tumut. After having a slap up breakfast at MacDonalds (yuk), we rode to Oberon and then down through Black Springs and Taralga to Goulburn. More fantastic country. We then followed the Hume Hwy to Yass for lunch. I left Eric here as I have always wanted to go to Wee Jasper. The road was bitumen until Wee Jasper then dirt again through to Tumut. Eric arrived about 20 min ahead of me, having ridden down the hwy to Gundagai and in to Tumut. We found another friendly hotel and settled in for the night, having a walk around town and dinner at RSL club.

Day 10. Tumut to Omeo. Leaving Tumut, we travelled along the Snowy Mountains Hwy to Adaminaby where we turned off to Berridale and across to Jindabyne. We stopped here for lunch, and to buy provisions, as we planned to spend the night camped beside the Snowy River. Travelling south on the Barry Way, we encountered quite a few 4WD vehicles who gave us plenty of room on the narrow gravel track. They radioed to the following vehicles to watch out for us. Very nice of them. The country has been devastated by the bushfires and, although the views are splendid without the trees, it is not a pretty scene. The weather was looking threatening and the camp sites black and charcoally, so we decided to push on and spend the night in the pub at Omeo. The road from Suggan Buggan to Benambra had some tricky sections but we plodded along and made it before the rain came.

Day 11. Omeo to Melbourne. After breakfast, the cloud seemed to rise so we decided to go across Mt Hotham. The forecast was for rain through Gippsland and we thought we would be better keeping north of it. Mt Hotham was still quite cloudy and cold, but once over that and down to Harrietville, the sky was blue and it was a very pleasant day all the way home. At Myrtleford, I again departed from Eric to ride via Dandongadale to Whitfield. Unfortunately the dam at Lake Buffalo is being worked on and I couldn't get through that way. (due to reopen 30/6/03) I went back a few kms and took an alternate route that wound through the pine forests and over the hills for about 30 kms until I found the road to Whitfield. This was some pretty tricky stuff to ride, with thick, loose gravel for a long way. After catching up with Eric again, we stopped for lunch at Mansfield and came home over the Black Spur. I have had a bonzer time, and look forward to taking my wife back to spend more time in some of these areas. We covered too much distance without having the time to sniff the roses. Wayne is still sore but recovering. He still doesn't laugh at my jokes. Bastard!
Derek Smyth
Derek Smyth

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