Blue Duck Ride - 2018 - Steve Griffiths

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Blue Duck Ride - 2018 - Steve Griffiths

Post by Scoresby Chris on Thu May 17 2018, 13:55

Blue Duck Rally 2018
Ride Report

Attendees: Steve Griffiths, Len Little, Graeme Pratten, Keven White, Pam Roberts, Ross Marshallsea, Shirley Marshallsea, Gipp Hawley


Thursday, 22nd March 2018
7 people on 6 bikes met at the Shell service station in Lilydale for a quick catch up and leave at 7:30am to ride the 400 plus kilometres to the Blue Duck Inn at Anglers Rest near Omeo, Vic. The weather was fine with a promise of sunshine and dry roads. Always good news at the start of a ride. Steve Griffiths (ride leader) led the group to Noojee for our first stop for breakfast at The Little Red Duck café with Shirley Marshallsea being TEC. The group all knowing how to get to Noojee decided not to employ corner marking but kept a watch on each other to ensure we would all arrive safely. The trip took just on an hour arriving at 8:30am. Hot coffee, bacon and egg rolls and other good yummy food to help us on our way.

Having finished brekkie Kevin White took over as ride leader for the next section to Stratford and was lucky not to hit a fox within minutes of leaving Noojee. The ride to Stratford having many turns, corner marking was a must but the group stayed close at all times accepting when the roads became twisties or big sweeping corners that are found on the way to Hill End. The weather just got better as we rode and the smiles got bigger on our faces as we made our way through Willow Grove, Glengarry, Hayfield and Maffra. Leaving at 9:30am from Noojee, we arrived in Stratford topping up on fuel and then lunch at Wa-De-Lock Cellar Door café. Here we noticed that the wind was picking up. Lunch consisted of sandwiches, fruit and hot drinks.

Leaving Stratford, Steve resumed the role of ride leader for the rest of the trip and took the road to Bengworden re-joining the A1 highway just outside of Bairnsdale. The wind became very heavy and small branches were falling from trees. Ross caught on branch to his shoulder that left a small but painful bruise. Where necessary, we kept our bikes leaning against the wind. Passing through Bairnsdale and moving inland towards Bruthen, the wind eased greatly and our smiles returned. A quick rest and pee stop here before heading on to Omeo, turning towards Cassilis at Swift Creek, before stopping for fuel at Omeo then tackling the twisties to The Blue Duck Inn at Anglers rest arriving approximately 4 pm. Gipp Hawley arrived by car a bit later, bringing supplies that we might need for the 3 days away.

We had 3 cabins booked, Steve allocated who went in which cabin and after a brief settle in with a few drinks, we all went to the pub for dinner and discussed the events of the ride. The discussions continued in the outdoor BBQ hut after dinner, drinks and laughter echoing through the hills.

23rd March 2018
The optional day ride has in the past been a day where some ride and others relax at the Blue Duck and surrounds. It was brilliant that all riders this year prepared for the ride to Mitta Mitta. 90 Kilometres of twisties. After a great BBQ breakfast of bacon, eggs, onions etc, cooked by the BBQ kings Ross and Kevin, off we went. These roads are probably best thrill ride in Victoria. Not just for the quick bends, left and right but around any corner you can find wildlife. The speed limit is 100 kph but best to stay under that for most of the way. Stopping for coffee and cake at Mitta Mitta, we decided that a visit to the Dartmouth Dam was in order. Great road, great view from the top. A little cloudy now and not as warm as we had hoped for.

On to Mount Beauty via Red Bluff, down Gundowring Rd for lunch. A fantastic back road which leads down to Mt Beauty. All the roads we have been on have been fantastic, dry, clean and few bumps or potholes. An exception in Victoria these days. Lunch at MB, then ride over Falls Creek, The Bogong Plains back to Anglers rest. What a day. A few drinks and nibbles in the BBQ hut then dinner in the pub then more drinks in Kevin, Pam and Gipps cabin, warming ourselves in front of a log fire, listening to music stored in ipads through a Bluetooth speaker. What could be a better way to end the day? Then people started to sing and howl!!!!!

Saturday, 24th March 2018
We awoke to find it a wet cool day. Normally this is a rest day and is the day for the Blue Duck Highland Games, though plenty of time is available in between events to ride if you wanted.
The BBQ kings prepared another mouth-watering brekkie before the rains started again. So the games began with a 60 question quiz prepared earlier by Steve. The team’s comprised the members of each hut with Steve acting as sole judge that could be easily bribed with a glass red. Each team stayed their own huts keeping warm by the log fires and when the rain eased we all sat in the BBQ hut for the answers. The first event was won by Kevin, Pam and Gipp.

We then had lunch from tasteful items we had in our supplies, with Gipp creating a delicious salad for all to share. Followed by walking, reading and general chats. Unfortunately the rain returned and we all sought shelter. It seemed to get wetter and colder as the day progressed and it looked as if the highland games would need to be cancelled, when suddenly the rain stopped. As we were all warm and dry it took some coaxing to get all outside but the games continued. We had the golf ball and spoon race (won by Ross), paper aeroplane make and fly (won by Ross) and the ever popular dummy spit (won by Ross).

As it remained dry, we commandeered the BBQ hut again (other guests were using it throughout the day, so we had to stake our claim) and had a delicious BBQ dinner. A great way to end to the ride. Celebrations for Ross and Shirley as they were presented with the Blue Duck trophy, a video was made and sent to Gerd (the originator of this ride) expressing our wish of thanks and for his attendance in 2019. The party continued with laughs, song and a sadness that we were to ride home tomorrow. A video of the singing was made and put on the YR Facebook page.

Sunday, 25th May 2018
We awoke to a wet, overcast day and prepared for the ride home. Our first stop was for breakfast at The Golden Age Hotel in Omeo for lunch. We all took our time through the twisties ensuring we kept upright. There were cows wandering on the roads near Omeo as well as other wildlife to avoid.

As we pulled into Omeo we could see the dark storm clouds forming towards Mount Hotham and after some discussion decided to return to Melbourne via the way we came. We followed the main rode to Bairnsdale where we all refuelled and then continued on to Stratford. Pam suggested a different café than where we had stopped previously. The Ticklish Turtle Coffee House in Stratford. The food was hot and tasty and we all left with the thought of stopping there in 2019.

The rain had eased to a stop since leaving Omeo but the winds had increased significantly. This made the ride interesting if not dangerous in parts and added to the decision to continue along the highway and not head to Maffra and Noojee where tree branches and leaves we sure to litter the road. At Packenham, we headed for Cockatoo, and Emerald where we stopped for more coffee and bid our goodbyes.

Another great ride, great memories and the hope we can all do it again next year
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Scoresby Chris

Posts : 292
Join date : 2013-08-26
Age : 53
Location : Scoresby

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