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View Full Version : The controversial Walhalla Ride


K1W1
23-10-2007, 08:36 PM
WARNING: Parts of this story may not be entirely truthful.

Sunday 21 October dawned in Melbourne as a typical late Autumn day with a forecast high of 31oC, hot winds and a late change with the promise of rain (nobody was holding their breath on that one).

The ride route (http://tinyurl.com/yujpnv)

Shortly before 9 I left home for the 5km downhill ride to the Tastes.az Cafe and arrived just in time to catch Scott and Jeremy discussing World Geopolitical events, the dawn of civilization and current theories on solar verses wind as a green alternative to nuclear energy generation whilst Scott was enjoying one of Karlís rather large man size breakfasts. Soon after 5 more bikes arrived and after an extensive pre ride briefing from yours truly (ďWho does not have a full tank of fuel? We are going that way. Letís go.Ē) 8 Stroms, 1 BMW GS and 9 people set off at precisely 9.30am.

Sophisticated route planning

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The route I had planned involved two major components. No traffic lights and an attempt to get everybody who did not live in the area (everybody except me that is) lost whilst they thought they were having fun. Within 2km of the start of the ride we all stopped beside the road for the first of several emergencies during the day. A large Eucalypt had shed a branch that was entirely blocking the lane on the exit to a fast downhill corner. Several cars and a sports bike rider had already stopped and together we made short work of moving the branch, sort of clearing the road and getting back on our way. In quick succession we traveled through Tremont, Ferny Creek, Sherbrooke, Kallista, Monbulk and onwards to Yellingbo. Soon after a right turn onto a kilometre or so of nice dry dusty gravel road made me glad I was in front.

Sometime later after traveling through Gladesville, Three Bridges and Gilderoy we arrived in the sleepy hamlet of Noojee only to find that the usual crouch rocket Sunday traffic was in residence with a continual stream of bikes and bikers of all shapes and sizes passing through. Only 90 km into a 300 km ride and some people were already heard to be complaining about posterior fatigue!

Noojee on any Sunday. Take careful note of the ZZR!

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Would you ride with these guys?

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After a short rest to allow for the consumption of cold drinks and ice creams and also for the BMW to rest in the shade awhile it was time for the next 90km to our destination Ė Walhalla. Soon after leaving Noojee we were passed by a group of brightly leather clad riders who seemed to think speed limits and road advisory signs were for other people. We also caught up to and passed a group of four Harley riders who actually seemed human judging by the fact that, a) They were not entirely clad in black and b) They actually initiated a wave. Life is full of surprises!

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Some 15km out of Noojee and there ahead on a right hand bend was a group of riders parked haphazardly. It can only mean one thing and it did Ė a crouch rocket (in this case the ZZR12-R) was nose down over the bank. Luckily there was no damage to the rider and only a broken front brake lever and some scratches on the bike. Needless to say eight Strom riders had no problems manhandling a heavy bike back up the bank and onto the road. During the process the four Harleys passed us by without stopping so I guess they werenít completely human after all. Needless to say we caught them again within a couple of kms but I was happy to stay behind them for the next 10km or so as the road is lovely at a sedate Harley pace, very narrow and two tons of American steel between me and any oncoming 4WDís seemed like a good idea at the time anyway. Once the road opened out a bit the Harleys receded in the mirrors fairly quickly although two or three bikes behind me a silver RT BMW seemed to have infiltrated our group.

Now the road had opened out it was sort of legal speeds through Willow Grove, past the Blue Rock Dam, through Tanjil South and then left to Erica, right to Rawson and left onto the Walhalla Road. The Walhalla Road is amazing, when corners are marked as U turns they really are U turns, itís narrow with a sheer drop on one side and a near vertical cliff up the other, and just fun with a capital ďFĒ (for people on Weeís anyway, wouldnít have been wanting to ride anything much bigger).

Soon enough we arrived at Walhalla a little township that is nestled at the base of a very steep valley. For those who do not know Walhalla is the scene of a large 19th Century Gold find, some 55 Tons (thatís roughly 55,900 kilos) of Gold was extracted from an area not much larger than you average city suburb. Walhalla was also the first municipality in the world to have electric street lighting in the 1880ís. Today itís a small tourist town of only a couple of hundred people.

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At this point the owner of the silver Beemer must have realized that he had just ridden some 75 kms with the wrong group as he hastily adjourned to the first Hotel we came across to wait for his riding buddies.

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The Greyhorse Cafť was the scene for lunch Ė and the controversy. Mr Farkles is sunning himself overseas so we were not treated to the usual lunchtime lecture on the latest Touratech release or where this weeks best farkle bargain on the net was or even a description of a new helmet, or pair of boots or some display of a new riding jacket so the discussion turned to the bikes on the ride. This is where things got heated as it was soon apparent that one bike in particular quite possibly out farkled the farklemobile. The discussion turned nasty as the interloper was compared to the missing incumbent and threats were made. Only the passing of the districts sole member of Victoriaís finest in his nice dirty 4WD brought some normality back to things. I believe that the decision on the title of the most farkled Vee has been left in limbo until a farkleoff can be arranged but it was obvious that there was an undercurrent of tension for the rest of the ride. I think there were several people who were watching their mirrors intently on the way home!

Iím remaining neutral on the discussion so here dear audience are the photos. You can decide for yourselves and make up your own mind where the farkle title should reside.

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By 1.45pm the tension in the air had subsided and the BMW had returned from itís second nap in the shade so it was time to gear up and head home. About half way to the Rawson turnoff we were greeted with the sight of another large group of bikers precariously parked on the exit of a blind corner. You guessed it Ė another crouch rocket over the edge. This time it was way over the edge, in several pieces and not going to go home under itís own steam. The thumbs ups from the group indicated that there was no need to stop so we didnít. It turns out that this was the main body of the group that the previous off road enthusiast and the Beemer rider belonged to. All I can say is Iím glad I donít ride with them!

An uneventful trip back to Noojee followed. At Noojee it was a short stop for fuel (for one), ice cream and cold drinks and a final leg stretch before the last leg of the journey. Forty or so kms later we were at Launching Place where the groups disbanded and generally all headed in different directions home, home being a further 120 kms away for some.

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I arrived home bug splatted and with two bars still on my fuel gauge at 4.30 after 375kms and a wonderful days outing.

goodie
24-10-2007, 07:04 PM
Hey, good ride report, K1W1. Wish I could've joined you, but we just came back from Europe on that day.
Sunday 21 October dawned in Melbourne as a typical late Autumn day
AUTUMN day??? :?

K1W1
24-10-2007, 09:57 PM
Read the first line of the report!

:D :D

glitch
25-10-2007, 07:48 AM
WARNING: Parts of this story may not be entirely truthful.
Great...those general disclaimers, aren't they?" :wink:

[quote]It turns out that this was the main body of the group that the previous off road enthusiast and the Beemer rider belonged to. All I can say is Iím glad I donít ride with them!

That could only have been a Netrider ride, aye? :lol: :lol: :lol:
(it was !!)

Anyway, sounds like all had fun....another good ride under the belt.
Will try to make the next one !

K1W1
25-10-2007, 05:06 PM
That could only have been a Netrider ride, aye? :lol: :lol: :lol:
(it was !!)

My lips are sealed. :D

loz
26-10-2007, 11:21 AM
That pic might just be the last of Keithy's blackbird before it carked it, too...

glitch
26-10-2007, 12:28 PM
That pic might just be the last of Keithy's blackbird before it carked it, too...

Ehhhh???
What happened??
That bike hadn't done a lot of miles yet?

loz
26-10-2007, 12:43 PM
My lips are also sealed... :P