Ride to Mannum, Sunday 5th March 2017

11 Mar

Another perfect sunny Adelaide day ensured ideal conditions for a pleasant ride to Mannum and lunch by the river. A dozen riders met at Civic Park opposite Tea Tree Plaza – several Hinckley and Meriden Triumphs, a brace of Harleys and CB750s, a Norton, an ex-police BMW, a V-star and a water bottle. Darryl McWaters kindly volunteered to don the yellow vest and performed the tail-end Charlie duties. It was indeed a pleasant ride up North East Rd, through Chain of Ponds, along the recently re-opened stretch between the Kersbrook turn-off and Gumeracha, through Birdwood and stopping at the Mt Pleasant Bakery.

Members should note that the pies were up to their usual high standard. We left Mt Pleasant and headed east along Angas Valley Rd, winding our way through and over the hills and then down onto the flat where we turned right at Ridley Rd which joins up with the Mannum Rd and then down into Mannum. Phil Allen had lost his Norton’s rear brake adjuster nut and his number plate somewhere en route. It was a bit early for lunch, so I took the ride onto the ferry and over to the east bank. The plan was to ride up to Purnong and take the ferry back and return to Mannum from the north in time for lunch at the Pretoria.

Cruising towards Purnong, at and around the speed limit, a strange noise emanated form the right hand pot of my two-stroke triple and smoke billowed over David Saint’s nice white BMW which followed. I slowed down, limped onto the Purnong Ferry and pulled over on the other side of the river. The plug was well oiled and damage to the engine had undoubtedly already been sustained, the consensus of all those in the know was, that it was pretty well stuffed. One of the benefits of travelling in a group is that there is never a shortage of advice as to what’s wrong with your machine. Theories abounded – blown crankshaft oil seal, oil pump, holed piston, broken rings etc etc. The trouble was, we were miles from anywhere, so figuring that most of the damage had already been done, the rest of the ride gave me a head start as I slowly nursed the bike back into Mannum. By this time, the base gasket on the right had well and truly blown and oil was all over the alternator cover.

I made a phone call to a motorcycle recovery service, as recommended recently by our Hon. Sec. and was quoted $660 to recover it, but he said he might know someone who would do it for $550. I politely declined and in response to this gentleman’s fanciful quote and his questionable cheaper option, I have removed his business from our website links and filed it under ‘for rich blokes with $30k motorcycles only’.

As it turned out Gary Priest’s sister lives in Mannum, so after a good lunch at the pub and a phone call he arranged for me to store the bike there until I could recover it. Gary then offered me his Honda CB750 for the return ride while he rode Gail’s Harley with her as pillion. We returned down the Mannum Rd, through Tungkillo, Mt Torrens and into Lobethal riders peeling off home at intervals on the way. My thanks go to Gary for arranging storage of the bike, helping me get home and recovering the bike the following day.

Our next run is on Sunday April 9th when we will head to Goolwa via The Meadows Bakery. Meet 9:30 for a 10am start at the Caltex, Top of Taps.

Charles Oliver, Club Captain.