Ride to Strathalbyn, Sunday 30th April 2017

30 Apr

As I hit the road to Hazelwood Park, I thought what a perfect day for a bike ride – dry roads, 20 degrees and overcast. Ten other riders obviously had the same idea. We were a bit light on the older bikes apart from Phil Allen 66 Norton Special, David Saint 76 Yamaha RD400 and Alan Kernich BMW R80 which is 32 years old and is, or shortly will be, regarded as an older bike. Also present were :- Alan Wallis Kawasaki 250, Graham Riley Kawasaki 900 v-twin, Louis Peilschmidt Honda VF750C, Campbell Blaney Kawasaki KLR700, Tom Robson Kawasaki W650, Wayne Williams Yamaha XVS650, Rosco Honda Blackbird and myself on a Triumph 675 triple.

Up the track we went to Summertown and turned right through Piccadilly and then Stirling before turning onto Sturt Valley Rd. We continued through Ironbank and Cherry Gardens eventually winding our way to Clarendon. About this time I learnt that Alan was experiencing electrical problems with his Kawasaki and a couple of riders had stopped to help him out. The remainder of the ride continued to the Meadows Bakery. I then received a call from Alan saying that he had subsequently started the bike, but had decided to call it a day as there was clearly an electrical issue somewhere.

Now, who do you think we ran into at the bakery? Yes, fellow COMCC members Graeme Bradley and Warren Duncan. We chatted for some time before Rosco informed us that he considered the prescribed route as not being ‘Blackbird friendly’. I was contemplating the meaning of this as well as noting he was riding a 160bhp+ rocket, which is capable of insane speeds, through the Adelaide Hills on a Sunday morning.

Leaving Meadows we rode through Macclesfield and into Strathalbyn and then immediately out again on the Paris Creek Rd. There was no traffic along this road, but I managed to keep at and around the speed limit, as this a favourite haunt for the now covert boys in blue. At the end of Paris Creek Rd we turned left onto Bull Creek Rd to Ashbourne and then left towards Strathalbyn on the Ashbourne Rd. In my opinion this is 40kms of the finest motorcycling roads in the state and includes one of the few, fast diminishing 100kph sections of roads in and around the Adelaide hills.

We pulled over in the main street of Strathalbyn for lunch and ended up in two groups at different cafes. We lost the smaller group of three riders after lunch or they may have decided to head home early. The rest of us continued on the ‘cruiser friendly’ route towards Callington before heading to Littlehampton along the Old Princes Highway through Kanmantoo and Nairne. We turned right onto Junction Rd, which I can now confirm has a reduced speed limit of 80kph (previously 100) all the way to Balhannah. This straight road must be considered to be some kind of an accident black spot or the government is in desperate need of motorist’s cash. At this point the ride petered out as riders headed home in various directions.

Our next run is on Sunday May 28th when we will ride to McLaren Vale and then Yankalilla meet at the Caltex servo Top of Taps 9:30 for a 10am start. All makes and years of bikes welcome.

Charles Oliver, Club Captain.