The annual SABERS 5 Ferries our main fund raising event of the year was this year re named the River Ramble. This was done to allow a memorial ride in conjunction with the MRA SAMRATS in honour of Jock Rogan who passed away earlier in the year. As both clubs have a 5 Five Ferries ride in reverse directions it was agreed for 2012 only to make this concession out of respect for all of the work Jock had done for motorcycling in SA. He will be sadly missed.
That said the morning of the River Ramble was a bit cool and there was the threat of showers as we gathered at Civic Park. The numbers were down significantly on previous years with only 23 bikes making the start. It is unclear if this may have been due to the changed run title, weather or loss of interest in general.
The group that gathered however were looking forward to the run as usual and it was great the see Darren and Christie back for their first ride for ages due to Darren’s elbow injury. Hopefully they will be more regular attendees again.
The ride departed and made its way via Main North East Road through the hills to Mount Pleasant for the first stop. The old whistle Stop Café is now a Bakery and the pies and pasties are without doubt some of the best in Adelaide as was the coffee. A pity our resident coffee connoisseur in Peter Beilby was not along for the tick of approval.
We moved on then moved on to Sedan for a quick splash and dash with fuel and headed for the first river crossing at Swan Reach, crossing again at Walkers Flat where the resident punt operator made us welcome on his bike friendly craft being a keen motor cyclist himself.
Arriving at Mannum for lunch we were surprised to find the riverside kiosk had been demolished so it was up to the main drag for fodder.
A number of riders left us after lunch as we crossed the Murray again (that makes 3 now) headed for Murray Bridge and our main fuel stop. The selected fuel stop was out of High Octane fuel so we ventured into Murray Bridge Proper to fuel up at the servo at the intersection of Adelaide Road and Swanport Road. As we had all fuelled up, except for “The Pres”, we moved away from the congested pump area into the supermarket car park south of the servo and waited for Fred & Trish to join us. We waited and waited and finally someone pointed out “there goes Fred”. Obviously he had not seen us sneak of into the car park and was heading towards Jervois at a clip.
By the time we had all exited the car park to find there was no right turns onto Swanport Road and back tracked a couple of hundred metres and done the obligatory U-Turn in pursuit there was no sign of Fred who was making every effort to catch up to the group.
Oh well it was fun trying to catch Fred instead and we only succeeded at the Jervois Ferry, where vigorous debate about what had happened was entered into (in good fun).
After this crossing we made a right turn to Wellington without the usual fuel stop at Tailem Bend and upon arrival at the final crossing at Wellington we decided to travel straight through to Strathalbyn for a welcome coffee rather than stopping at Langhorne Creek. Our numbers had dwindled again at Murray Bridge and the six or eight bikes left were all keen to partake of something warming before calling it a day.
Arriving in Strathalbyn the remaining riders enjoyed coffee and cake in the High Street a fitting end to another great ride.
Thank you to all who attended and joined in the lucky numbers and donations which raised $375…not bad for a group around half of the usual attendance numbers.
Thank you also to Tony W and Heather, our stalwart TEC team.
The weather is starting to improve somewhat now so hopefully we will see more of you in coming months.