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Grampians Weekend Getaway 2012

Written by Fred C.

Well where do I start with this ride report ?

The planning for this trip, at least for me started some 8 months ago. I asked my better half if she would entertain the thought of coming along on this trip (I had an ulterior motive) when she answered YES ! I knew I was in with a shot at getting a new bike as there was no way she would endure the 1200 odd Ks perched on the postage stamp size pillion seat of my Daytona (picachu), so the hunt began and presto a triumph sprint quickly followed.

As usual we started packing on the morning of the departure,I had been away all week at work in Sydney and Simone had everything in neat piles on the dinning room table ready to be placed into the Pinions, yes I said Pinions, for some reason they have inherited this name ,as panniers, prior to this trip was not in Simone's vocabulary.

We loaded up the bike, hopped on to do the first 15 Ks to the meeting point at Stirling, beyond this,it was to going to be a mammoth effort as Simone had never really ventured further than about 50 Ks.

The warm greetings ensued and after a short while we saddled up for the next leg to the first stop for breakfast at Tailem Bend. The weather was fantastic if not a little warm, but at least it wasn't raining, Simone hung on to any thing resembling a grab bar, but was soon relaxed enough to put her arms out in the breeze and really enjoyed the experience, I even managed to get a shoulder massage. (when we were going in a straight line). By the time we had completed a few stops Simone was getting her riding gear on and off like a real pro.

We arrived at Horsham mid afternoon to pick up our supplies of food and beverages, loaded them in the support vehicle and embarked on the last stage of our journey for that day, the final leg through the mountains into halls gap was what we had all been anticipating for most of the trip, as usual it did not disappoint, there were some damp patches on the road, but for the most part it was dry and it had cooled down also.

Arriving at the pyramids we unloaded, refreshed, and headed off to a well deserved feed at the halls gap cricket club, yummy as usual. The rest of the night was pretty quiet for us at least, and we hit the sack, I don't remember my head hitting the pillow !

The next day was a free day, after a wonderful artery hardening BBQ breakfast, some of us headed off to the zoo, some went hiking , whilst others took the opportunity to just take it easy for the day, a tour of a local winery was also organised for the afternoon, the tour lasted about 1 1/2 hours and took us underground to the cellars with mould and all, if it is organised again next year and you missed out take the tour next time, you won't be disappointed. That evening another smorgasbord of fine salads and BBQ meats was enjoyed by all, of course followed by the obligatory war stories.

Monday morning came all too soon and again Simone and I left it until then to pack, we didn't want to be left behind (again) and we didn't want to miss yet another outstanding breakfast. Some great roads were had for the return trip, and this time it was a lot cooler, our main stop was at Naracoort for lunch, where we received yet another call from my starving daughter with the "eye infection" which miraculously had improved to an itchy eye by the time we got home. As we left Naracoort, the sky grew black as night, and we started to see oncoming traffic all with headlights on, and yes you guessed it, it started to pelt down, we were continuously updated by our resident weather girl that it was 36 degrees in Adelaide,and maybe we should remove the linings from our jackets, she neglected to tell us however that it was close to snowing in Keith. The rain was short lived and the temperature started to climb the closer we got Adelaide, we made our final stop at Tailem bend again and said our goodbyes as we all headed home with very fond memories of the weekend, this story would not be complete if I didn't thank all those at SABERS for organising such a memorable weekend away, the master chefs, the drivers, and the entire group that makes us who we are, as for Simone, she is already asking me when the next trips are planned,(I wonder if I can con another bike out of her) you are all are really great bunch and I look forward to many more rides in the future.

Fred and Simone

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