Ran the Stone up to Edi in the King Valley for the Moto Guzzi Club of Victoria’s annual Spaghetti Rally. Took the Hume Freeway to Benalla, then cut in to Moyhu via Greta. The place was lush following the recent heavy spring rains. (Ned Kelly lived in Greta – Glenrowan, the site of the siege is just up the road a bit. I passed the the site where he and his gang murdered three policemen, near Mansfield, on the return trip.)
I reached Edi early afternoon to find a dozen or so campers already there. Had to cross a creek to get into the river flat – it was pretty muddy. A lass was later to drop her Harley trying to get in. Bikes were still arriving well into the night. The Guzzi club organisers rolled up and I gave a hand setting up tents for the bar, cooking gear for for the spaghetti on Saturday night, and benches and so on.
But I couldn’t stay for that, so after a night of drinking and talking bullshit, I set out for home. Back along the valley to Whitfield then up over the range to Mansfield. This is a great road but you need to keep an eye out for bikes and cars running wide on the bends. And rock falls. Stopped at Mansfield for a coffee and again at Yea for fuel. The Cali running like a dream. Two days on the bike – fantastic.
As I mentioned, I won free tickets to the main stand at the GP and Jane managed to get us accommodation at Inverloch, about 40 minutes away. Drove down on Friday (due to the wet weather, we decide that it was better to be down there in the car wishing we had taken the bikes, than be down there on the bikes wishing we’d taken the car!). Pissed down from Melbourne to Cranbourne, but then fined up – floods near Inverloch due to a week of rain were running a banker.
After brekky of bacon and egg sangas and coffee at the bakery, we drove from Inverloch to Phillip Island on Saturday morning and were hit by another heavy passing shower. The parking areas were a muddy mess and we directed down to the bottom of the paddock. Were not confident of getting out. The guy behind us got bogged! It never rained again the whole weekend. Wondered around the track and the industry sites and watched the time trials. The sun came out and dried everything off. And the car came out no worries! Went to Cowes on Saturday night for the street party and to see all the bikes. Toseland wandered through. perhaps he shouldn’t have – he copped a jumped start penalty the next day!
Fed up with junk food, we bought olives, tomatoes, salami, crackers and dip for tea in our apartment. And beer and apple cider.
Caught the bus from Inverloch to the track on Sunday. The driver told us he’d leave 30 minutes after the last race ended – no time to watch the podium because the buses were parked far from the main straight! Spent most of the day in the stand. The Australian Superbikes, 125s and Gp were the best races. (ASBK riders polled better times than the latter riders of the Moto GP). Some spectacular crashes, including that of Chris Knox, ASBK, who ran wide onto the main straight, into the grass and then was tumbled along the main straight for half a kay, ending up unconscious and with a broken leg in front of our stand. Not a good sight to see when it happens so close – it’s different on tv – he was like a rag doll. Because he crashed in front of the pits (figures on the edge of the track), the circuit doctor was first on the scene.
The crowd roared when Lorenzo speared into Hayden, presumable because he now couldn’t beat Rossi, and also because Hayden is considered a tragi-comic hapless loser. Why-o-why have Ducati signed him up again? Give it to Elias! A fantastic race between Stoner and Rossi. The crowd wouldn’t have minded who won, loving both riders. They came to their feet when Stoner crossed in front.
Hot-footed to the bus and we were glad someone else was driving. Had a relaxing night in Inverloch and drove home on Monday. Bikes everywhere. Nice to see.
Replaced the original shocks on the Cali and took it for a fang. They didn’t feel as bad as I remember. Maybe the Ikons have been deteriorating for some time – the left one was leaking quite badly. I’ll send them up to Ikon in Albury to be rebuilt. About $120 each they reckon.
We’re off to Melbourne today to pick the tickets I won for the Moto GP. I entered a TAC (Transport Accident Commission) competition and won two 3-day passes to the GP. Managed to get accommodation in nearby Inverloch.
Completed a fang through northern Victoria on the ever-reliable California Metal and Jane on her Ducati GT1000. Green crops everywhere, rivers and creeks running, sunny and 24C, no wollopers. Stayed at Charleton, then a big loop through Wycheproof, Swan Hill, Kerang, Barmah, Pyramid Hill, Boort, and back to Charleton. Nearly 1000km in 2 days. Beats workin’ for a living!
In Charleton we stayed at Bennett’s Bed and Breakfast which is located in the Vale of Avoca, a restored two-storey hotel. Highly recommended.
Limped home! The rear left Ikon shock was leaking and the Duke sprang a leak in the slave cylinder of the hydraulic clutch, making gear changes difficult. Topped the clutch reservoir up and mosied home. Well, the Cali does have 64,000km on it but the Ikon has only about 40,000km. But both bikes running like dreams otherwise!
The lake at Boort was full.
Swan Hill – the bridge lifts to allow paddle steamers through.
After nearly 3 weeks, Eurobrit informed me that the Moto Guzzi Importers, John Sample Group, didn’t have the required parts in Australia – they’re on back order 3-6 weeks!. Eurobrit sourced the required parts themselves!
However, on the final test ride, they detected a “clunk” as clutch took up. Investigations continuing…