Moto Guzzi’s 94th Birthday Bash at Boort

Finally got back into the saddle with a run up to Boort with the Moto Guzzi Club of Victoria for the marque’s 94th birthday.

Flogged the Breva 1100 up via the old Calder Highway with Jane on her Ducati GT1000 via Maldon and met up with others at Bridgewater.  Then backroads from Inglewood to Boort.

Most of the club camped in fine weather at the Boort Caravan Park on the banks of the lake.  But we did it tough at the Pink Olive House just up the road.

The Club tracked out to tour the nearby olive farm and refinery: 50,000 hectares of plantations.  The Club met at the Railway Hotel for tea on Saturday night.  The food was fair but there wasn’t much beer choice.   Unfortunately the layout of the pub wasn’t conducive to standing around yacking and drinking so everyone hit the sack early.  Like many country towns, Boort has an air of doing it tough with closed shops and not much activity in the evening.

On Sunday we had breakfast at the nearby Boort Ski Club before heading out to visit Spanner Man, John Piccoli.  The sculptures of welded spanners are impressive, as is his collection of birds.

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Jane and I made our own way home, stopping for lunch at Maldon.


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My worst fear – a crash!

After a few days of rain, I took the Cali for a local run in dry, windy weather. A few miles from home I crashed and spent 5 days in the Alfred Hospital, the state’s major road trauma centre. I have no recollection of the crash so the following is based upon other reports.

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As I approached this bend, a kangaroo sped from the left and hit my bike, probably the front rotor.  There wasn’t any skid mark, which suggests that I was taken unaware.  The Guzzi hit the road and speared off onto the edge straight ahead as the bend turned right.  It seems to have flipped onto its other side at least once.  I seem to have hit the road more on my left side, judging from my injuries, and tumbled.  So the ‘roo was found dead in the foreground of this photo, and another vehicle found me sitting in the middle of the road near my bike, up at the bend, trying to remove my helmet and move off the road.

I was able to give them Jane’s phone number and she arrived before the police but after the ambulance.  A local farmer had seen me pass and said that I was doing about 80km/hr.  I have a vague recollection of the ambulance ride, laying on a hard board and running over every bump to Melbourne.

The next day, everything hurt.  I had a slightly fractured occipital condyle at the back of my head and a cracked scaphoid in my left thumb; kevlar burns to both knees and bruises to both elbows; mesenteric small bowel contusion and sore lower ribs ( I reckon that I hit the screen as I was ejected from the bike).

My Neds kevlar jeans had been cut off me by the ambos but had done their job, my Tiger Angel leather jacket had held up well, with no grazing on my elbows, my Rossi boots showed toe wear, my left-hand elkskin glove had peeled back and allowed some gravel rash on the back of my hand, and my AGV helmet had numerous scrapes across the front and visor where I’d hit the road face-down (a demonstration of why not to wear an open-face helmet which I’d been thinking of doing).

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After a couple of days, I was able to get up and walk around.  The Alfred staff had just the right blend of relaxed professionalism and humour – I guess they’ve seen it all before.  The other three jokers in my ward had come off push-bikes (one had hit a ‘roo) and had suffered more severe injuries than I – busted femurs, pelvises, etc and gravel rash.

And my Cali looks like being a right-off due to a suspected twisted frame.  I’ve put a bit of effort into looking after her, so I’m sad to see her go.  Only 84,000km on the clock, I’d intended on always keeping her.

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A Christmas Tale

Christmas Eve I cleaned the bikes and the car, moved junk around and generally tidied the Man-shed.  Sat down in my swivel chair with a cold Coopers Sparkling Ale from the Man-fridge.  Mick and Paddy jumped up onto my lap and sat looking out the door – we like to do this while Jane mows the lawn.  But she wasn’t mowing today as she entered to grab something from the Man-fridge which was, begrudgingly, being used for Christmas overflow.

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The scene of the crime.

Two things happened simultaneously.  Jane dropped a stubby onto the concrete floor which shattered…and my daughter appeared unexpectedly silhouetted in the door.

In unison and in commotion, my two guardians leaped for her throat like the trained assassins which they aren’t.  Digging their hind claws deeply into my thighs for maximum purchase, the black poodle-wraiths launched, howling with vituperation, eyes flashing red, They were two-thirds along their implacable trajectory when their tails started to wag.

Bent over in pain, trying to stem the flow of life-blood, I observed out of one eye the flow of frothy cider over my pristine, oil-stained concrete floor, and out of the other, the wriggle-bummed apologies of that traitorous breed.

Sucking down Coopers for its anesthetic properties, and refusing to waste it as a disinfectant, I was grateful that Christmas comes but once a year.


Christmas Day dawned sunny and windless.  The Chief and I went for a fang around the backroads for an hour or so, including a “spirited” run down our secret fanging strip.

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9am Christmas morning.

The “got to get to Mum’s for lunch” crowd were just getting on the roads as we returned home.

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2014 Spaghetti Rally

Spent last weekend at Edi for the Moto Guzzi Club’s annual Spaghetti Rally.  Rolled up on Friday to help set up, but most of the work had already been done by a few of the club stalwarts.  We were expecting a big turnout due to the great weather, but in the end, the crowd of 170 or so was about normal.

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My ’01 Cali Metal loaded up.

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Coffee at the Snow Road Cafe, Milawa.

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A coldie at the Whitty Cafe, Whitfield.

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Setting up camp on Friday.

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View from the throne.

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Dinner at the Mountain View Hotel, Whitfield, on Friday night.

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A couple of twins.

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The queue for spaghetti, Saturday evening.

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ZZ Top caterers.

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The club made up the sauce during a “Bol-a-thon” a few weeks earlier.












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About to head off after packing up the club gear and a general site clean-up.











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Post-service burn

Morning dawned cool – and early due to the start of daylight saving.  Time to let off a couple of bon-fires we’d accumulated over the winter.  Landowners are required to clean up prior to the start of the summer fire season.  After a couple of hours of poking and stoking, I could leave them smoldering along.

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I’d completed the 80,000km service on the Cali with new fork oil the final task.  Time for a post-service blast in the (now) sunny day.  Coffee at Taradale Wine and Produce.  A new Moto Guzzi California went past – the first I’ve seen on the road.


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Murchison for Brekky

Up with the chirps, cup of tea, walk the dogs then hit the road.  Run up through Tooborac and Heathcote – quite a bit of traffic due to the start of the school holidays.  Then via Colbinabbin and Rushworth to Murchison for breakfast   – an easy 100 kays or so.


Bacon and eggs at Wagner Brothers Fine Food Store.


Run down the freeway and turn off for Avenel then the old Hume Highway to Seymour.


Hooked up behind another group of bikes for the run to Lancefield.

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Spring weekend

Took the Cali Metal Stone for a run to bring her up to 80,000 km for her service.  Spring day – windless and sunny.  The Upper Coliban Reservoir was overflowing.  The traffic was light but saw a few bikes around, mainly Harleys.

Dropped all the fluids when I arrived home – sump, gear-box and final drive.








SAMSUNGThe Mt Franklin volcanic crater in the background.


Looking north from the Mt Franklin slopes.

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First spring run

First reasonable day after two months of cold weather.  Took the Breva 1100 for a run out to Newstead.




Some excitement coming home, just before Lauriston at about 2pm: I saw a BMW 4WD suddenly stop ahead of me, and as I slowed up I saw the problem.  A big mob of ‘roos raced across the road.  Something upset them because they were really moving and zig-zagging.  It took a minute for them to all go through.  Another ten seconds and I would have been in the middle of it – not something I want to experience again after a similar episode near Lake Eppalock a few years ago.  Something upsets them from their day bed and they up and off – any time of the day.  They’re unpredictable and don’t look left or right!



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Haven’t ridden much this winter.  8C today…



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Out and about, again.



Chinaman’s Bend, Toolleen.


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