I am consolidating old ride reports I’ve published on various forums over the years onto my WordPress site. This is a ride report from Feb 2009 on my first FarRide to Nambucca Head in NSW.
The weekend before the Nambucca trip we got word that my wife’s aunty had passed away and the funeral was in Forster on Friday. Trying to phrase in the least callous way possible, that I still intended to ride to Nambucca we laid out all the options. The two options we ended up with were: Deb flying up and taking her riding gear and coming home on the bike on Sunday; or, we all drive up. As the kids wanted to go we opted to drive up on Thursday and home on Friday. As it turned out we got back to Canberra at 8pm on Friday night, 1,200 km later.
All I had to do now was finalise the packing of the bike and get to bed as early as possible as I had planned to meet Allen at our local service station at 3am on Saturday morning, giving us at least an hour of fat built in. In bed at 9:30. Why is it that when you need to get to sleep you just can’t. I think I finally drifted off at 12. The alarm went off at 2am, fairly tired but really looking forward to the trip. 2:52am docket, bike filled, trip meters reset, wet weather gear on (because it was a bit cool at 3am in Canberra, and the weather report said it would be a bit wet up north). We agreed that the first stop would be Sutton Forest to see how we were progressing.
What a glorious night! A little overcast but otherwise just a nice night to be out riding. At Sutton Forest we pulled into the service station and we agreed to just keep going rather than refuel. After going past the last service station before Sydney I then started the mental calculations as to how far the next servo was and I began to worry as I had never taken the bike that far on one tank. Without knowing just how long the M7 and M2 are, I kept saying to myself that if the low fuel warning didn’t come on until after I was on the M7 I should be OK. It’s funny how when you start down this track, it becomes the only thing you think about. Somewhere along the M7 the rain started but I was so locked into thinking about fuel that I hardly noticed. As it turned out we pulled into the servo with 300km on the clock and no warning light.
I’m not sure how long it had been raining in Sydney but the roads were still very greasy, so we proceeded very cautiously. Although it was wet, then very wet, we were still making very good time as we were keeping to the freeways. At our second fuel stop we debated on detouring via Buckets Way but opted to take the highway due to the rain and now wind getting much worse. We also didn’t want to risk being late as some of our buffer had already been used up. As it turned out this was a good decision with the rain getting heavier and being held up in the traffic north of Taree around the road works. Finally, after descending that slippery little mountain to the tavern (I wasn’t quite prepared for the car park full of bikes, and the tavern balcony full of leather clad bods checking out each new arrival’s steed) we arrived at Nambucca Heads at 11:45 with 780km on the clock.
With only 780km on the clock, a great lunch settling, and only 2 hours sleep the night before, the only sensible thing to do is to don the wet weather gear and go for a ride. In order to make up the short fall, we decided to head 110km north and then turn around and return to the tavern. As we made our way past the big banana in Coffs Harbour I told myself that I would stop and take a photo there on the way back as I hadn’t taken very many photos as it was just so much hassle to drag out the camera from under all the waterproof (hopefully) gear.
1000km done! Now it was time to have a beer and talk all things bikes.
Other than rain, driving rain, pelting rain, large puddles on the road, water running across the road, being splashed by waves of water from trucks running through the rivers of water on the road, wind pushing you across the road, and being blinded in truck mist, it a was good trip home. I had a bit of a smile at what appeared to be a bloke on a postie bike with an umbrella, a giggle at a woman putting on a plastic poncho trying not to get wet at the servo whilst I was wringing out my gloves, had a great chat with some BMW adventure riders at Raymond Terrace coming home from a BMW rally, wondered what was soo heavy that it took 3 prime movers coupled together to pull (parked on the side of the Newcastle freeway), and marvelled at how much faith we put in our tyres as I leant though a right hand bend on the Newcastle freeway in the pouring rain with a huge truck on my left.
Pulled into home right on 6pm, 1,790km. What a great weekend!
The next FarRide happens to fall on my wedding anniversary, so I was practicing the pitch in my head on the way home. ‘I’ll take you out for lunch and we can spend some quality time together’, mmm… it sounded much better in my head. Anyway, thanks to all for making me feel welcome. All going well, I hope to see you in Albury…
Ok now to go check on how everything is drying