New Years Day 2012

The West Coast Procrastinators got their act together again to reprise our New Year’s Day 2011 run. The aim for the day was to ride some back roads and then enjoy a leisurely lunch to usher in the New Year at the cafe at a distillery in the tiny Western District township of Timboon (Pop 850). This place is just inland from the famous 12 Apostles and the gas processing plant for the Casino Natural Gas off shore rigs is based nearby.The motorcycles present were two early 1970’s Norton Commandos and two big bore Kawasakis.

Andy had a gift for us –  a couple of personalized stubby holders each!

Most of the following pics are distorted because I copied and pasted the report from another site – and I can’t be stuffed reformatting it all!

Our route.

I had some new gloves to try out. They are Held Steve II’s, featuring kangaroo skin palms. They are a recent birthday gift from Mrs Tarsnakes.

Marty and I met on the edge of town. The blue sky, a forecast top of 35C and the lack of traffic looked very promising for a great day of riding. I guess many folk were still in bed being New Year’s Day.

About 40 minutes later Marty and I arrived at our rendezvous point near Colac (Vic) which is approx 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Melbourne. From here we headed to Timboon via Cobden.

Lunch venue. The Timboon Railway Shed Distillery

The motorcycles in front of the distillery. Steve’s Norton in front.

Andy’s Commando

Me astride the ZX14.

The West Coast Procrastinators doing what they do best!

It was time for some lunch and we secured a table out on the decking. The temp was climbing, I’d say approx 26C by this stage. Some had beef, some had pie & some had fish. The background music included a Derek Truck’s band number so all was good.

No whisky for us, but at least it was local.

I’d heard of an old timber trestle rail bridge in the area so we asked for directions and headed off to check it out. “Watch out for snakes down there” our waitress warned. It was down a dusty, corrugated gravel road, but certainly well worth a look.

Arty shot as suggested by Marty.It was really hot down in this valley, maybe 35C and no breeze to be had at all. The bikes were parked in the shade!

Here’s a framed shot of Steve.

The bridge is now used as part of a bicycle path. One of many “rail trails” in the Australian countryside.

Two brave motorcyclists walk across the bridge towards a large black creature with horns.

Two brave motorcyclists return, the horned creature stands its ground!

By the time we rode the few kilometers back up the corrugated, gravel road Andy was concerned that his clutch wasn’t feeling quite right nor functioning correctly so he and Steve decided to head for home back along the way we had come, rather than taking in the 12 Apostles – Great Ocean road loop.

Marty and I said our farewells and headed off to the coastal township of Port Campbell. We fueled up and the rode the GOR through the twisties to Laver’s Hill. At Laver’s Hill we turned off the GOR and headed inland to Beech Forest and then Forrest via Turton’s Track. From there we headed back to Colac to see that the Norton devotees had arrived home OK, which thankfully they had!

We sat in Steve’s shed and chewed the fat for a while, then Marty and I saddled up and headed back to Geelong via Hwy 1. All up, 385 kms of scenic and really enjoyable riding with mates.

Ride safe in 2012 everybody.

Advertisements

New Years Day 2011

The West Coast Procrastinators finally got their act together to reprise our NYD 2008 run. The route differed slightly, but still involved the same guys, the 12 Apostles, two old Norton Commandos, two Japanese motorcycles and plenty of time spent chatting over a tasty lunch together. Let me tell you a little about my riding buddies.

In addition to his Norton Commando, Andy has numerous other motorcycles. Complete and running are a 500cc BSA twin, a lovel and newly acquired 1972 T250 Suzuki Hustler, and an old 350cc Panther single. Under restoration is a 450 Ducati and another BSA. I’ve probably missed some, as there are numerous other motorcycles in various states of completion.

Other than his Comando, Steve has another complete and rideable Norton 500cc single,  a 1970’s RD350 Yamaha (which he rode to some of the most remote parts of Australia on back in 1979) and currently has a 500cc twin cylinder Norton Dominator under restoration. He also kindly houses my wife’s rideable, but incomplete, early 1970’s 175 Yamaha dirt bike and some other miscellaneous motorcycles and parts of Andy’s. Both of these guys were my mates from our teenage years, when we came together with motorcycles and riding as our common bond.

Neither Marty nor I are are into restoring old motorcycles. He’s my main touring buddy (and features in most rides reports on this blog) and we’ve been great friends for the past 25 years.

We headed off from our rendezvous point in Colac (Vic) which is approx 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Melbourne. Our lunch destination turned out to be the cafe at a distillery in the tiny Western District township of Timboon (Victoria). This is quite close to the famous 12 Apostles and the gas processing plant for the Casino Natural Gas off shore rigs.

Here’s a map of our route starting in Colac at Steve’s place, which is approx 80 klm (50 miles) from my home.

Map of ride from our rendezvous point in Colac (Vic).
Andy’s ’69 Commando
Steve’s ’71 Commando
The VFR and ZX9
A distillery-restaurant makes a nice point of difference from all the microbreweries that are popping up everywhere
Lunch on the deck was excellent
Visitors’ centre at the 12 Apostles
Two of these and another large helicopter were sitting idle. NY’s  day seems to be a slow day for scenic flights!
Stop for drinks at the Gellibrand store

This was a very laid back ride in near perfect motorcycling weather and a great start to 2011. Here’s hoping for many more great rides in 2011!

Ride safe everyone.

 

New Years Day 2008

Three of the West Coast Procrastinators got together to begin 2008 with a celebratory ride. That meant they needed to behave on New Year’s Eve, however, a good night’s sleep was not enjoyed by all as we experienced the hottest New Year’s Eve ever recorded in Geelong.

Yesterday it was 43C (yes, that’s 109F) during the day and incredibly was still 38C at midnight.

I rode solo from Geelong to just near Colac where Steve’s property is.

Despite being a total fireban day again, Jan 1st 2008 was, however, a good day to head to the hills as a cool change was on its way.

After last summer’s bushfires people are edgynow that it is getting hot – some Gov.t awareness advertising. I hope it works.


I headed from Geelong to Colac. When I left at 9.00am it was already 30C, but I felt OK once I got moving. Andy trailered his bike down from Ballarat. After a brief chat we fired up the bikes and headed off towards Laver’s Hill. Here’s the route we took (click on map to enlarge), travelling the loop in a clockwise direction.

Two Norton Commandos


Steve on the Gellibrand to Laver’s Hill road – on a down hill, negative camber curve that he enjoys so much!


Here’s Andy following


We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Lavers Hill. (I had the foccacia though).

As we hit the Great Ocean Road there was a bank of frontal cloud which dropped the temp about 10C and made for really pleasant riding conditions.

We pulled up at the 12 Apostles helicopters helipad – just a paddock with a portable office really. You can get quite close to the choppers though.


We stopped for a breather on The Carlisle River road. Andy


Yours truly. Sorry Steve – pic of you didn’t work out.


This is the road we took home, riding in the uphill direction.

The West Coast Procrastinators

Let me tell you a little about the “Procrastinators”.

It started way back here, some ‘fellas who loved motorcycles, lived near the West Coast of Victoria Australia, and sometimes had trouble with the group dynamics of “good decisions made fast”.

Or maybe it was here

Some left the group and others came. We continued throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s

And now we’re more mature – and still loving motorcycles!

L –> R Marty, Steve & Andy

The ‘brothers’ in no particular order are;

Andy – he has numerous motorcycles (that is an understatement actually). In addition to his Norton Commando, he has a complete and running 500cc BSA twin, a lovely 1972 T250 Suzuki Hustler, two Suzuki 500 Titans and an old 350cc Panther single. Under restoration are a 450 Ducati and another BSA. I’ve certain that I’ve missed many of his machines, as there are numerous other motorcycles in various states of completion. Actually I’d better get him to send me an inventory!

I probably should add that Andy also has a passion for making and drinking wine – the drinking of wine is also a passion that we all share!

Steve – also a Norton Commando owner. Other than his Commando,  has another complete and rideable 500cc twin cylinder Norton Dominator, an AJS 500 single, a Norton 500cc single and a 1970′s RD350 Yamaha (which he rode to some of the most remote parts of Australia on back in 1979). He also kindly houses my wife’s ride-able  but incomplete, early 1970′s 175 Yamaha CT1 dirt bike. Both of these guys were my mates from our teenage years, when we came together with a love of motorcycles and riding as our common bond. You can visit his restoration blog at 79 x 100 Norton

Steve with Commando

Steve on the AJS

Neither Marty nor I are are into restoring old motorcycles. He’s my main touring buddy (and features in most rides reports on this blog) and we’ve been great friends for the past 26 years. This year he replaced his Kawasaki ZX9R with a new 2012 ZX-14R. I’m sure this bike is really going to see some miles over the next few years.

Jules, that’s me, I also post on various websites under the screen name Tarsnakes I currently ride a 2010 Kawasaki ZX-14, certainly the best bike I’ve ever owned. I’ve had Kawasaki’s previously, but I’m also a fan of Honda’s road bikes as well, having previously owned a VFR800, a CBR600 and a couple of CB750’s.

My wife says I’m ‘not quite right’ unless I own and ride motorcycles. She should know as we’ve been together since we were teenagers.