Our dear friend Melanie is a great tour organiser. It started with musical adventures to Quandialla, then Christmas in Oberon. This weekend it was the inaugural Brass Monkey ride to Dungog. The weather didn’t live up to the title but the others who left on Friday got some rain on the way. We left Saturday morning heading north on some dirt roads to try out the new bikes and that little bit of rain had filled the puddles and made some of the patches a bit slippery. After crossing the river on the ferry at Wiseman’s Ferry, we headed to St Alban’s which is a lovely old untouched part of the world, except on weekends when the 4WD convoys congregate.
I got to try out the ABS on the dirt and avoid a dog who thought that he owned his part of the road. Yes, ABS and heated hand grips are standard, don’t you love BMW! The bike felt really good and I felt a lot more confident on the dirt than on my Suzuki. When we got back onto the tar I wondered how the tyres would hang on. Really good so I found out. Another back road took us up a beautiful valley heading towards Barrington Tops, crossing the Allyn River numerous times looking so beautiful and clean and so just waiting for someone to camp beside it and keep it company. Sadly, not this time. Then we turned right and the road turned to dirt again and got narrower and headed up over a hill to come into, guess what, another beautiful valley. A sign near the top of the ridge alerted us to “CAUTION—TRAFFIC HAZARD AHEAD” and just as well, because there were two crimson rosellas and a wonderful vista to take our interest from the bumps in the road.
We arrived at Dungog earlier than the others, so waited at the motel for them. Dave was the first to arrive and we had kept our new purchases a secret from him, so he wondered where our bikes were when he saw us already there. “What, are those bikes yours?” “Yeah, Surprise!”. Then we find out that he was interested in getting a new GS model as well. That would be great, dirt roadtrips together. When all the others arrived, there were ten bikes at the motel. They had had a big days ride so were keen to have dinner and an early night. We wondered up to the RSL and were practically the only people there so the bar service was pretty good and the Bailey’s.
Sunday morning was not too cold. We were so lucky with the weather, two weeks before there was snow everywhere above 800 metres and there are plenty of big hills nearby. Breakfast was at Singleton and then off down Putty Road. It has been quite a few years since I last rode that road and it is still the same, just different on a new bike. Still running in so can’t rev too much, but a little at a time is good! Our next stop was planned for Grey Gums café half way along Putty Road. What a crowd there was and lots of flags, different countries and different bike brands and clubs. Today was the flag raising for BMW club. Well, we timed that well, four BMW’s in our group. The line for coffee was far too long, so we headed for Windsor and fuel and stopped for coffee at Mulgoa. By the time I got home I had 750 kms on the speedo. Not bad for the first few days. Plenty more to come. I am so happy with it and can’t wait to go for our next weekend away, hmmm maybe camping.