PORT STEPHENS ULYSSIANS TRIP TO BENDEMEER
I’ve reproduced a couple of articles on the activities of the Port Stepens branch of the Ulysses Club, courtesy of my mate Steve (also known as “Rolf”) who is a member of the club and regularly rides with them. To put you in the right frame of mind (and what is written here in context), if you haven’t read those, then click here to go the page with these reports. In September 2009, the club decided to do an over-night trip to Tamworth. They visited the town and the local motorcycle museum, and stayed at Bendemeer, which is just to the north of Tamworth. Here is their report on the ride; written, as usual, by “Rolf”. Tuesday Morning and 9 Fossils met at The Raymond Terrace Branch of that Famous Scottish Restaurant ready for a ride to Bendemeer via Wauchope and Walcha. What a motley crew! 3 Tractors, 1 Seize Easy, 2 Yama Ha Has, 2 Bavarian Money Wasters and a Honda Boat Anchor. (That’s 3 Harleys, I Suzuki… oh you can work it out. Elwyn). This was going to be an interesting trip with everything from a Luxury Touring Machine to a Chook Chaser to The world's fastest 400cc Yamaha Scooter. If you don't think young Al is fast just try and catch him! The ride to Wauchope, with Morning Tea at Nabiac was uneventful except for Henk's Tractor warning us of it's impending poor behaviour. Some reasonably fast bend swinging took place before lunch at Long Flat although Greg and his Tractor were a bit tardy and arrived several minutes after the rest of us. The next stage to Walcha was the highlight of the riding part of this trip with many kms of great corners and reasonable road surface. Most enjoyable! Afternoon tea was taken at Walcha before the final leg of the day's ride to Bendemeer. Henk's bike was running somewhat erratically at this stage and after a round table conference it was decided that there may have been water in the fuel, and that a small dose of best quality drinking Metho may be of assistance. Henk visited the local store, bought some metho and added a little to his tank, sadly without any improvement. The pub provided 2 lock up sheds for our steeds and some comfortable ensuite rooms for our bodies. As they were expecting us, check-in was fairly quick allowing us to enjoy a quick shower and change of attire before attending the bar for some serious drinking. And some were much more serious than others. The only drama was The Odd Couple, Young Allan and Barry, who couldn't find room 5. They were wandering the Halls like 2 lost sheep. After many helpful suggestions from those keen to commence finishing off the pub's supply of alcohol I discovered the door to room 5 out on the verandah. The Odd Couple were duly despatched and the rest of us retired to the bar. As is normal at such times many beers were consumed, many untruths told and much laughter was enjoyed by all. Eventually the Bistro opened allowing us to add some food to the liquids already consumed and we all felt much better. Pictorial evidence of the nights events is presented with this report, including one photo of a native resident becoming quite personal with a member of our group. We deny providing an enormous amount of encouragement for her to behave in this disgraceful manner. I was satisfied with about 5 schooners of mid strength beer but some decided that a bottle or 5 of red wine would be a good idea. This resulted in the tales becoming taller and the laughter becoming louder and also led to major problems climbing the stairs to the rooms for some. Fortunately my room mate, Rossco, is house trained and I enjoyed a good nights sleep before arising ready for the next day's activities. There were a few rough looking characters appearing from certain rooms (well, rougher than usual that is) but everyone eventually repacked their bikes and we headed to the Tamworth branch of that Scottish Restaurant for brekky. As we entered Tamworth we passed the Motorcycle Museum we were to visit so I deemed it safe to allow Brian Crooks to lead us back to it. He is still in disgrace for his appalling effort at finding the Albion Hotel Singleton recently but surely even he could find his way 300 metres back to a building we had just passed. The Museum has a small collection of pristine machines and at a cost of $7, or $6 for the Old Pensioners in our midst, is good value especially as they provide a cup of tea or coffee for visitors. After an hour or so of browsing we decided to accept Brian's invitation to follow him to Wingen Pub for lunch. Greg decided to leave us at this stage although I doubt that this decision was caused by a lack of faith in Brian's skills as a navigator. We were a little concerned as to his ability to actually find the place but concluded that the pub's location right next to the New England Hwy made this a reasonably safe bet. This proved to be a good decision but the inability of Henk's tractor to run for more than 20kms at a stretch did cause some worry. The bike is about a 1995 model I think which means it has reached it's teenage years. Teenagers, as we all know, are a bit lax so the bike may really have been behaving normally. Ultimately we arrived at Wingen and were treated to huge, tasty meals at very low prices. Our machines were then aimed in the general direction of home with various members of the group outlining where they would be turning off. Trevor and I decided to stick with Henk to ensure he made it home safely and I even phoned my mechanical adviser in Newcastle for any advice he could offer to alleviate the symptoms being shown by this recalcitrant piece of American ironmongery. Nothing helped but we did reach our destination in due course, as did everyone else. I believe Henk's bike has since been seen to by The Mechanic and is running well at last. Around 800kms travelled on some great roads, in good company and with beautiful weather. Magic.
Seems like they were trying hard to live up to that Ulysses motto of “Grow Old Disgracefully”! All good fun. Thanks for another interesting story.
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