Ride report: Candelo Market ride, 4-5 Dec

Discussion in 'Australian Motorcycles' started by Gary Woodman, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Gary Woodman

    Gary Woodman Guest

    We left Canberra heading north about lunchtime, a pleasant but
    unremarkable trip to Braidwood, where the highway was cut just south of
    town by a chemical spill, with council blokes holding the lollipop at the
    edge of town (a change from leaning on a shovel). We had some lunch and
    twiddled our thumbs for an hour or so, and with no clear indication of
    how long we would need to wait, and the streets of Braidwood becoming
    choked with vehicles, we consulted the map and quit the town on the
    Araluen road.

    We turned left towards Reidsdale, then turned into the Monga NP, covering
    about 5km on a rough and rocky track hardly wide enough for two
    motorcycles to pass, tree-fern fronds caressing us as we passed, which
    led to the better-kept Forest Rd (River Forest Rd?), and back to the

    Knowing there was no one behind us, and expecting the cops to be fully
    occupied at the spill, we flashed down the Clyde (as one does on an R65)
    in record time. I've never seen the Clyde so deserted, not even at night!
    I think we saw only two cars before Nelligen.

    It was 4:30 by the time we passed through Narooma, very quiet, though we
    did see a few large cruisers on the streets, relics of the Eurobodalla
    Toy Run. We stopped briefly at Central Tilba and Bermagui, then straight
    on to Tathra. It wasn't very beachy, with overcast skies and a strong,
    gusty on-shore wind, so we did some rock-hopping on the headland instead,
    before advancing into the retreating sun for dinner. The Mimosa Rocks
    Pizza Restaurant seems to have changed hands, but neither its standards
    nor its popularity have suffered.

    Back just a few minutes in our room at the pub, the skies opened in an
    enormous semi-tropical downpour, complete with crackling bolts of
    lighting and sheets of water gushing down the driveway. We fell asleep
    with the sounds of the skies drowning the sounds of the seas.

    It was clear and calm next morning, very relaxing with the Pacific at our
    door, and we eventually made it to Candelo. The market is bigger and
    brighter than ever, and much of the site is now tarred. Here we bumped
    into Garry and Margo of Ulysses ACT (bikeless, with Garry's GTR having a
    refurb after 275000km in 7 years). Some dopey market trader walked past
    my bike then reversed her van into it and knocked it over, but I forgave
    her as she had red hair. I think there was one new scratch on it (the
    right handguard). You can't kill these R65s with a rock.

    Eventually we headed out of town via Myrtle Mountain, with the fluffy
    grey skies closing in, and as we passed the Wyndham speed limit sign, a
    massive lightning bolt ripped the sky to shreds and lit up the mountains
    ahead. Suddenly it seemed like a good idea to pull up for a bit, so we
    settled into the Robbie Burns.

    A few minutes later, another couple on a Harley had the same idea, and I
    was pleased to recognise the rider, Murray Fleming, the Pres of the
    Bombala MCC, with his wife Sylvia, out delivering fliers for their poker
    run in February. What better way to sit out a storm! The Bombala club
    goes from strength to strength: there were 6000 people at the last
    motorcycle show.

    Eventually the clouds cleared a little and the rain disappeared, as did
    Murray and Sylvia, knowing the road much better (and with a much more
    powerful bike). We crept up the range, taking it very easy on the damp
    surface (with a rather thin front tyre), luckily dodging more storms.
    Some of the tighter bends are starting to crumble, but there is still no
    traffic to speak of on the Mt. Darragh road.

    Skipping Bombala on the dirt from Cathcart to Bibbenluke, we saw that
    Black Lake is still empty of free water. I wonder when there will be fish
    in it again. There was plenty of water in the sky though, and several
    times we rode through showers as the clouds thickened and blocked what
    was left of the sun. We had a snack at Nimmitabel Bakery around 6, then
    carried on north through more showers.

    North of Bredbo we spotted a circus of flashing lights, from the cops,
    the firies, and the SES guys attending a prang on the highway, all
    standing around with their hands in their pockets (probably waiting for
    equipment to flip the car back on its wheels and drag it off the
    highway). It looked like some poor devil had drifted left, clipped a
    guide post, careened off a rock cutting, and flipped the car. The front
    was crushed, with personal family stuff spilling from the smashed windows
    onto the highway, the wreck wrapped in a green tarp. All a bit macabre.
    We learned later that a 4-year-old girl had died at the scene.

    We took it easy for a few minutes, eventually realising that all the cops
    in the vicinity would be caught up with the prang. The rest of the trip
    went pretty quickly, and the sun broke through as we passed the Calwell
    roundabout. Pretty straighforward from here, we made it home without
    further dramas, unless you count going on reserve near Hindmarsh Drive:
    275km from Bega.

    The little R65, cheery and willing, never missed a beat. My mechanic
    repaired its last remaining stand just a few days before, and wrote on
    his invoice, "...to better standard than the condition of the bike
    deserves". Nice stand, thanks Doug. Within a few weeks it will be 10
    years since I acquired this bike; I will still like it in another 10.

    My pillion said it was the best weekend she'd had for years. I think
    we'll be back to Candelo in the new year.

    Gary Woodman, Dec 9, 2004
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  2. Gary Woodman

    glitch1 Guest

    Gary, thanks for the good read. Sounds like you've had a great 'un.
    Did they finally clean-up the bermagui-tathra stretch, used to be full of

    glitch1, Dec 10, 2004
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  3. Gary Woodman

    Gary Woodman Guest

    Yes, lovely now, a choice detour off the highway.

    Gary Woodman, Dec 10, 2004
  4. Gary Woodman

    glitch1 Guest

    Good to hear, ta :)

    "Gary Woodman"
    glitch1, Dec 10, 2004
  5. Noted too.
    Pisshead Pete, Dec 10, 2004
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