MotoGP Bathurst 2023

Vale the mighty Trumpy.
It came, it saw, it crashed.
We will remember it fondly.

The line to lunch was not really this long …. was it?

I’ve seen better mugshots on ‘Wanted” posters.
And yes, we ALL went up to Mt Paranoia. Barnaby rockin’ the black …
The ONLY place in Bathurst that did NOT have the MotoGP on the telly.
The line-up of mighty steeds and some good lookin’ roosters.

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Bathurst. Without Moey But. May 2023

“Rollcall” Nige commanded as usual.




“Yibbida yibbida”

“Very disrespectful Dusty but I see you’re here so I’ll let it slide” Nige said barely disguising his ire whilst glaring over the rims of his two dollar servo spectacles.




“Never mind I can see you old pal” and Nige patted Barnaby, who was sitting next to him, in a fatherly manner, on the knee.

“That’s unwelcome physical contact Nigel” Barnaby replied sternly. “Get woke”

“Hey Nige.” Interrupted Lucky. “When is Moey coming back”

You see, Moey and Nige had gone on an unscheduled and unapproved ride without Lucky as ride leader self-appointed and, as a result, Moey had been side swiped by a full grown emu at unstated speeds whilst in the position of acting ride leader in Lucky’s absence. Lucky was in Queensland at the time on a family holiday. It was lovely. The crash was not.

“Well Lucky” Nige replied. “Moey had to have a radical emuectomy to remove the remaining bits of the giant bird out of his guts and then they had to put a whole new shoulder on board.”

“What, the emu got a new shoulder!! that’s humanity at its best Nige”

“NOT THE FRIGGIN’ EMU NUMBNUTS!! MOEY GOT THE NEW SHOULDER!! FOR FRIGGS SAKE. SERIOUSLY” Nige didn’t say frigg here. He speaks like a sailor sometimes. His language can be quite salty.

“Anyway, thanks to me and my bravery, Moey is still alive to tell the story and bless himself every day for having a good friend like me to save him” Nige stated proudly

“Did you give him mouth-to-mouth?” Lucky asked with a mixture of awe and admiration.

“No fuck that” “Nige quickly replied. ” I wasn’t going to make babies with him”

Lucky and Dusty and Barnaby looked around embarrassingly but chose to let that pass through to the keeper. And off we went. Nige and Barnaby led out and Dusty and Lucky settled in to a more relaxed rear guard. 


It was on to our usual pub at Denman for lunch where Nige ordered way too much because of his little tumtum and Lucky finished off a small piece of his spicy chicken because that’s what friends do. 

“you’ll owe me big time for this Nige”


Fairydust making some last minute adjustments to the mighty Bandit. Nige might need to adjust his rear wheel back to ground level too.


On to Bathurst where Nige and Barnaby did their usual lap of Mt Paranoia whilst Lucky and Fairydust headed directly to the Knickerbocker to make sure they got the freshest beers. 

Barnaby’s “Fresh” new look for the mountain.

” Right. This is pretty high up here. I’ll jump if those numbnuts haven’t got me my drink ready when I get there”


When Barnaby and Nige finally arrived they were welcomed with all the charm and Joie de vivre the other two could muster which wasn’t much.

“Right which of youse two numnuts have ordered me an ice cold Sugar Free Coke” Nige asked amicably.

“Yeah i did mate” Fairydust answered. “The barmaid said for you to wait over by the door and she’ll bring it over to you. She said to just wait there and be patient because she’s pretty busy”

“Yeah righto”

About forty minutes later Nige approached the bar tentatively ” ‘Scuse me madam beer lady but my comrades over there said you would bring me a Sugar Free Coke when you’re not so busy.”

“Did they now?” She smiled wryly. “These are good friends of yours then?”

“Yeah nuh but I have their respect and they see me as a commanding presence not to be trifled with” He said puffing out his chest as far as it would go which wasn’t far.

Under careful instructions from the barmaid, Nige went back to his spot by the door until, ten minutes later she called him to the bar for his Coke. 

“That barmaid was a bit slow serving me.” he told the boys ” How long did youse have to wait”

“Oh ages” Smiled Barnaby with four empty schooners lined up in front of him.

“Thought I’d die of thirst” Fairydust laughed and jovially slapped Nige across the back of the shoulders.

“Unky Momo would of gotten us beers real fast if he was still alive.” said a four beers in and hopelessly confused Lucky.

“He’s not dead Lucky” Nige growled at him “Somebody open this can will youse. I broke a cuticle on it already.”

So the conversation turned to Moey’s misfortunes and expectations he would return as soon as his dodgy shoulder recovered. Then it was dinner time.


Lucky’s first Parmy Schnitzel which he declared was, “Tasteless without Unky Momo to remind me how many chews between swallows”


More beers and then bedtime around 10. Lucky was yawning the house down by this time. “Good night everybody.” He yelled as he waved at the hundred or so patrons still hanging around the bar.

“GOOD NIGHT LUCKY. SLEEP WELL. GOD BLESS” They all yelled back as one. 

Next morning it was off home early. It was also cold. Fueled up and gone by 9 getting us back to Rylstone at 10. Enough fuel now for the trip home and tea and coffee. 

“Who are you texting now Lucky?” Demanded Nige. “Not more of your lovey dovey, miss you sweety, kissy kissy to Carole is it” 

“Yes marriage counsellor Nige” he replied happily. “And a quick update to Moey to let him know how much we missed him on the ride.”

“Barely noted his absence!!” Nige replied wandering off behind a tree to collect himself.

On his return Fairydust said “Wipe that slobber off your sleeve Nige. You’re with real men here.”

“I’m not” 

“Yeah alright Lucky. You’re the exception.” he kindly replied. “But the rest of us are”

“Geez thanks Fairydust. You’re just like Moey. You can be New Moey!” clearly brightening up.

“Nuh. I’m Fairydust! The realest real man here!! After Barnaby of course. He gives us street cred.”

Heading back the way we came but stopping at Bulga for an early lunch. Again we enjoyed the new section of freshly sealed road behind Denman where GSA’s and Tiger Explorers did not touch dirt at any time. “Rocky would hate this” Lucky mused as they cruised happily along. The servo at Bulga never lets anyone down and the chips and burgers were first class. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 343636371_187759667101353_7997986653437154533_n.jpg

Tired? Whose tired?


Finally a few hours later we hit Jerry’s where Jerry could remind Nige once again that he isn’t his mate and he still had to pay full price for his coffee and no free muffin either.

“Hi Lucky, you always welcome heeya.” Jerry said “Whatchoo bring that man heeya for?”

All in all a good ride and no stray wildlife anywhere. Odds are that Moey took the hit for the gang and, statistically speaking, the rest of us should feel pretty comfortable from here on. Thanks Moey.


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North to ….. North?

Barnaby: ABSENT
Scrounger: ABSENT

Day 1
Like zephyrs, the lads gathered. Rocky on a solo run up from Double Bay, Nige battled the Wyong Obstacle Course as usual with his modest flair and bravado whilst Boris just sorta turned up at Broke.

Rocky and Nige enjoyed a sedate armchair BMW ride along the moonscape that is George Downs Drive out to Broke.
Nige had a recurring technical with his Sena headset that meant Rocky and Boris got to natter with each other like two schoolboys allowed out for the first time.

Yep. Isn’t she a beauty Nige? Got me all the way here even if the chain was almost dragging on the ground.

Shouldn’t there be an X marking the treasure?


The usual circuitous route got us to lunch in Gloucester.

Boris decided that he trusted the locals so much that he would leave his helmet and gloves outside the bank for safekeeping.

As we rode out, the dashboard told us it was 37º. Lovely. We all wished that we had more layers to put on.

A lovely dirt section through Comboyne and some double-stacked camera cars led us to our digs for two nights, The Wauchope Motel, run by Dave the Irishman.

Aaaaaaand, I had just washed and polished it. Yeh! Nuh! Just joshin’

Breakfast at the cafe too easy to spot that Nige rode straight past it. The owner got his own back by an egg dish substitution that tickled Nige’s sense of ‘one fucking thing’.
The lads are looking pretty chuffed even though neither could have a bowel relaxing muesli for breakfast.

A tourist stop at Ebor Falls although the area was being refurbished and we had to behave like criminals to take a photo.

No, not a chorus line for ‘I’m a little teapot’ but a lovely shot taken by an innocent bystander.

A few twists and turns but thwarted in our attempt to reach Armidale, we hit the dirt again and went through Gostwyk to Walcha where we had lunch at the place ‘we always stop’.

Boris was very excited to find a safe place to park his Triumph so that if/when it self-detonated, it wouldn’t take out any innocent BMWs.

Off and onward to Gingers Creek on the Oxley at a great rate of knots. The elder gentleman slowed down enough so that Nige could pretend he was almost keeping up. ‘It’s not a race’ was still ringing in his ears after all this time.

Boris, doing his best pirate impersonation, and poster boy Nige taking a well-earned at Ginger’s.

‘Whatya reckon Boris, buy a souvenir T-Shirt?’

‘Yeh! Nuh! They’re lame Nige,’ said Boris as he toodled off to buy one.

The last photo of the Three Stooges before Boris headed to Coffs Harbour the next morning.

That same morning, Rocky and Nige headed west down the Oxley with the sun wisely at our backs. Good call Rocky. Again, the older rider slowed down enough for Nige to ‘THINK’ that he was keeping up.
In to Walcha to fuel up before heading slightly back to Brackendale Road (mostly dirt) and a fantastic ride through to Nowendoc. Down Thunderbolts and Gloucester for a quick drink before hitting the go button for the loooooooong ride home. Rocky had even further to go than Nige so we stopped at the Twin Servos for a cool drink, some fuel and a cuddle before setting off to our respective abodes.

‘See Nige, I didn’t even get my snazzy gear dirty’. It looked like Rock’s GS was having a wee.
Great ride, company and weather.

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Some Bikes of Yore

Honda XL250 @ 1973

Yamaha TX500 @1975

Nige Honda CB750

Honda CB750 @ 1976

Yamaha DT250 @ 1978

Suzuki PE175 @ 1980

Honda CB750 @ 2006

Honda CBRXX Blackbird @ 2007

Kawasaki ZX14 Ninja @ 2010

Kawasaki KLR650 (KLunkeR) @ 2010

BMW GSA Triple Black @ 2012

BMW GSA1250 @ 2022

Kawasaki Z900RS SE @ 2022

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Tasmanian Domination Tour – November 2022

“Lucky, you and me…” Nige began.

” I ” interrupted Lucky


“It’s I, Nige. You and I”

“Shutup Numbnuts. Where was I? Oh right. Big announcement. You and ME are going to Tasmania with Rocky and Boris on what I’m calling our Tasmanian Domination Tour. Don’t tell me that’s pretentious either ‘cos it’s not”

“Roll call at Jerry’s on Wednesday morning the 9th of November at 10 o’clock sharp. Moey and David will ride with us down to the Melrose hotel in Mittagong for a night of drinking and fine dining before riding home up the big road the next day. We shall carry on to Bowral and meet up with Rocky and Boris and head south. I know that doesn’t give us a lot of time to prepare. What’s the date today?”

“The 8th of November”

“OK, that’s plenty. Pack a bag. I’ve got yesterday’s undies on so they’ll last till the 20th. If it rains, they could go a bit longer. That’ll do me” 

So with that, Lucky arrived ten minutes early at Jerry’s with three large bags of undies, socks, shirts, spare jeans, more spare jeans, jackets, jumpers, and a dressing gown. Nige had less.

“What’s that hanging out of your pocket Nige? asked Lucky.

“Dunno. A spare sock I think. Best to be prepared.”

The usual arguments about who would be ride leader. Lucky, of course, since they were planning a route through Wisemans Ferry then Windsor, Penrith, Wallacia to Mittagong. All went pretty well although ride leader Lucky (self-appointed) did overshoot one turn-off by 5 kilometres whilst everybody else GPS’ kept telling them to turn towards Mulgoa Rd. Lunch was at the roadside servo in Wallacia where Lucky had tentatively arranged for his brother, Richard, to meet them. Unfortunately, he had got caught up in a business meeting so couldn’t make it. Nige, of course, couldn’t let this go.

“Your brother must really despise you Lucky. He only lives around the corner for f@#$%s sake.” Crestfallen, Lucky blinked back the tears welling behind his eyes and with a brave face saying,

“C’mon fellas let’s go. Not you Nige. You can go f@#$% yourself.”

Anyway, dealing with all the naysayers easily, Lucky, RLSA, eventually and blindly led them to The Melrose Hotel in Mittagong via Warragamba, etc. There were a few wrong turns involved but the occasional, “If we’re heading south, why is the sun, which is supposed to be in the west, in my eyes?” sorted things out. Generally.

“Nine more days of this.” moaned Nige

“Ten if you count today!” laughed Moey, imagining the horrors to come that he had avoided.

“We’re here but” Lucky pointed out. “Time for a quiet drink”.

It was a pleasant enough evening. Nige understood he may have overstepped a line somewhere so turned his attention to Moey and Moey’s friends whose names I do not recall, something like Sloth and Mrs Sloth. Their hearty laughter at the next table was cruelly mimicked by Nige and then Lucky joined in too having forgiven Nige his earlier insults.

Day 1 and nearly everyone is happy.

The next morning we all rode the 7 minutes to Bowral to meet up with Boris and Rocky. We (not Nige) walked around their cafe about eight times before they came and got us but breakfast went well and was lovely and wonderful, especially for David who ate Boris’ breakfast out from under his nose and then managed to eat his own while Boris waited for the kitchen to make him another one which they did and everybody was happy, especially David.

Oh that David!! He’s incorrigible says Lucky slapping his knee with laughter.

Pass the leftovers here if it’s all the same to you two. That would be glorious!!

So with his victory breakfast slowly working its way to his nether regions, David and Moey turned northward towards home whilst RLSA headed south towards Corryong in Victoria. A bit of a mix in roads here but some freeway and glassy-eyed staring at asphalt for a few hours.

We arrived in Gundagai for lunch where Lucky helped Rocky organise his intercom. This allowed for more ‘Hurrahs” via mesh for the rest of the trip.

“It’s working now Lucky, Hurrah”.

A bit more freeway. Not much but enough for Nige to threaten mutiny “I’ll go home right now” kind of thing. We had a quick break at Lade Vale (wherever that is) where everybody calmed down once Rocky announced we were turning off the freeway “In two shakes of a lamb’s tail lads. Hurrah!!” But we didn’t. And then we eventually did. The pub in Corryong was good and served excellent meals. Nige went on and on and on and on and on and on about how juicy and moist his chicken was.

The next morning we headed south and breakfasted in Tallangatta. We were all very excited to be heading to Geelong to catch the ferry. But then it rained. Heavily. So turning off the highway and sheltering under the overpass to get wet gear on. This done, back on the highway towards Geelong. It rained heavily all the way.

We arrived as the rain eased a little and quickly decided who should board first according to merit.

“I’ll board first as I am the president,” announced Nige

“Nuh-uh,” said Lucky. “I’m the RLSA so I go first”

“Well I’m holding the boarding passes lads so I’m in front. Hurrah” Rocky announced triumphantly.

“I’m going first” Boris replied quietly. ” I know people who know other people of nefarious natures”

Boris led us onto the ferry with no further opposition. “Hurrah.” Whispered Rocky to the others.

Here we are just before Boris gave a very sound argument as to why he should board first.

The Spirit of Tasmania was big and fitted all four bikes and some cars as well. We parked them where we were told and a couple of valets, I assume, strapped them securely onto the deck. 

“Hey, you, boy, don’t strap that big ugly red Triumph too close to my magnificent presidential BMW or it might get germs and break down” shouted Nige to one of the valets. This, of course, hurt Lucky’s feelings but he moved it up next to Rocky’s and Rocky was relatively pleasant about the whole thing. 

I should mention here that Rocky’s Beemer had problems of its own. You see when he wheeled it out of his garage on day one a warning popped up on his screen telling him to not go to Tasmania but instead ride carefully to his local dealer so they could pull it to bits for thousands of dollars. He ignored this and watched with interest for the rest of the trip how many, many other warning signs came up:











“All good thanks fellas, hurrah, and she hasn’t missed a beat, hurrah” And we all marvelled at his stoicism. “Might be a bit of an issue when we hit the monsoonal mud trails though. You must be looking forward to that Lucky” He said giving Lucky a wry grin. Now lucky smiled back politely but knew that as he had been appointed unofficial RLRE (Ride Leader Rocky Elected) there was no way in hell that Redboy’s Michelin Pilot 6 road tyres would be tasting the wet clay of Tasmania’s wilderness back roads.

“You betcha Rocky. Can’t wait. I’ve set my GPS to avoid asphalt so we should be sliding and breaking bones in no time at all!!” He assured him.

“Hurrah. No wait.. double hurrah to you Lucky. Lead on!!. Good man!!”

And that’s how we never saw, let alone ride, any dirt roads in Tasmania.

The further we went, the more dire the information.

I mentioned before how big the ship was but should mention how small the cabin was. We all shared a four-berth cabin and spent the night like four squirrels stuck in a stormwater pipe. “No bowel movements in the en-suite” was Lucky’s only request but that was ignored. Except for Lucky who snuck out early to visit one of the many public facilities. He received no gratitude for this.

“That’s right. I’ll choose my own bunk and you three can fight over the rest. Now somebody get me a drink for God’s sake” And we all rushed off to do that.


On board luxury. All good downstairs too. “I’ll hold it for as long as I want”

The next morning, after smooth sailing, we pulled into Devenport. 

“Who shall have the honour to lead us onto Tasmanian soil?”

“Nefarious people gentlemen” Boris’ reminded us.

“YOU GO FIRST BORIS!!” We all exclaimed in unison.


Heading west to Stanley in the rain, we found a sample of dirt as we rode through road works and found ourselves at the Brown Dog cafe. One of the locals told us the dirt section through the rainforest was awful so we thought better of that section much to Rocky’s chagrin. We all pretended to sympathise and headed back the way we came and then south west to Strahan.

A bit wet but the worst was coming.

The roads to Strahan were fantastic. Long, winding and no potholes anywhere. The sun came out for a few hours and the asphalt was drying. Strahan itself was ok but the town itself wasn’t very impressive. “Why is the water so black here” Lucky asked Nige, looking northward up the river. “It’s symbolic of Australia’s dark history of racial abuse and how whitey has taken advantage of my people for over two hundred years Lucky. It represents the struggles of my people.” Nige replied quietly.

“So you’re indegenerous Nige?” asked a shocked Lucky. ” I never knew that. You have a very white bottom but. I saw it in the Ship’s cabin. How do you explain that?”

“I’m part indigenous Lucky. Just my arms up to the t-shirt line, legs up to the pants line, head down to my neck line, are coloured. The rest of me is British White. I’m a half-caste Lucky but still a proud Bateau Bay man inside!!”

Somehow this made perfect sense to Lucky but he wished Uncy Momo was there to explain it some more. Meanwhile, jaws agape, Rocky and Boris could only stand and stare dumbfounded at what they had witnessed. ” Colonials !!” Boris smiled at Rocky. “How did they ever invent the rotary clothesline?” 

Blue skies in Strahan.

All happy with the roads so far.

Leaving Strahan we headed east toward Queenstown. By now it was starting to drizzle but we arrived around 4. We stayed in a nice motel and went in search of food and drinks. There were two pubs that we found. The first seemed popular with a crowded bar but that was because there was no bar-staff. Just one sad local who was very slow but purposeful. “Who’s next?” he asked and thirty-odd individual patrons shouted their assurances that it was definitely their turn. Rocky stood amongst them and definitely scored 30th place in that order. So we left. The next pub was better and we drank and ate there. 

The next morning we wandered down to the train museum for breakfast which was surprisingly good. An assortment of mixed grills and porridges found their way to our table. Good coffee too. Then a quick look around the renovated railway station museum with tracks that went nowhere. Lucky of course was confused about this but was more worried about how they adhere to a regular timetable and if they accepted OPAL cards. 

Train to nowhere.

Time to leave and head up and around Cradle Mountain. The weather had returned to nasty as we headed in the wrong direction. Eventually, we found our way high above Queenstown looking down through heavy rain at the desolate rock faces surrounding the town. It was actually very striking in a cold harsh way.

Up in the mountains above Queenstown as the rain increased.

Finally, we headed the right way northwards towards Cradle Mountain. The rain got heavier but Lucky (RLRA) set a sensible pace higher into the mountains where ice on the road signs suggested we were all doomed. Heavy winds also suggested we did not have much time left but we soldiered on anyway. The rain was blowing in hard from the west ahead of a forecast rain event and filled Rocky and Boris’ boots with water but they were used to that by now. Northwest to Deloroiane and then south on the A3 towards Hobart. Steady rain. For some unknown reason, Boris and Rocky thought this was a good time to get on the gas and took off ahead. “Hey!!!” yelled Lucky “I’m the ride leader. This is insuborbinest” But the two Englishmen disregarded this and continued with their intercom comparisons between Tasmanian landscapes and the UK countryside until they were no more to Lucky and Nige than the slow searching beeps of the Senas trying to reconnect. By now Lucky’s GPS had run out of battery and Nige’s Intercom had drowned in the rain so we were reduced to hand signals and road signs to find our way haltingly toward Hobart. Eventually, we found the others and rejoined as a group. “You can lead again now Lucky” Rocky announced gratuitously. “Oh boy, I’m the boss again. RLRA!!!” Replacing his failed charging lead with a fresh one, Lucky took his rightful spot out front. Through Hobart and into New Town where they would spend the next two nights.

Rocky took the lead as we approached the vicinity of the Motel. “Follow me, lads. I know the way. I won’t be needing GPS either Lucky. Haha and hurrah for me!!” 

We circumnavigated the block about four times and then found the entrance. It was practically opposite the road we first rode in on. “Sorry lads but here we are now.” For some reason, we all thought about the same trouble we always had finding the Knickerbocker in Bathurst.

“Hey, Boris” yells Rocky. “We’re not actually up to this part of the story yet!!” “We’re still in New Town and it’s raining!!”

That night, between showers, we found our way down to the local pub for a few beers. Dinner was a few pizzas delivered to Nige’s room. They were pretty good though. The next morning it was raining again so we headed down to the local motorcycle shop to look for Pinlock© visor inserts which supposedly would cure our condensation woes. Lucky and Boris were able to get their models whilst Rocky and Nige could not. From this point Boris and Lucky had clear vision of the road ahead whilst Rocky and Nige continued to peer desperately through their cloudy visors struggling to see the landscape like they were peering through Elle McPherson’s shower screen praying for a glimpse of something wonderful. “I thought we’d have seen more bush this far south Nige but everything was pretty bare.” Lucky pointed out which didn’t help at all.

Anyway, with some time to spare, we Ubered into down to the Hobart docks for lunch and a few beers. The rain had eased a bit so we could wander around pretty freely. 

“The only thing missing from Salamanca is a fruit market” “I could really go for a banana bread”

Unfortunately for the rest of us, Nige kept pointing out how we could have been riding instead of Ubering but we did get to a Supercheap Auto where Rocky was able to buy a bendable extension rod with a small but strong magnet on the end so he could reach down into the internals of his BMW and recover a lost spanner that he had dropped and assumed was the cause of his multiple on-screen warning messages.


“That bendy rod will solve all our problems lads. Probably clear up the rain too haha.”

So returning to the motel Rocky went into mechanic mode. First, he expertly removed the seat using his key.

“How did he do that Boris?” asked Lucky in awe. “Has he been ‘In the business’ like Uncy Momo?”

“No mate” replied Boris “He’s an Englishman and we conquered the world remember”

“Did you?” Lucky the High School History teacher replied. “I’ll be darned. When? Recently?”

Boris had no time to respond as we were all staring like medical students around a heart surgeon going about his business with the confidence that only comes from years of experience. 

“Now lads watch closely as I reach down deep into the internal workings of this complex German machinery and extract the errant spanner” He began. “Easy now lads,… easy…easy. I’m approaching the cavity where I believe the spanner will lie. Once I’ve made the extraction we can close.” Nige mopped Rocky’s brow at this point. “Thank you, Nige. Almost there. I think I can feel it now” He said to the oohs and aghs from those around him.

“What’s that there?” asked Lucky spotting a small spanner lying on its side in a small tray next to the battery. A stony silence followed as Rocky realised this was the errant spanner. “Here you are” said a Jubilant Lucky picking up one end of the spanner between finger and thumb only to feel the sting of Rocky’s extender across his knuckles. “Leave it there Lucky. I’ll use my special tool to get that” and with that, he reached high into the air so he could bring the magnet end of the still-extended rod down onto the spanner’s end that Lucky had just been holding and lifted the errant spanner clear.

“There you are lads!! Hurrah! I did it. Nige you can close now” So Nige put the seat back on. Now, sadly, even though the operation was a success, the error messages continued for the rest of the trip. On a positive note, Rocky got his BMW stamped spanner 13mm (Retail price $648) back as well as a new magnetised rod to pick up his wife’s hatpins or whatnot if they fall on the floor.

“We could cure cancer given the time Nige”

Eventually, the self congratulations ended and the rains got heavier as the Western low moved in.

Morning broke and it was way more than raining. What should have been a quick trip to the same bike shop we walked to the previous day was a nightmare of circuits and back tracking because the one road to the shop was one-way in the wrong direction. Anyway, we got there and Rocky bought the very same pair of boots as Lucky to solve his issues with waterlogged BMW boots and the associated foot-rot that went with it. Boris also bought a pair of top-of-the-line waterproof gloves guaranteed to a depth of three miles or so for similar reasons. The gloves stayed relatively dry until he walked outside and then they also filled up with water. He was muttering something about nefarious friends again and Yakuza something or other for the rest of the day. 

Breakfast up the road in a very fancy and woke cafe where everything came with garnish. Wait staff was very friendly and Bohemian but not so much as to be annoying. They may have annoyed Nige a bit but he held his tongue.

Then, as the monsoon grew, we headed out. “You lead Lucky. Hurrah” 

“Oh, Bewdy!I I was hoping I could. Thanks for your confidence, Rocky. I won’t let you down. Does anyone know which way is north?”

Anyway, nipping along with Pinlock© related clear vision, Lucky led the foursome north-east up the coast towards Swansea. The roads through the ranges were inches deep in water as the cascading overflows on their right formed heavy waterfalls sending endless torrents of water across the road in their path and into a raging river of assorted torn shrubbery and broken trees off the drop-off to their left. The temperature hovered around 6 degrees but, in the high winds exposed to the sea, it felt much colder.

“What’s happening up there Lucky? Are we nearly there?” Asked a slightly concerned and shivering Nige from his position in second spot. “I can’t see nothing.” 

“Try to avoid double-negatives please Nige. I find it troubling. I can see lots of water and we are about three hundred kilometers short of where we need to be.” 

“Carry on brave soldier. You are the greatest man here today” said nobody, but Lucky thought it anyway. “They’re right you know” he affirmed quietly. To himself.

Stopping in Swansea, the local owners of a pretty swank cafe overlooking the sea allowed us to trudge inside and remove our helmets and wet gear on the polished floorboards. 

“Look at this Lucky I’ve tucked one of my wet weather pants inside my boot and the other outside my other boot. Can you guess which one is full of water?” asked Nige. Without waiting he said, “It’s the one I tucked inside. I’m like a genius scientist testing the physics of water soakeridgeness. It’s this kind of couragability that makes me such a great president. I’m right aren’t I!!” Now Lucky squatted down and examined both boots carefully and saw that one was in fact much wetter. “You’ll win a Pushitzer Prize for that Nige. No argument.”

“Pulitzer, old boy.” Corrected Boris.

“Mmmm well maybe one of those too.” agreed Lucky

Anyway, lunch was delicious. Most of us had the seafood chowder with fresh rolls. But then as the rains seemed to intensify even further, we put on helmets and zipped up every zip we could find and headed out again. Having now pulled his pant leg from inside his boot, Nige picked up a small black rock covered in a red moss. 

“This is the kind of rock that you find in the Bay of Fires Lucky. It’s how it got its name.” 

“Oh really. That’s disappointing. I thought it was somewhere where we could warm up. Let’s not go there then.” And they didn’t.

Lucky (RLRA) continued north and as they finally approached their overnight stop in St Helens, the rain began to ease. Rocky of course continued to despair of the missed wet dirt road adventures that Lucky dismissed as RLRA but was gracious when we finally arrived. Strangely, when Lucky turned off his ignition on Redboy, the screen stayed dead when he tried to switch it back on. Unlike Rocky whose stoic press-on regardless attitude towards his Beemers foibles vis-a-vis its dire threats to fall apart, Lucky was about to push Redboy off the nearest cliff when it came back to life just in time. “Lucky for you Redboy he muttered” ceasing his online search for flights home. It still gave him a bit of angst every now and then as it cut out and cut back in again.

The Panorama Hotel was very nice and only lacked the air conditioning that was needed to dry out some very wet gear and Nige’s boot and sock. Boris’ gloves still looked like they’d been recovered from the Lusitania. He was later heard speaking Chinese in muffled tones over his mobile to an unknown listener. Something about “warranty” and “honour” and such. Not sure where he was going with that but there might be a young man in New Town who should sleep with one eye open I think. Rocky’s new boots did stay dry.

“This is how we dry out old school” Nige explains and manages a nap at the same time. Poor little fella was exhausted from the long haul.

Eventually, everything dried out and the next morning the skies were a bit nicer. Heading north through Gladstone and Bridgeport on to Georgetown then Frankford and, finally, Devonport. Back on board the ferry around 4.30. 

“After you Boris,” we all said.

“Of course”  He replied, all smiles now. 

Back into another stormwater pipe and quickly upstairs for a drink. A nice roast dinner from the bistro and Boris and Rocky headed beddy-byes at a respectable hour. Nige and Lucky stayed up so as not to disturb their settling time and had a wander around the upper decks where it was windy at sea but very smooth sailing. Off to bed as quiet as a mouse (squirrel) and asleep soon after that. 

“Look at us Lucky. We’re up way later than the grownups.”

“I’m a bit tired Lucky. We should have gone to bed earlier.”

Another very smooth trip north and disembarked around 6.30 the next morning in Geelong. From here, Boris headed off to look at a pre WW1 14cylinder sports tourer. So we said our teary goodbyes at the dock and the remaining three headed to Queenscliffe for another ferry trip across the bay to Sorento. This took about an hour but is so smooth you don’t need to tie the bikes down. 

“I miss Boris already,” Rocky noted looking at the two remaining travellers then gazed wistfully out to sea.

“You can have an intellectual conversation with us if you like mate.” Offered Lucky but this didn’t appear to gain much traction.

“Thank you lads but I’m not sure how much we have to discuss. Perhaps I could teach you table manners since we will be dining at the local RSL club in Cooma this evening.”

At this, both Nige and Lucky quietly slid their respective feet off the small coffee table between them and Luck stopped cleaning his ear with the handle of a tea spoon. “Yeah nuh. we’re good there thanks Rocky.” Nige muttered awkwardly.

Leaving Boris and Queenscliffe behind.

Breakfast (vanilla slices for breakfast dessert. Yes. It’s a thing) in a small cafe in Sorento which was very good. From here it was a very long and tiring ride through the middle of Victoria and inland from Lakes Entrance and onto Cann River. Great roads along here and then up the Monaro Highway through Bombala and Nimmitabel and into Cooma. This was the longest stretch of several hundred kilometres so we were happy to finally see the grand pillars of the White Manor Motel. Our long day’s journey didn’t end there with, what felt like, a five kilometre walk back the way we came to the local RSL club. A few ‘Are we there yets’ from Lucky and a few ‘Yeah nuhs’ from Nige and we were there.

The White Manor Hotel in Cooma. Nice rooms.

The club was busy but had plenty of room for us. We ordered a few drinks and dinner and Rocky assured us the food there was excellent. He was correct but there were a few issues.

“Lads,” said Rocky. “We’ve been waiting ten minutes at least and I’m hungry. It’s time to take out the trash!!” And, rolling up his sleeves, Rocky headed towards the counter.

“Does Rocky know they’ll spit in our dinners if he rouses on the cook?’ asked a worried Lucky.

At this point, Rocky reached across the countertop and pulled the cook by his left ear close to him.

“Yeah, we’re getting’ saliva stew Lucky. Count on it” Nige whispered back.

“Now see here you!!” Rocky began. “If you don’t prepare me and my friend’s meals right bloody now I shall take you outside for a sound thrashing.” The frightened and confused young man retreated quickly to his pots and pans firing machine-gun apologies at the angry Englishman. “Yes sir, of course, sir, right away sir.” Promptly coughing a nasty sounding phlegm ball in the direction of Rocky’s Steak-well-done as he marched triumphantly back to the table.

“There you are, lads. That’s how an Englishman deals with riff-raff.”

And that’s how Rocky was the only one of us who came home with Covid.

Anyway, the slow trudge home began the next morning. Rocky said his final “Hurrahs” and there were hugs all around. He had not given up on the dirt so headed off towards a dust storm despite the ongoing complaints from his screen.



and so on and so forth.

Meanwhile Nige and Lucky headed north up the Hume and onto the M1, parting ways along Peats Ridge Rd. Nige kept going down through Glenning Valley and home. Meanwhile Lucky arrived at his front gate and Redboy, as if knowing the ordeal was over, promptly cut out again. “OH FOR F@#$%’s SAKE YOU USELESS PIECE OF BRITISH CRAP!!!!! I HATE YOU SO MUCH YOU MOTHERLESS SON OF A..but at this point, the instrument panel again lit up and the engine fired up as usual.” “Sorry, Redboy I was overtired. I love you.” and Lucky rode up his driveway and into the garage.

Now, all in all, Rocky organised a great ride despite some terrible weather. All his Beemer’s various dire warning signs turned out to be a faulty battery and Redboy simply had a loose battery terminal. Oops.

“Hurrah!! Dirt at last” I win!!!








The Grand Tour

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An Un-Lucky Ride

We went for a ride. It was good. Lucky didn’t come. We rode home. It was good, too.

The crowd has gathered at Jerry’s for the official send off.
Scrounger made it to Denman on his pretty Dooookaaati.
Barnaby sporting his new ‘do’.
Rocky made it to Denman too.
Boris and his usual. Moey had to pick up the slack left by Lucky and chomped on the remnants.

Two ‘old’ mates before Scrounger had to depart as he had snapped his jockstrap earlier that morning and was returning home.
Closed road at Bylong sent us around on an interesting detour to Mudgee where Nige tried his hardest to eat a whole muffin without spreading crumbs from ear’ole to ….
We made it to the top of Mt Paranoia without a certain someone, who shall remain nameless, going on and on and on and on about it.
Moey trying out his centrefold pose.
Boris showing what he thought of Brock’s Skyline.
The man, the machine. What’s to add?
Oh!, Yeh! Barnaby was there too.
After we consulted all our maps and navigation devices, we stumbled our way to the Knickerbocker Carpark and wound our way around the boom gate that didn’t open for us ….. again.
A couple of ‘lemonades’ upon arrival before ascending the stairs to our palatial quarters.
A gourmet feast for the travellers.
Even though the raffle was eponymous he didn’t win shit.
Gamblers gambled and Boris was being drawn into Moey’s web.
Back at coffee headquarters before some brisk riding, Boris and Barnaby said a quiet prayer to the phone gods for a safe journey. Would they ever be able to find their way back to the Knickerbocker?
The 3 Stooges outside the winner of the ‘Most Improved Cafe’ in Burraga, 2022. The coffee and banana bread deal was very good.
Nige doing some yoga while revering the black beast of awesome noise.
After watching ‘most’ of the races and a little nana nap, we hit the Bathurst Panthers where Boris was drawn ever deeper into the world of gambling. Here he is displaying how desperate he was by betting down to his last cent. I mean, lend the poor bugger a bob or two.
His depravity knew no limits.
Paydirt. See, gambling does pay. This is easy. Why work?
The next day and the day of departure saw Boris and Barnaby head home via the rain and fog that is known as Bells Line of Road. Moey and Nige took the adventure route back the way we had come and stopped for a photo shoot at the Cooyal Hotel in the middle of …..
We wound our way around potholes and streams back to where the road had been blocked on day 1. Moey, ever the rebel, is on the wrong side of those signs. Oooooooh Aaaaaaah

It turned out to be a very good ride. Moey and Nige got a bit of drizzle between Broke and Freeman’s Waterhole while, from a few desperate messages, it would appear that the other two splitters had a more ‘interesting ride’ home.
Old and buggered (no, not that sort of buggered).

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When is a Triumph not??

Me and Lucky Philip Leo Mark Witton were riding along and then one of us wasn’t …. riding along like we were doing …. you know, on the road …. riding along and then we stopped …. riding along. The road kept going but we didn’t. Not on the road because we were not riding along anymore … or less really. We’d stopped riding and started parking … on the side of the road where it is difficult to be riding …. along the road.


“Mind how you go”


“Whatcha gunna do”?


Splitters Ride to Wauchope August 2022

It was good. We had fun.

We rode there and then we rode home again, riding all the way on our motorbikes and having fun.


Lucky’s Little Cough August 2022

“ROLL CALL!!!!!!” Shouted Lucky. ” cfff cfff.”

“Dry up Numbnuts. We don’t need a roll call.” Nige announced recalling the last unenthusiastic and somewhat aggressive stance from FairyDust.

“But how will we know whose here?” replied Lucky.

“Look around Numbnuts” Nige scowled.

“PRESENT!!” shouted Lucky

“That wasn’t a roll call…uhmm call” Nige said beginning to lose his usual cool. “And what’s that spluttering little cough about? Its annoying me so stop it”

“I’m ok, just a little tickle, cfff cfff ”

“I’m heading out you two” Interrupted Moey. “Don’t make me regret meshing up to either of you”

“Right you are Unky Momo” Lucky replied as the three headed out from the Turf Hut.

Meshing up reluctantly

Anyway, Nige was keen this time because it was the first long ride on his new GSA. Lucky took Golden Boy since his Tiger was waiting for tyres, brakes, rear shock, and fork seals. Meanwhile, Moey was on his newish “Geeser” and looking forward to a late night of beering with Lucky. Sadly, he was to be disappointed.

Now the dodgy bit of road between Wollombi and Broke has washed away after heavy rains so we turned right at the Wollombi pub and cut out through Cessnock and around to the Golden Highway. Lucky had upgraded his Sena 10 to a 50s which used mesh technology so all three riders could chat at the same time.

“It’s like being on the Starship Enterprise cfff cfff” said Lucky “I’ll be Captain Kirk, you can be Scotty Unky Momo, and Nige can be …uhmmm… Lieutenant Uhura”

“Shut up Lucky, I’m Kirk because I’m the president of the Nige Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” said Nige “You’re Uhura”

“Nuh-uh, she’s a girl”

“Well, I’m not Scotty either” interjected Moey. “He’s an anachronism. If Star Trek is based that far in the future then natural mixing of world races would have blended all humans into one race by then so a Scotsman would not have existed.”

The conversation faded from this point and silence apart from the occasional ” cfff cfff” from Lucky.

A quick pie in Denman then on to Merriwa then back roads to Coolah.

Golden Boy is still magnificent after all these years.

Again, a quick coffee and a lovely vanilla slice with pink icing and on to Gunnedah, arriving at about 4.30.

Rooms this time were pretty abysmal. They were on the ground floor with a shared bathroom which the bartender suggested we avoid because “The kitchen staff use that and they’re pretty disgusting.” Now, upon reflection, perhaps we should have considered dining elsewhere given that little tidbit but we didn’t. Actually, the meals were pretty good and Moey thought his steak was “Grilled by angels” Lucky thought his was ok but maybe a bit bland. Nige complained about something or other but the other two didn’t pay him any attention.

Around 8 we sauntered over to McDonald’s to see if we could repeat Dusty’s epic victory of a free thick shake there on the last ride. Somehow Moey (or was it Nige) did score something free but nobody was sure how that happened. Lucky didn’t even try to high-five anyone as he was beginning to feel “a bit weary” probably because he hadn’t ridden Golden Boy on a long ride for a few years.

Back to the pub for another few beers when Lucky announced he was “Really tired” and was heading off to bed.

“Get your lazy arse back here right now! It’s 8.30 for f%^$#’s sake and I need someone to watch me drink my sugar-free cokes” Nige demanded.

“Yes, Nige keep talking. I’m very interested in what you are saying cfff cfff ” Said Lucky as he headed off to his broom closet bedroom. Later that night he got up to go to the bathroom and found his bed soaking wet. “Well that’s odd,” he thought. “I wonder what happened there.” Morning came around and Lucky, now refreshed after a good night’s sleep, mused to the others, “Do you think I’ve got the Corvette 19?”  “That’s the bad one. I think the earlier versions 1 to 18 were ok but this one is pretty dangerous!”  His appetite seemed unaffected, however, as he scoffed down a big brekky special. “I’m actually feeling good now” He went on to tell nobody who cared.

“Yep, I’m cured,” said Lucky. And Unky Momo was so happy to hear that.

Around 9 we headed out over the Breeza Planes so Nige could check out the top speed of his now run-in GSA.

“She’ll do 222,” He said confidently but was shattered when the speedo wouldn’t climb above 208.

“Yewwwww” yelled Moey as he sailed past him. Lucky, with nothing to prove on the mighty Busa, was content to sit behind Nige and reinforce his disappointing discovery. “Yep. 208 Nige. That is all you got. You must feel bad.”

“Enough with the truncated sentences designed to highlight my distraught reaction to this German shitbox of a thing,” Nige said. ” No wonder they lost that war….. and the one before it”

“Maybe a Tiger would have been the best choice mate.” offered Lucky warily. Nige, almost boiling with rage by now, said no more about the subject.

Back in Denman for the last leg home. GSA unharmed from any high speed (Over 208kph) insect strikes.

A few hours later, coffee at Jerry’s and all went home. Lucky, still with a little persistent cough, would test positive for the spicy cough and have a lovely week off work. Moey stayed disease free and Nige, brooding a little less about his GSA’s inability to achieve speeds he considered obligatory, took it home, cleaned and polished it in the hope it would encourage just a few more KPH’s out of it. It didn’t.

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