Bathurst? Never Heard of it.

After nobody turned out for the Gunnedah trip last time we thought the numbers had to get better when Nige suggested another ride to somewhere we had never been before. Bathurst. Excited you ask? Yes we were.

This time there was five of us and, after the usual scrambling to see who could go out first, Nige took the lead position out from Maccas and onto Yarramalong Rd. Up Bumble Hill as usual and out past Wollombi to our first stop at Broke. “My mirrors come loose Moey” said Lucky miserably “I’d better go home”. “No, No young Meister let old Uncky Momo have a quick look at it” said Moey pushing Lucky aside and immediately took to removing the front engine mounts off Redboy. After a few minutes with the seat, tank, engine, handlebars, and back wheel spread out nicely on the grass amongst miscellaneous screws, bolts, and other oddments, Uncky Momo was ready to proceed. Scratching his head Moey took a closer look at the mirror itself. “Ahh just a bit graunchy old son” he said and with a quick twist of the spanner the mirror was fixed and a few minutes later Redboy was back in service. “Right then old fella-me-lad any other problems?” “No, no all good thanks Uncky Momo” Lucky hurriedly replied. “I’ll go in front now and scare up the local wallabies” And he did.

Out in front and setting a decent pace, Lucky spotted a few wallabies left and right of the road. Startled they ran across the road behind him and clipped DD’s semi-new Versys before scampering off. DD was pretty non-plussed “See there boys. The Lord protected me from evil” “Yeah Nuh DD if that was true, how come he hit you and not the other heathens ahead and behind you?” Nige asked sensitively. “Well Nige. The Lord works in mysterious ways” Replied DD tapping his nose and winking. “That does make sense Nige” Lucky interjected. “What’s a Lord” queried Barnaby and DD positively lit up as a possible new convert raised his head. “We’ll talk about this later Barnaby. Oh yes we will”

Still about a billion dollars to replace if you can get it in the right colour

So off we go again and this time we pulled in at Denman pub for some lunch. Nige barged up to the counter and asked for “Something that would kill a normal man” He was given some kind of southern fried double sized chicken and bacon and koala burger and proceeded to hammer his way through it with the help of a decent sized beer. “Did youse get a scooper of beer as well?” he asked. Barnaby guffawed in manly laughter at this faux pas and we didn’t see what happened next because the rest of us scampered outside to check on Lucky’s mirror.

“Watch me destroy this in no time!!”

Anyway, we came back in as Barnaby was still collecting himself having explained pub-talk and we, as usual, avoided eye-contact with Nige for a while. That burger wasn’t finished with Nige just yet.

Lucky, normally very sensible, but who had been bullied by Nige all the way to Denman in the first place lost his cool for a bit. Let me tell you about that. Pulling away in front of the other clear thinking riders who were speeding, certainly, but not crazy-spend-time-in-prison-with-a-new-boyfriend-called-Bubba pace, Lucky had been setting a pretty decent speed, as usual, with Nige, also as usual, behind and encouraging him. “Go faster Lucky, go faster you big girl” Now considering the terrain and the narrow road and the inherent dangers of errant wallabies etc Lucky, again as usual,  buckled and went even faster. All the way in to Denman.  “Yeesssss” howled an elated Nige “That’s more like it”!! Now, with this in mind and as we turned onto Bylong Valley Way, Nige again berated Lucky about his “slow” riding. At this Lucky took off. “Ghaaaaaaaaaa Faaaaaark yuooooooo” he said and immediately apologised “Sorry Nige” into the intercom. By now Barnaby was wheel standing the Ninja to catch up. After a bit they slowed and allowed the others to catch up and at this point Nige rolled past blasting his BMW horn to full affect. bleeeeeep. Sad. Lucky hit his Yolo Bad Boy air-horn proudly in reply. phtttttt. sadder. He pressed it again and nothing happened “That can’t be good” He thought to himself and then noticed his GPS was hanging at a funny angle “Geez that can’t be good”

Stopping in Rylstone Moey came over to see what could be done. “What’s happened Lucky” he asked kindly. “All good Moey” he nervously replied as Moey unfurled his every-tool-in-the-world tool belt. “Right, lets have a look at her. So once the tank, engine and all associated and non-associated parts were once again sitting in a haphazard line on the bitumen he began checking why the GPS was hanging funny. “There’s your problem Meister, the bottom brackets fallen of the GPS mounting arm” “The what now?” asked a puzzled Lucky but by this time Moey had tightened the top mount and zip-tied (who carries them!) the bottom mount solidly to the frame. “Good to go old son. Graunch free!”

“And here sir, is the last bit”

Up and down and round and round we made it in to Sofala. “ERRRPP” Geez that burger might have been a bit spicier than I first thought” Said Nige not for the first time since leaving Denman and not for the last time. In between nagging poor Lucky about not slowing down just because stray people on the side of the road kept doing the slow down warning signal as we approached Bathurst “ERRRRP. That was just telling you there’s a school bus somewhere around here Lucky. Go faster. As it was he was right and an old yellowy bus did eventually pass us in the other direction. “See Meister. I’m always right. And another thing ERRRRP. By the way your tailight and brake light aren’t working.”

No brakes, no lights. All gone to graunch!

So we stopped on top of the mountain and all figured it was the horn blasting that blew a light fuse. It was. So it got replaced and all was well. Meanwhile Barnaby was off checking the new camping site for the Bathurst 1000 and he was pleased.

We thought DD had converted him at first then realised he was just happy with his campsite.

So off to the pub. The usual bluster about what room for Nige. Same result. Worst ever. “When we come for the GP I’m having your room Moey. That’s final” “Yeah mate of course you will” said Moey howling with laughter. “I’ll pray for you Nigel my boy” said DD. “Or you could just give me your room David” “No that won’t be happening Nigel, just the prayer I’m afraid.”

Everybody had beers. Lucky had the worst pizza in the history of bad pizzas for dinner. Real schooners this time with Barnaby put in charge of the ordering. A few ports all round with poor DD slumping under the weight of that bill as it was his shout. “Looks like the family will be eating canned spaghetti again boys” No real offers of comfort though. “Yeah very sad” said Moey. “A real tragedy” added Barnaby. “Get me another David if you please” said Nige.

Off to bed and everyone except Nige had a wonderful sleep. Breakfast in the morning with our usual cook Svetlana or whatever who doesn’t have dogs anymore so our serving were a bit smaller. “A glorious adventure once again lads” said DD as we turned our heads east. “How’s your tummy Nige” he added but Nige quietly belched and said no more.

Don’t expect my room real soon Nigel.

Final goodbyes at Jerrys for those who turned up. Not Moey who was off on a date with the bride and didn’t want to keep the young lady waiting. A gentleman.


Street Cred in Gunnedah

“Whaddya mean Baranaby’s not coming Nige?” a near hysterical Lucky squeeled, “He’s our best street cred, our only street cred. How’re we gonna order those big beers we always get if he’s not there???”

“Yeah nuh, rest assured Lucky” and, turning to Moey, “Don’t worry Numnuts, I’ll do the ordering” replied Nige, pumping himself up to his full still-under-six-foot-chest-out-tummy-in grandiosity. This seemed to calm Lucky down but he remained unconvinced despite Nige’s guarantees and settled back into his luke warm Maccas babycino. “Well I hope you’re right Nige ‘cos I like beer a lot.” Yeah nuh, not as much as me but.” “I know, I know” conceded Lucky.

It was the middle of winter and numbers were down. Moey, Lucky, and Nige were it. “Why isn’t Barnaby coming anyway?” asked Lucky. “Dunno Meister. It’s cold and he probably couldn’t fit his fluffy slippers into his make-up case or something.” Yep, Nige was in full flight but, again, it seemed to satisfy Lucky. “Oh yeah, that makes sense. It is cold”

At this point Moey, who had been listening to this exchange with only minor interest (having heard them many times before), shuffled off for another half-decaf-skim-milk-soy-dusted-caramalised-butterscotch-latte in a ladies slipper. “I dont care if people stare he said, they’re delicious and I love them.” “I’ll finish this and we can go” Ten minutes and ninety six sips and “Ah Lovelys” later we headed out towards Gunnedah.

It was pretty cold heading through Wollombi and a quick stop at Broke so Lucky and Moey could top up and Nige could retell us the advantages of his BMW’s fuel tank. “Its bigger’n the Hindenberg boys and goes just as good.” “What’s that smug look about Brian? Why’re you giggling Lucky?” But Lucky and Moey kept the joke between themselves. “Oh the humanity!!” whispered Moey and both snickered all the way back to the bikes. “Idiots” mumbled Nige.

The rain stayed away and we rode on to Denman pub for a bit of lunch which was okay in a not-a-pie kind of way. From there it was on to Willow Tree for a quick beer and a stretch. Back on and we were off to what Nige had said would be a dirt track up and over the hills before the last stretch into Gunnedah. “Wouldn’t it be great if they seal that section” Lucky said and when we got closer we could see all the heavy machinery in the middle of doing just that. The strong smell of fresh tar was quite enticing as we slipped and wobbled our way for about ten ks over it till we were back on decent bitumen.

And so we arrived in Gunnedah around 4 in the afternoon and immediately went looking for The Gunnedah Hotel.

“For f%#*s sake it’s around here somewhere Moey” “I smell beer and I’ve got my drinking pants on”

And so after turning around and whooping with delight, Nige led us in. “Now remember Lucky, I’ll do the ordering.” ” Three large scoopers please madame wiff froff on the top.” “You city boys are yers?” the well-worn serving lass asked after a quick up and down of each of us. “Did yers bring rain with ya” whilst deciphered Nige’s order. “Hereya love” placing three schooners on the bar. “See told ya we didn’t need Barnaby” announced Nige proudly.

We took turns in ordering scoopers for the rest of the evening and this made us very weary so we each retired to our newly renovated rooms. Nige demanded the best room as usual and received the same respect from the staff as at every other hotel we had stayed at ever in the history of us staying in pubs.

Lucky’s usual palatial room. Classic Greek-style spa bathroom through that door. Moey’s was even bigger and more Greeky.

Nige’s room.

Next morning the sun was shining but it was even colder. At 8 it was 1 degree but by 10 it was 7. Perfect. Lucky had heated grips and seats and was toasty warm. He gently nudged the starter button and the Tiger responded with a gentle mew and settled into a contented purr. Moey pushed his starter button and Old Sir Fallapart erupted into life with a pleasing crackle and quickly relaxed into a menacing growl. Nige beat the cowering GSA over the tank and windshield with a bucket he’d found “Out back” and it started too.

We filled up, not Nige, and headed south-east towards home. Now out the back of somewhere and at go-to-gaol speeds Old Sir Fallapart took a stone through the radiator and began spewing steam and boiling water. Off with the tank and it was a hearty all-the-best-Brian-I’ll-tell-Anna-you-love-her farewell from Nige who continued on homewards leaving Moey and Lucky languishing by the side of the road.

“Yeah look Moey, Its been fun and all but I got KAYO waiting at home.”

Hard to believe it could all end like this.

AND THEN HE WAS BACK!!!!!. “Ya wouldn’t believe it Brian but there’s a small town ahead and they had pepper and water for sale. I thought youse two could have that for dinner while youse wait for a miracle” “Nige!!” said Moey. “You glorious man, you are the miracle!! I can use that pepper to seal up the hole in the radiator and the water can top it up!!” “Yeah nuh” said Nige “You’d need a much grainier blend of pepper to seal this” “Nuh yeah, this is perfect” said Moey “Watch this” And it did. With a bit of fiddle-faddling along the various fuel and food stops along the way, Old Sir Fallapart stayed together all the way back to Jerrys.

So coffee and such and manly hugs at Jerrys ended the adventure. Nige was still insisting that the fine ground pepper will never seal up the hole and Moey insisting that it already had, pointing to the dry ground now under the ZRX.

“No it hasn’t” said Nige after an uncomfortable pause.

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Missing Persons

‘So what time will Sideways be getting here fellas?” Asked Lucky, forgetting all about Sideway’s nasty crash a month or so earlier. ” Well now Lucky, Uncie Bob fell down remember? and he lives on a farm now because the naughty doctors said his insides are still a bit too sore to ride motorcycles anymore.” Said Moey as gently as he could. You see Sideways had, on an earlier ride, decided to buy Lucky’s Bandit and was figuring out how best to organise a deal when, in mid corner, he didn’t, and went boots up into the scrub at Kulnura. Nevertheless, Nige, Barnaby, Lucky, Moey, and DD gathered once again at Maccas for the annual MotoGP weekend in Bathurst. Lucky couldn’t help but notice that every time someone said Sideways, DD made a little sign of the cross. Sideways was fine but DD wanted to make sure.

Gawd bless Sideways. He was…is…a ripper.

Anyway off we went and found our way travelling over familiar territory out through Bylong and Rylstone and eventually into Bathurst. Now the Knickerbocker was for some strange reason all booked out so Nige threatened the good people at The George Hotel to find luxury accomodation for five and for him to get the best room. His impeccable manners didn’t get him the best room. Lucky got the best room with separate lounge area and a lovely bureau where he could write his memoirs if only he could remember them. And we laughed and we laughed as Nige squeezed himself into the janitors broom closet. But he didn’t hardly complain at all because he was getting used to this ” Inappropriate Treatment of the President ”

Parking was okay behind vandalised roller doors but Lucky nearly dropped his new Tiger against the wall after having a full schooner of some super expensive beer. ” Help me Nige, help me” he wailed as he found himself stuck between bike and brick wall. “Yeah hang on Meister, I’m just trying to remember which room I had again. Didn’t we agree to swap?” But this logic was all too much for poor Lucky who now, horribly confused by Nige’s obvious trickery, still not obvious to Lucky, stared ahead and simply waited to die. ” Oh for Fuck’s sake” said Nige and pulled the Tiger off the wall.

“Thanks Nige, where’s Sideways? ”

“Oh for fuck’s sake” repeated Nige as DD, still inside the pub, blessed himself again without really knowing why.


Not good enough. That’s Nige’s room in the middle.

Speaking of motorcycles. Barnaby brought his R1 along and it’s very, very nice. Red and white and fast. “Its pretty bloody uncomfortable but.” he pointed out. “I’ll drink some beers and see if that fixes me up.” It did. Barnaby is a real man who can fix things made out of metal and we like him because he gives us the street cred we never had.

” Even Sideways never made us feel like real men. ” said Moey. ” David, enough with that christian voodoo willya” He added and DD stopped mid-blessing. “You’re upsetting L..U..C..K..Y”

“I can spell you know, Moey” Replied Lucky. “I teach Up School!!”

” I think you mean High School Lucky” “Oh yeah High School. I knew it was something like that”.

Street cred


On Sunday morning the boys rode out to Burraga. Everybody had a lovely time and drank the usual putrid instant coffee out of foam cups. Happily Moey’s Old Fallapart made it there and back with no dramas. “Graunch free!” he happily stated. Meanwhile, Lucky headed out to Orange to meet up with his old mate Dave and his coffee was freshly brewed with a zesty citrus tart and fresh cream at the local cafe. Ohhhh Lucky!

Worst coffee ever boys!! Wonder how Lucky’s going?

Anyway, we all gathered back at The George for the race. Nige’s usual happy demeanour vanished when all bets were placed for the top five. “Markee’s mine and, as per our yearly arrangement, youse can’t bet on him”

“Oh absolutely”

“Right you are!!”

” God bless that glorious man”

” Whose Markee?”

Markee fell off again and that meant Lucky won the prize…again… like last year. “We hate you Lucky” They said. “Burn in hell you devil-spawn” Bit harsh there DD, Lucky thought to himself.

“Any chance I might get to keep my money this year” asked Lucky who remembered how his winnings from last year, in his absence, was shared equally among the gang by way of a generous bar tab.

“Nah we’re drinking it all and I’ll look after it” said…well, no-one in particular but you know who. “Yep, that sounds about right” a sad and dejected Lucky replied.

Having spent all Lucky’s winnings, the real men led by Barnaby swaggered boldly to the usual pizza place. Not everybody swaggered, some of us kinda shuffled uncertainly behind trying to stay out of trouble. As usual, the orders got all buggered up and Lucky got the wrong topping. I think it was an old sand shoe but he gave it a go anyway. Everybody over-ordered and were figuring what bin to put them in when DD spotted Bathurst’s fattest derro enter the shop. “I’ll see if he wants them” he said. “Listen brother, God bless you and all that, would you like some free left-over pizzas with bits of spit and sand shoe on them?” To our surprise old 30 stone Derrick the Derro, with a cheerio and a thumbs up, hooked in to them while he waited for his own order. We spotted him a bit later chugging past the pub like a 1963 Massey-Ferguson tractor with a toothless grin and a hearty wave. “What the hell was that hanging out the side of his mouth?” Barnaby asked. “Oh wait, I think it’s a shoelace” he said, answering his own question. We drank more beer and went to bed.

At The George you get a complimentary breakfast of cereal and toast and such and it was ok but we missed the old Polish lady from the knickerbocker with her huge breakfasts that nobody has ever finished…ever.

“C’mon boys. Real men don’t use saucers. They’re for pansies.” Street cred!

So we went home. We got to Jerrys without incident. ” I think Sideways would have really enjoyed that ride, bless him” said Dave making an extra big sign of the cross and daring anyone to stop him. “Sideways? is he here?” a very excited Lucky said looking in all directions at once. “No Lucky. Still at the farm” Moey said. A little less calmly this time. We were all a bit tired and cranky I suppose.

Jerrys. No splitters this time.


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Bill & Todd’s Excellent Adventure Take 2

Scrounger and Nige met at the usual haunt and we had old man coffee and old man raisin toast and then we talked about where we were actually going and how to get there and then we went and looked at our bikes and then Nige politely commented on how old and shitty Scrounger’s GS was compared to his beaut new(ish) one and then we got on the bikes and headed off at a leisurely pace with Scrounger leading the way out via the usual route to Broke and around our not so new or secret back track where Nige stood up to alleviate bum pressure and suddenly after a quick smack under the chin his snazzy glasses disappeared into the ether because Scrounger who was right behind didn’t even see them come off and then we kept going until we arrived at Denman where we headed directly to the hotel for some liquid refreshments because did I mention it was hot and then we had some good food to eat and them we got back on our bikes and rode the Golden Highway to Merriwa where Scrounger needed to refuel but after coming back from a slash Nige said to Scrounger that he hoped that puddle of fluid on the ground had not come out of his ageing GS so Scrounger quickly moved the bike to escape the evidence but unfortunately the puddle of oil magically reappeared under Scrounger’s GS now renamed Exxon Valdez and was flowing faster than the Darling River and then we worked out it was escaping around the oil level viewing window but we could not see the top of the oil so figured it must still have plenty and a bit spare in there and headed off on the back road to Willow Tree past where a previous Nige MC trip had ended with the president having an altercation with a drunken whip that caused a very nasty cut to his forehead and after some lovely roads and some unlovely roadworks we arrived at Willow Tree and then we went to the pub because did I mention it was hot and we had another beer while Exxon waited outside purging itself of even more oil but we still could not see the top of the oil and so we figured it still had some and a bit spare and then we headed off towards Quirindi but didn’t so went to Gunnedah and found ourselves at the Gunnedah Hotel and then we parked Exxon and the GSA in the carpark and waited for the oil level to drop enough for it to stop leaking out the little window but after 1 minute that was boring and then we went in and drank beer and then we went up to check out our rooms but one was better that the other and so I said to Scrounger he could just pick a key out of my hand and bugger me he picked the best room although he would argue this the next morning because the room was so big that the piddly air conditioner was unable to keep poor little Scrounger cool enough for him to properly concentrate on rubbing one out but after the first few beers we felt like explorers and so we headed off to discover how many other establishments in Gunnedah sold the nectar called Great Northern and this became somewhat of a quest for the remaining journey but when we visited the Gunnedah RSL a staff member had the audacity to tell Nige to remove his presidential hat and then Nige queried the reasoning behind this inane rule but the little girlie was prepared with a response that did not satisfy the eternal question about hats in clubs but not pubs or shops or service stations or butchers or doctors or everywhere else so Nige gave a small friendly salute just using the minimum of two digits as we departed the club in search of other places where a hat could still be worn and beer purchased and then we went back to the Gunnedah Hotel where we enjoyed healthy vegan steak and pizza covered in all sorts of even healthier stuff and then we drank some more nectar after Scrounger was disgusted with the poor selection of overpriced la-di-da wines and then we went to our rooms and did whatever private and secret things people do when they go to their rooms like Sideways always used to do before he became a non-riding member as a result of his meeting with the bush near Jerry’s and then we had some sleepy time until the heat exchanger outside my window kicked in for the night shift and Scrounger’s little air conditioner that thought it could couldn’t and then eventually it was morning and Scrounger thought that a visit to the Golden Arch’s across the road was the way to make up for lost sleep and fill our poor little starved bellies but that was until they gave us what big burgers who have babies make and we were disgusted and Nige left most of his behind and even his coffee that was anything but lava java and then we went and checked on the oil slick out the back of the pub where Exxon had spent the night dribbling and then we decided that something had to be done and so we went up the road to the motorbike/pushbike shop that every town should have and Scrounger regaled the owner with tales of heroic riding on oil slicked tyres and footpegs before deciding that he was useless and headed further afield to the AutoPro while Nige had spotted an eBike in the motorbike/pushbike shop that every town should have and shared stories of speed and endurance with the owner and there was just a little bit too much thigh fondling before Nige joined Scrounger at the AutoPro so that he could annoy the blokes behind the counter and make friends wherever he travels and they had sold Scrounger on the Dynasteel and degreaser solution and he scabbed a rag because he was too tight to buy some and decided that more oil was an even sillier option and then we rode our trusty steeds to Mudgee and stayed in a lovely hotel and then had a drink or two and a bacon and egg roll for breaky and then we packed up and then we rode home.

It was good.

The End

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A Graunchy ride to Hill End

“So what’s at Hill End Nige? Will there be swings for us to play on?” Lucky was pretty sure he knew the answer to this but was still hopeful he could avoid an afternoon/evening of drinking too much beer. “Of course there’ll be swings Lucky and hooly-hoops and a merry-go-round but first there must be beer.” “Will there be a blessed chapel for those of us in need of spiritual guidance” asked DD with little hope the Royal Hotel might cater for that sort of thing. “Of course DD” Replied Nige “And we will all receive the sacraments together. But first there must be beer.” With this Sideways, Moey, DD, Lucky, Nige, and new friend Shannon (Yet to be given an appropriate Nige Name) set out past Broke and on to Bylong Valley Way to Rylstone then Sofala and then Hill End. The weather was warm enough when we left Maccas that morning and apart from some pretty ordinary road surfaces this side of Bylong all was going well. Some lousy pick pocket, however, who could really run fast nicked Sideways wallet out of his jacket somewhere between Tuggerah and Broke but was kind enough to return it anonymously to his letterbox next day minus the cash. So that was good news.

The Royal Hotel at Hill End. Did not see one member of that family.


We stopped off at the other Royal Hotel in Sofala. No Prince Philip there either!

So anyhoo we arrived in Hill End around 4 in the afternoon tired but keen to hit the swings WHEEEEEE. ‘Ceptin there were no swings. No swings. Nor were there hooly hoops and no chapel off the side of the hotel. We were devastated or “Devvo” as the younger ones amongst us said (That was no-one so no-one said it). “There’s beer youse lot. Foller me.” And so we followed Nige into the pub. The bartender was a friendly bloke and keen to make us welcome. “Hello fellas, what’s you’re pleasure?” Nige reached across the bar and grabbed him by the lapels pulling him roughly to within an inch of his snarling face. “Six Four X’s, big ones and right bloody now.” “Certainly. You must be Nige. I’ve heard of you.” without breaking his ear to ear grin at seeing six cashed-up and wifeless men enter his bar. We all sat down quietly as Cheerio Pete (something like that) brought over the drinks, being sure to give the first to Nige. ” I think you might have been a little unfair, even graunchy (pronounced: grawn-chee.) to Pete there Nige” Moey said. “What is it with you and that word. Everything’s bloody graunchy with you these days!! Find another word.” “Nah I like graunchy. It has a plethora of applications.” Moey happily replied, clearly proud of his word. “Yeah we like it too Nige” said Sideways, “Don’t we boys!!” “Oh absolutely,” “yes indeedy,” “truly glorious.” And so it remains. Moey’s favourite word.


Graunchy Yeah!!


“Sofala beer is pretty graunchy” Moey announced. “I’ll just grip my legs and grit my teeth and say nothing” Nige thought pensively.


After temporary release to take our bags up to the rooms we could see why the fifty or sixty dollars was so reasonable. Lucky had a queen size bed in a room about the size of a king size bed. The walls were papered with old newspapers but did have a hook for your jacket or for killing yourself if your stay was more than one night. Everybody else had the same except of course for Nige who scored two single beds. “This room is beneath my status” He mumbled and repeated most of the evening. Dinner, however, was magnificent and included in the price. Old style porterhouse steaks on mashed potatoes. Delicious and big. Our new friend Shannon hit the rooms first still recovering from a hip replacement only a few weeks earlier. He never whined once about it though. He, by the way, bought Nige’s old Ninja. Turns out it’s a very nice shiny black colour. I always thought it was a kind of mottled grey and brown with grass growing off the sides but there you are.


Lucky’s room.

Nige’s room. What royal ever slept here?

Breakfast was Fruit Loops and full cream milk, toast and tea etc. also included in the price. Headed home about 8.30 and almost got to Ilford when Sideways’ newish Yamaha Virago with a tank the size of a sippy-cup ran dry. Luckily we met a guy in Ilford who had fuel on hand but looked tired and bent from carrying armfuls of tattoos around. He rode a Rocket Three after spending many years on Harley Davistowns but had lost his licence several times on them and was proud to say that he had now gone almost eighteen months without having to go to court for various traffic violations. Sadly, he then admitted, he was off to court tomorrow and expected to go without his licence for another extended period. What you could ever do on a Harley to be fined is beyond me by the way. Maybe leaking oil all over the place or noise or littering various parking areas with them. Certainly not speeding. Anyway he was a nice fellow and wouldn’t accept any money for the fuel. We wished him good luck for his court appearance and headed on.


“This tank Sideways! Theres only one word to describe it and I think you know what that word is!”


The usual route took us back through the farmlands behind Jerrys Plains and nobody fell off. The sealants that were sprayed on the dirt section just before we arrived on the trip out, causing us to backtrack through Denman, was long gone and easy to navigate. Our goodbyes were held at Broke as Moey headed off home turning left at the servo. ” Graunchiest ride ever boys!! ” he shouted happily as he turned towards Cessnock. DD and Sideways decided to search for Sideway’s missing wallet which had already beaten him home. That left Nige and Lucky and our new friend Shannon to enjoy one last coffee at Jerrys. Then DD turned up as well. “Thought you were helping Sideways find his wallet” we all said. “Charity only goes so far boys and, instead, I prayed it would be found for him and returned to his letterbox.” A collective sense of goosebumps enveloped us all. Glorious.








We Love You Markeeeeee!!!!!!

And so it was raining. Nothing new about that. So there we were all draped in gladwrap. The MotoGp ride was on again and this time we headed west again for the first time ever to Bathurst and the Knickerbocker….again. Nige, Lucky, Mohawke, Sideways, and Black Santa. All with varying degrees of permission from wives. So much love in amongst the skinny cappucinos and butterscotch lates. “haven’t seen youse forever old chums” etc and other one-step-short-of-gender-confusion cuddles and we were off. Did I mention the rain? It rained. All the way to Bylong. Then it stopped. Then it got cold. We all shivered a bit and were pretty sooky by the time we stopped at Rylstone.

“Do something Black Santa” we all pleaded. ” This wevver is unpossible” said Lucky the Advanced English HSC teacher.

“Now fellas the good lord knows his business and it will turn out to be a dead set ripper of a day.” but Black Santa was wrong. It got a bit colder. “I love the rain, it invigorates me” said Sideways which surprised us all.

Sideways kickin it old school after a double mochachino.

Sideways kickin it old school after a double mochachino.

Anyway we finally made our way into Bathurst with all the usual confusion about which streets to take to get round the back of the pub. We’ve only been here about a thousand times. It’s like two turns.

Now, because we were all so cold 80% of the gang thought it a good idea to shower up and meet at the bar in twenny. Except for Nige, “Hey youse blokes I’m still the president heya and demand you drink heavily alongside me whilst I tell youse how I love Markeeeeee way more that any of youse. Youse can knock one over or whatever in the showers later. Don’t test me or there’s gonna be tahwubble”

Twenty minutes later, after a delightful shower, we returned to find Nige still berating us. “….. and I expect nuffing but honor and respect and obedience from youse all and did I mention how much I love Markeeeeeee way more than any of youse. Somebody buy me a XXXX Gold. Thanking youse!!!” Strangely, by this stage Nige was sitting apart from the other patrons who had gathered waaaaay over the other side of the bar area and seemed overly interested in their half-empty glasses and mumbling something about not making eye-contact with the ‘angry man’.


A bunch of what we assumed to be uni student girls were dressed up as pirates and some of them were wanting photos with them on top of a pyramid of gentlemen from around the bar. Now Lucky was not aware that pirates wore fish net stockings and asked Moey if they were real pirates, “Well Luckmeister, think about it, where would they park their pirate ship in Bathurst.” and Black Santa added, “They’re just brazen hussies Lucky. Don’t pay them no nevermind. I’m right aren’t I Sideways?” But Sideways and Moey were by now already forming the base of a pretty dodgy looking pyramid and Sideways was pushing for innovation so Moey had to sort him out. “You have to face downwards Bobby or the girls wont climb on”

It took some time and a bit of scrapping around for white tee shirts but we finally put together a pretty fair effort.

It took some time and a bit of scrapping around for white tee shirts but we finally put together a pretty fair effort. That’s Sideways in the pink. He’s really strong.

You know how Moey’s bike is really old right? We’ve talked about that in the past. Well his right side crankcase cover was metal on metal when he pulled it apart to check some kind of noise he was unsure of. “Last time I replaced my fiddliochronogizmeechain I’m sure I gave the mechanics at Chuckawaythegaskets in Newcastle a brand new gasket after they finished fitting the swazneebocker back on. Its a real mystery what they did with it.” So there he was sitting in the dirt at the back of the pub worrying what might become of him if old Fallapart couldn’t make the trip home. “Fellas we might have to go home through Lithgow and stay on the big road just in case the worst should happen” said Moey. Nige pointed out that, as per club policy subsection 12.7a “..All riders and especially Moey and his shitbox Kawasaki must travel on roads where no help at all is available and, wherever possible, be out of phone tower range” So no joy there for Moey. “Look old mate, if worst comes to worst one of us will double you home and send help back for whatever’s left of Ol’ Fallapart. How’s that?” Nige offered whilst we all giggled behind our hands. Except for DD who thought the offer was genuine. “So Lucky, are we going to share the responsibilies between us on who carries Brian and what about his luggage? Brian’s luggage lucky. How will we disperse it equally? I don’t want the part with his underpants in it!” Things were getting a bit out of control by this point so we all ate ice creams to calm down.

You know what Dave, when we get home I'm gonna install an ice cream holder on my handlebars and eat these wherever I go. And I'll get a blue one for the Klunker.

“You know what Dave, when we get home I’m gonna install an ice cream holder on my handlebars and eat these wherever I go. And I’ll get a blue one for the Klunker.”

Our usual ride around on Sunday just didn’t happen because it was too cold and there was only a slim hope that Moey might make it back anyway. Instead we went for a little wander around the town and discovered there was at least another road away from the Knickerbocker with shops on it. “Who’d have guessed this Nige?” said Lucky, “Why, we’re like Columbus or Captain Cook or…or.. or General Pants and other great explorers!” Lucky also teaches Senior History. Meanwhile Black Santa toddled off to church. “I think it was for the three free wishes you get there.” said Lucky the former Religion teacher. “That must be where they keep the Genie!!”

And the race was on. Because we had watched the earlier races and tried some new drinks or because we were all so concerned about Moey’s issues, tee hee, we didn’t have our usual bets on who would win and placegetters etc. Of course Nige was all “I’m the only one allowed to bet on Markeeeee because I love him so much.” and we were all, “Whatever you want Mr Atrill because we have nothing but respect for your position as club president.” (You know…until The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs stages another coup.) Markeeee fell off and Nige thought that was a real bummer, “That’s a real bummer” he said and switched off the set. We never found out who won.

I really love Markeee DD. He's my sweety and he will win for me.

“Markee didn’t win David. Select a random member of the club and kill him please.”

Monday Morning was nice. At the Knickerbocker, breakfast is included in the price. You have a wide selection to choose from but you only get the one meal the Polish lady cooks for you all. It’s a plate piled high with a potpourri of carnage: bacon, sausages, eggs, and other stuff. We tried for a variety of how to get the eggs cooked but no luck there either. Although she seemed friendly I think we were all a bit worried about ending up in the gulag so we just ate without complaint. Nige thought she was wonderful.

Lucky learns all meals are the same for morning, noon, and night.

Lucky had ordered Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon. Disappointed? I think so.

Despite Moey’s misgivings we made it safely back to Gerry’s for some awkward man-love moments and a nice coffee. I don’t know if Moey actually made it all the way home from there but ah well.


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So Whose Really Running This Show? A Lazy one to Rylstone.

Controversial? Certainly, but with a decreasing number of weekend rides and some distances between overnighters there was always going to be trouble. When Lucky called for troops for a lazy ride out to Rylstone hands went up everywhere to join in. A new rider was invited along and, rather than wait for a club name to be initiated, proclaimed himself “Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs”No hang on ……Sorry, that should read “THE Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs.” Lucky had already aligned himself to The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs and expected a ground swell of support to challenge Nige somewhere out west.

So anyhoo we all met at the usual place: Nige, Mohawk, Killswitch, Sideways, Black Santa, Lucky, Grizzly, and The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs. Black Santa was still riding his old red bucket of bolts and was first to extend his hand in friendship, “Good morning Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs it looks like a glorious day for a ride” “Ahem” interjected Lucky, “I think you mean THE Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs don’t you Black Santa?” ‘Oh yes, yes of course. Please beg my pardon The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs. Its absolutely glorious to meet you.”

The Supreme Ruler of the Universe. An imposing figure.

The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs. An imposing figure.

With hugs and kisses attended to, the group (Still Niges at this point) headed out. Fuel at Broke then on past the farms out the back of Denman and then The Commercial hotel at Rylstone. Accomodation at $55 per night for a single room was good. Mind you all the rooms we were given had more than one bed in them and the shared facilities were good. Must remember to bring your own soap to this one because they have shower gels in the showers but these can be tricky I think. Plus I like to choose my own scent, dont you?

Nige looking presidential with The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs formulating plans.

Nige looking presidential with The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs formulating plans.

Well the beers flowed freely that afternoon and night with everyone blessing each other and more hugs and promises of friendships forever etc etc. Then Nige excused himself to go and rip one off or tear one out or hit one out of the park or whatever it is he does when he’s alone. Maybe it was just a wee, dunno, but it gave Lucky time to propose a bloodless coup. “C’mon fellas, Nige has been a great leader and we all love the little cutie pie but isn’t it time for change? What about you Johnny, are you with us?” But Killswitch remained neutral which didn’t help the cause much. “Moey, you in?  “Yeah, nail his arse to the wall!!” Said Mohawk. ” Kill him till his dead” Shouted Grizzly. “Hail The Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Hail!!” So some enthusiasm from Grizzly. Sideways ran outside to set fire to Nige’s Klunker but remembered he had no matches and returned crestfallen but the thought was there so that was nice. DD called for calm and suggested we pray on it because it was a big decision to make even though The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs really did look the duck’s nuts and seemed “An absolute ripper of a bloke”.

Then Nige came back and shouted us a beer and the coup was forgotten. Grizzly and The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs both agreed that, despite the failed coup, their first overnight ride with the Niges (if you don’t count the Klunker ride out to Grizzly’s farm) was good fun.

Nige returns to find himself still the president.

Nige returns to find himself still the president. Note the false smile from The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs.


A good night’s sleep and breakfast up the road at some la de da antiques cafe. Right next door to Rylstone “Guns and Ammmo” shop. Priceless. So off we went for the trip home. A quick stop at Broke, a longer stop at Jerry’s where Lucky and The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs discussed future possibilities.

The Supreme Ruler of the Universe leaving the Commercial Hotel. Biding his time.

The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs leaving the Commercial Hotel. Biding his time.


All up a good ride with plenty o’ controversy. Nige possibly considering whether to accept The Supreme Ruler of the Universe and its Environs is a suitable name for the newbie. I thought he was muttering something like Fairy Dust as a possible alternative but can’t be sure.

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Bathurst MotoGP

Planned ride to the Knickerbocker in Bathurst for this years Australian MotoGP. 18th, 19th & 20th October

Saturday kickoff, 8:00am at Tuggerah Maccas for a 9am start. Broke, Bylong Valley Way, Sofala etc.

Sunday am ride before the races (all 3 classes on TV)

Monday, ride the reverse home.

Let Lucky know if you are interested or leave a comment here.


North Coast

Madge and I packed our winter woolies, donned multiple layers and headed north.

First stop was Gloucester where a hot drink at The Roadwarriors Cafe was useful in warming the cockles of the heart.


Onward and upwards to the lookout


before arriving in Walcha where it wasn’t very cold overnight at all.


The next morning after the bike thawed out, we headed for Casino and some lunch in town at the bakery.


We pushed on with a full stomach towards Bangalow and stopped for a bit of a squiz.


Back on the bike and on to Byron Bay and our accommodation for a couple of days.


Off to the Beachie for dinner and a few ales.


The next day was an opportunity to tick a few Tommy Tourist boxes.


One of the extremities ticked off.


On the tortuous path up to the lighthouse.


Having some yuppie coffees.

Off to Nimbin via Minyon Falls and The Channon on some terrific roads.


They didn’t have to tell us twice 😉


Surely we can fit even more stuff on the GS?


We were offered drugs here.


Best view in town of baggies and cookies. Put the camera away.

Gotta put this cliche photo in.

Out to Kyogle where there was a million bikes for some reason. Couldn’t find out what the ride was. South to Casino and Grafton to end up at Coffs Harbour.


The shopping trolley at Coffs motel.


Continued to Bellingen and the Old Butter Factory where some more goods were added to the bike.


Really impressive building inside and out. Emporiums are rare.


Ebor Falls on the way to Bendemeer via Dorrigo and Armidale. It was coooooooling down.


Spent the night at Bendemeer Pub with a few ales to keep us warm but woke up the next morning to an ice covered landscape shrouded in fog.

Waited around for it to warm above zero and decided not to risk heading back towards Walcha and Gloucester. The warning lights on the Beemer were going ballistic.


Eventually went down the New England to Tamworth where the fog quickly lifted and the world turned a warmer place thankfully.

Sidetrack to Gresford to check out a campground and then home.



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Ride this Sunday 27July

Forget the Ulysses boys, Niges ride again!!! I’m so pumped for a ride down the Putty to the Greygums I don’t know where to begin. Perhaps Tuggerah at 8.30 and leave at 9. All welcome.

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