4am is a usual start time for me when I ride so today wasn’t a problem. The destination for today was Hervey Bay, only 1100ks’ or so from home. The shortest route would have been up the Pacific and Bruce Highways, bugger that!
The first stop was for fuel and breakfast in Tamworth with Karl (Skidoo) who left Dubbo around the same time I left Newy. I was there a little earlier than expected so I fuelled up and took a picture of an icon before heading to McDonalds.
Karl wasn’t too far behind and our matching Bumble Bees looked good in the carpark while we McMuffin’d and Chai’d.
We didn’t have a real plan to get to Hervey Bay, we just wanted to be there by dinner time and not spend too much time on highways. So from Tamworth we went out to Manilla and up through Barraba, Bingara to Warialda. Great country and great weather for a ride. At Warialda we turned left off the Gwydir Hwy on to Warialda Rd and kept heading towards the … roadwork
and then some more
Before crossing the Queensland Border at Texas.
We got fuel at Texas an I was feeling peckish so a ham, cheese, tomato toastie was in order. The day had also warmed up do delayering was also required. Karl took the lead navigating to the next intended fuel stop at Nanango QLD using his beta testing TomTom. My Garmin was screaming blue murder at the route the TomTom took but we got to Nanango anyway via Pittworth, Cooyar and Maidenwell.
We were making pretty good time too, until this. At least 15 minutes in the rising heat and humidity. We got off the bikes and had a bit of a wander around and took a few arthouse pics.
From there it was a shortish trip to Hervey Bay where we found our room at the Mantra and said g’day to Clubby, Clive and a bunch of Tragics who had already arrived. Dinner at the club just down the road and the evening brought a great view of the waterfront.
The next day Tragics who had arrived could avail themselves of some adventure riding instruction from Stephen Gall. But first a spectacular morning view from our room at the Mantra.
About 28 riders showed up for the 5 or 6 hours training. It was warm and humid but Stephen always manages to teach me things I don’t yet know about riding off road. It was well worth the time to do it. Here he is “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you Wom. Grip the bike with your knees.”
After the training and some lunch we gathered for the group photo outside the local club that was hosting the Welcome Dinner and Rocket Rod Faggotter rode up on the Tenere 700 Prototype to whet our appetites on the much anticipated production model that many of us hope to see released in our lifetime. C’mon Yamaha, get it done! It was great to see this bike and have Rob talk about his recent Dakar experience over dinner.
Tomorrow the ride starts.