From the Blog

Happy New Year

Kangaroo Valley. Photo by Peter McGinnes

Yesterday a good motorcycling friend invited me on a ride that he and his mates had planned. Nothing fancy, just a run up the Pass to Kangaroo Valley, brekkie at his favourite eatery and back home again before it got too hot. It all sounded just too good to say no, so I didn’t.

At the appointed time we gathered at the servo and got ready to go. A very mixed bag of bikes and an eclectic group of riders as well. There was Peter on his F800GS BMW, an early 00’s Honda Firestorm, a big KTM tourer, my VFR and James on his much-modded Harley (equipped with a hot-rod Screaming Eagle engine, USD forks, twin front disks and a heap of other modifications.) Jim was supposed to join us as well but he slept in and met up with us at the cafe, better late than never. He was on an R1200 Beemer.

Unsurprisingly since the most of Wollongong’s residents hadn’t even got UP yet, let alone shaken off the NYE hangover, we had the roads substantially to ourselves. It was a good thing we set out early, too, because by the time we got to the Valley, the temperature was already over 30. When I pulled in I noted with great delight that the boys had stopped outside “Maddison’s In the Valley” also MY favourite cafe in the Valley and, better yet, it was open. We ordered and filed through to the cool peoples’ table on the back verandah and enjoyed an hour or so of coffee, breakfast and a wide-ranging discussion of all things motorcycling (otherwise known as bench racing).

Amongst the subjects discussed was our memories of Maxie Pinch, our mutual mate who died in a motorcycle accident in the valley over 8 years ago. Maxie’s death affected me very deeply not only because he was a friend and a rider who I greatly respected but because his accident was only a few weeks after my head-on on the Pass in 2010. I told Peter that our friends at the Robertson Pie Shop were planning to install a memorial plaque for Maxie as well as one for Mick McCarthy and Peter told me that there was already a memorial plaque for Max at the spot where he had died. I didn’t know this so, before we headed home, we rode on to the bottom of Cambewarra Mountain and stopped to pay our respects.

I have ridden past this spot dozens and dozens of time in the last 8 years and never noticed the marker so I was very grateful to Peter for pointing it out to me.

We opted to head back home the way we came so we did a U turn when it was safe and headed back up the mountain. We stopped at TFRPS and said our farewells as the guys were heading home and I wanted to stay to discuss some business with Will. Lots of cars in the car park but only a couple of bikes, Nigellated again.

Home by 1130, a very nice way to see in the New Year. It only remains for me to wish you, my readers a Happy New Year, to thank you for your continued support and hope that 2019 brings you peace, joy and contentment.