Memorial Ride 2016


Well-Known Member
On the 14th September 2011, a good friend of mine found his life too hard to continue with and he committed suicide. We had just spent a relaxing and enjoyable weekend away with a couple of other friends at Silverton, NSW having ridden to Broken Hill on the Friday night. Apart from a reluctance for the weekend to finish, there were no signs of his intentions.

Each year, a group of us revisit that weekend on its anniversary. I am the last that still rides as the others all cage it now.
This weekend always conflicts with the IBA Memorial ride for Davo but I always choose to remember my mate by retracing our ride. This year, I changed it slightly by participating in the IBA Memorial ride as well by doing a SS1600K in Memory of Dereck.

The week leading up to the ride was tiring at work and it seemed that even getting to bed early was not helping. The Friday arrived and I left work mid-morning to get the camper ready and grab some sleep before pulling the overnighter. It is really a strange feeling to be both tired and unable to sleep. I really should have cancelled the Memorial Ride and just ride to Broken Hill on the Saturday but I felt that I should harden up and complete this first Memorial Ride for Dereck.

I left the Shell at Swan Hill feeling OK! (17:33 75073klm) I travelled North to Nyah and then turned West towards Chinkapook which was the location where the ABC tried to keep Countdown relevant with their live show format in the 90’s. I took this shot of the sunset along this road.

Through Chinkapook and the further West on the back road to Mittyack. Then turn left and start heading North to Red Cliffs. Dusk turned to night but I was lucky because there was still no rain around me. Just before Red Cliffs, I turned west again out to Werrimull and then north to Lake Cullulleraine. This route is the way favoured by Google map and does cut out all the traffic of Mildura. However, on the Sturt Hwy heading West, all the traffic reappeared. I behaved myself across the Border and through the check station.

I fuelled at the BP Remark (21:01 local 75436klm) next to Maccas because I felt the need for a coffee. I checked the radar and it looked like I may ride into some rain. Rain doesn’t bug me as much as it used to as the KLIM negates the need to put on wets for protection. This next section of road was all new to me as I never travel to Adelaide this way. The towns of Blanchetown and Truro came and went with no real interest except that it bucketed down in both towns.

I joined the A1 near Virginia feeling a little frazzled. Although I was aware and alert, I was tired. More tired than I should have been for that amount of riding. I filled up at the BP (23:44 local 75687klm ) opposite the CAT dealership at Cavan. I looked longingly at the 24 hour motel at Gepps Crossing. I had stayed there more than a few times, always checking in after midnight. I travelled through the suburbs of Adelaide and onto the M1 at Glen Osmond. I was raced up the hill by an old Volvo sports car. It had good acceleration but no top speed. There was a bit of misting rain through to the Monarto turnoff. After Tailem Bend, it was a left turn again to head East. Mother Nature had been tapping me in the groin for a while but as I turned left, she positively was screaming so I pulled over to the side of the road and relieved myself. It is a surreal feeling standing out in the night air in what is really a public space. Or it would be if it wasn’t just a couple of hours past midnight.

I rode through the twisties before Lamaroo but missed a couple of lines. I was tired and I promised myself some time off the bike at Pinnaroo. This ride was hard! I stayed in Pinnaroo (2:43 local 75947klm) for 20 minutes, having another coffee and an iced doughnut. Not the best of tucker?

The last stretch back to Swan Hill would see me finish the extra part of the ride and I was going to pick up my camper at home before riding to Broken Hill. I had a theme going so I filled at the BP in Swan Hill. (6:15 76228klm). I then rode the extra 18klm to home and after nearly laying the bike over in the soft ground out the front, I hooked up the camper. I went inside to get changed and grab a witness form to prove my stop and thought “I can just rest my eyes for a moment while I sit in the chair”. Not five minutes had passed and the missus walks into the lounge and yells at me to wake up. No rest here! I left home again at 7:45 with a full stomach and the camper to head north. The sun was up and it looked like a pretty good day.

The ride to Mildura soon passed and I called in at Ron’s place (Grey Gentry) to drop off some parts from the camper for him. He and Marls were on their own ride. As I was riding to Wentworth, it started to rain again but within a minute it was past. The radio was saying scattered showers. It rained again at Wentworth where I filled up again. (10:42 76488klm) Now there was only the ride to Broken Hill to finish the ride and then out to Silverton to enjoy the night. I encountered weather in one of its more obscure guises along here. On the road, I encountered a slight mist, while in the paddock beside the road, rain was bucketing down not 200 metres away. I should have stopped to take a photo but I didn’t want to tempt fate. I said hello to a few goats and emus as I passed and then pulled up for a photo opportunity just on the outskirts of Broken Hill.

I pulled in to the Caltex (12:57 Local 76760klm) at Broken Hill for the end of my ride and my last docket and witness form.

Tired but happy that I had memorialised Dereck the way I had and in memory of all the other fallen riders I had known. The night went well and I managed to finally go to bed at about 9:30pm after about 29 plus hours. ( I don’t count the chair as the missus woke me before I got any benefit)
What happens in Silverton, stays in Silverton but I did stop to take this photo on the way home.

I didn’t contribute to it!!

This was an interesting shot on the Annuello road. If you have good ground, you use all of it.

This arrived this morning in the mail.