Sofala day ride: Saturday 24 May 2014 by Geoff Le Raye
The day dawned clear and mild, good weather for a run up through the hills. I arrived at the Information Centre meeting place, to be met by a few leaves blowing around a deserted parking area. By 9am departure time we had Mark on his ER-6, Peter (fairly new member on a Cali), his mate Richard on a Yamaha and myself on the Stelvio.
We waited till 9:15 and decided that was all that were coming, so what do we do now? We decided to head up to Lithgow and see what we thought from there. The police presence was obvious, so the run up Bells was “restrained”. At Lithgow we decided to press on up the Mudgee road to Capertee for a coffee stop and consider our options again. The café had a sign saying “service here depends on my mood and your attitude”. We were on best behaviour and managed to get a coffee.
While we were there, Mark spotted a V7 Racer pull up on the other side of the road and went to investigate and in the process, met Stuart from Canberra. Stuart has been a financial club member for a couple of years, but has never actually made contact before. He decided today was the day and it should be easy to spot a large group of Guzzi’s on the road. He had seen Peter in Lithgow, but decided a single Guzzi couldn’t be a club run, so he cruised around till he decided to pull over in Capertee for a break (pure luck that we managed to link up). Then we were five!
Capertee coffee break: Mark, Geoff, Pete (with Cali), Stuart
At this point, Richard announced he had other obligations that evening, so he and Peter were going to head south again. Then we were three! What to do now? Mark suggested Kandos and the local coffee shop/motorcycle museum. The road became more interesting (it made the V7 buck a couple of times), but we managed a more enjoyable pace. Mark was in the lead and discovered the joys of following too close to a livestock transport. The bike and leathers will need a wash when he gets home. More coffee in Kandos and a good chat with the owner. We didn’t do the museum as it is more for the HD enthusiast.
KANDOS coffee break: Mark, Geoff (with Stelvio), Stuart
What to do now? Well, Sofala isn’t that far away, the road has been fun in this area, and it was the intended destination anyway. When we arrived, the streets were full of SES vehicles but nobody panicking, so there must have been an exercise on. We took a couple of pictures in the main street to prove we were there and then headed for Bathurst.
Main street, Sofala: Mark, Stuart (with V7)
Despite the disorganisation, we had managed to fill in the day and it was already mid-afternoon. The BP at Kelso was obviously the place to refuel as there was a steady stream of bikes in and out while we were there. Stuart decided to head toward Oberon and start making his way back to Canberra. My day-release didn’t have too much time left, so it was Lithgow and Bells road again for me. Mark decided to go with Stuart as far as Oberon for another coffee (he won’t sleep for a week) before he too aimed for Sydney.
Police were still doing a roaring trade on Bells, fortunately there were only cars being booked that I saw. It was enough to keep things circumspect and uneventful.
It was a great day run while we were on the other side of Lithgow. See you next time.
PS: I found out during the week why so few people came on this run. It turns out the club calendar had Saturdays date, but the intended day was Sunday. At least there were enough of us to make a day of it, and we managed to catch up with Peter and Stuart and not leave them feeling abandoned.
Looking forward to seeing Sundays ride report