Monday, 22 April 2013

Ulysses AGM in Maryborough – 2013

Camping at Maryborough Showgronds.
By lunch time on Monday 15th April we were riding around the AGM village in Maryborough looking for a suitable place to pitch our tent. We were looking for some high ground, but we needn’t have worried as someone cleverly arranged for the onset of the dry season to coincide with the start of the AGM. Eventually we settled on a position amongst some friendly trikers from Innisfail.

On Monday night we introduced ourselves to the Piazza, a licensed meeting place which holds 1200 people seated at tables of eight. Live music played, every night, from 7:30pm till late and you could dine on anything from Mexican fair to sweet pancakes depending on your fancy. We found the Warnbro Sound Wanderers crew and it was wonderful to see a familiar face again.

The AGM is a great place for bikers to hang out for a week. On Wednesday, while Devil (my F650GS) was still sleeping, I sneaked off to test ride the new BMW F700GS. I must admit that the new machine was a little lighter and more nimble under foot but I didn’t tell Devil. When I arrived back at camp Devil was still sleeping and she knows nothing of my infidelities.

Collection of Douglas motorcycles.
On Friday we joined a group ride out to Biggenden to see a private collection of Douglas motorcycles. It would be an understatement to suggest that owner Alan Cunningham is a collector. For a small fee, which all goes to charity, we were allowed to wander around and enjoy the eclectic mix of motorcycles, old cars and farm equipment. Afterwards we were treated to some good old Queensland hospitality at the local pub, which served home-style meals at very affordable prices. On the way home we broke the journey with an ice-cream at Childers. Unfortunately I missed the rider briefing outside the ice creamery. Apparently Jack, our ride leader, arranged with the other riders in the group to show them the way back to Hervey Bay. I didn’t know this and, as second man, I marked the corner, waited for everyone to ride on by, saw Tail End Charlie in my rear view mirror and then I took off, like a woman possessed, after the others. I hadn’t realised that I was supposed to go straight on. Steve was Tail End Charlie and he was riding on one wheel at times trying to catch me.

Warnbro Sound Wanderers at dinner.
Friday night’s dinner in the Hoecker was great, especially for those who brought along their head torches as the portable toilets had no lighting. This situation provided a bit of amusement and it was nearly a shame that by 8pm a floodlight had been delivered and we could see what we were doing again. For Saturday night’s dinner the toilets were moved to the other side of the Hoecker where the lights were so bright you needed sunglasses.

Grand Parade Maryborough.
Saturday’s grand parade was wonderful. The assembly point, for the 1300 bikes, was orderly and organised. The ride into town brought tears to my eyes as I acknowledged the locals who lined the streets and avenues along the way. So humble was the hospitality offered to us in Maryborough that one lady held up a sign which read “thank you for coming.” I could have wept inside my helmet, but I managed to hold back the tears and concentre on the bikes in front. On Saturday afternoon Steve and I attended the AGM meeting and then we went back to camp to socialise in the Hoecker once more.

The week spent messing about with bikes had been so much fun that while we were packing up our tent my thoughts turned to the AGM in Alice Springs in 2014; tempted.

Red Devil and me enjoying the Grand Parade Maryborough.

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