Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Ride to Busselton Odyssey 2014

Loaded to capacity, Red Devil (my BMW F650GS) and Red Dwarf (Steve’s BMW R1200GS) pulled out of our driveway early on a glorious spring morning. Before the first roundabout I had a bee splatter across the face of my visor to remind us that it was the time of year when bees and bugs are on the move. Steve chose a red light on the freeway entrance to adjust the suspension setting on the big GS. When the light turned green Dwarf wasn't ready to go and I sighed loudly inside my helmet.

Frankland River, Muir Highway.
We were soon free from the bustle of freeway traffic and as we cruised up the hill to Dwellingup I felt a gentle calm begin to settle the senses. There were a dozen bikers enjoying breakfast at the town cafe but I didn't look up to see who noticed my over revving engine as I struggled with a hill start under the weight of Devils pay load.

The Lower Hotham Road beckoned and we rode onwards through the fields and the lanes. At one point I was delighted with a fragrance so sweet I looked for the "cellar door sales" but there was none.
The strong northerly breeze had fetched small branches from the trees and we kept a good lookout as we rode along. We stopped for tea in Darkan and then we rode on, finding our way along these quiet country roads until we were spat out onto the highway about five kilometres north of Kojonup town bakery.

After devouring a chocolate ├ęclair the size of a riding boot, we took a moment to clean the bugs from our visors before saddling up once more. The highway ride south to Mt Barker gave me a chance to check on Devil's fuel economy and sure enough she was enjoying the strong northerly wind. By midafternoon the bikes were taking a well earned rest and we were drinking tea at our weekender at Porongurup.

Kombana Bay Caravan Park, Bunbury.
We spent three relaxing days hiding from the rain by day and enjoying the warmth of the pot belly stove by night. With the weather closing in it was hard to leave the comfort of the cabin for life on the road with just the bikes and our little tent. We hoped to spend a couple of nights at Margaret River before heading to Busselton for the 2014 Odyssey but by the time we rode into Manjimup a grey mist had settled on the town and showed no sign of clearing. We walked out of the town bakery wearing full wet weather gear and started riding north. Riding in the rain isn't a problem once you're fully kitted up, it's the indecision of whether to wear the wet weather gear that's tiring. Camping in the rain is more of a challenge, especially in a small tent, so we decided to ride on until we found some fairer weather. There are dry town and wet towns, sometimes only a few kilometres apart. The rain was still with us as we rode into Bridgetown, so we kept riding northwards until we reached Bunbury. We made camp at Koombana Bay Caravan Park and wined and dined our way along the cafe strip until it was time to head to Busselton for the Odyssey.

I seem to make a habit of attracting police cars when I'm riding my motorcycle and one hopped onto my back wheel as we rode out of Bunbury. This guy followed me from one speed limit change to another on the road to Donnybrook. Devil and I were meticulous with the speed we were making because we both knew that one false move and we'd be slapped with double demerit points and a whopping fine as it was the start of a long weekend. We didn't shake off this dude until we settled on 100km/h in a 110km zone; that got rid of him.

All apple pie lovers should stop at the Apple Pie bakery in Donnybrook and treat themselves to a high-top apple pie made with fresh apples. These pies are so big that even Steve couldn't manage to eat two. Donnybrook was our last stop before making our way to Busselton for the Odyssey. We are home now, the Odyssey weekend was great and we are looking for an excuse to ride to Donnybrook again.
Canal Rocks, 2014 Ulysses Odyssey, group ride.