The OTHER Great Victorian Bike Ride Day 1

A retrospective. This ride report goes back to November, 2011. But well worth recording.

Yes, that annual event, the Great Victorian Bike Ride starts next week (we are in Nov 2011 remember), but TLA and I are going to do our own motorised two-wheeled version.
And while the cyclists are heading west and north, we’re heading east and north.
TLA will be on the magnificent, bling-laden red 300 and me on my Honda. My Vespa PX has carby issues so was never really in contention for the trip. (Carby problems solved the day we left).
It’s planned to be 10 days to two weeks, depending on how we go and the weather.
A rough itinerary is Yarra Valley to Mansfield, Beechworth, Wodonga, Bright, Great Alpine Rd, Omeo, Lakes Entrance, back to Melbourne through Gippsland. First destination is Healesville which was meant to be a stop for the Cold Chisel Day On The Green concert. But instead, we spent the night in the bar of the Healesville Hotel as it was p-p-p-pouring down out there. We pulled the pin on the concert. Didn’t fancy trying to get bikes in and out of a wet paddock, especially late at night. Stayed at the excellent Tuck Inn in town.

healesville Day 1

Anyway, before all that TLA actually made a head start, the prologue if you like, to Lancefield for a work thing on Friday. She overcame geographic shortcomings to reach the destination on her own. Two right turns from Kensington to Lancefield!
I joined her there the following lunchtime and we headed cross-country (not literally) to Healesville. Had a great run, rain-free, just beautiful country, even with dark grey clouds looming large over us. Through Kilmore, Wandong, Whittlesea, Kinglake and
down the Melba Hwy. Sensational.

Can’t wait for the many roads ahead. Victoria, brace yourself. We’re ready.

The real start. Look! New bikes!


Many relationships start with enthusiasm and passion. You throw yourself headlong into a new experience, dizzy with all manner of new emotions and raw adrenaline coursing through your veins.

And so it was. And so to the start in 2010. Where the first romance bloomed. A 2009 red Vespa 125s and a Hyosung GT250.



Enthusiastic and passionate, the first trip was to Campbells Cove, on Port Philip’s western shores, on a cool, grey day in June. We were surrounded by little beach houses, but not as glamorous as it might sound. An abiding memory was the smell of fertiliser, cabbages and onions from the nearby Werribee market gardens.

Promises of taking it slowly were cast aside when both of us opened up the bikes to high speed.
But overall, I think the smiles say a lot.
And look at all that shiny, new gear!

It’s only the beginning

This is just the beginning. Although the real start goes back three years, to 2010. But we’ll get to that soon.

This blog is about a red Vespa and a motorcycle. It will document their romance. Time spent together. Special time.

And a bit about the people who ride them. (Perhaps it’s my life as a navigator and as the rider of a support bike – three so far – for an amazing red Vespa – two so far.)

It’s travels and tales around country Victoria in the endless quest for good coffee, good food and great roads to ride. And the people and the sights along the way.
From Kinglake to Wodonga, from Port Fairy to Bairnsdale.

It’s about motorcycles and scooters. (It actually doesn’t matter what you ride.) And the sheer joy of riding.

That feeling of being at one with your bike. Your own world. Nothing else matters.

It’s about getting to the end of the ride, ripping off your helmet and saying: “Wow! Just wow.”