1998 ANZAC Day Walcha Ride


Report

Just a brief note to inform you about the Anzac weekend ride.

All but one rider fronted making a total of 39 bikes that started, Tragically after only 45 minutes one of our group and his pillion wife collided head on with a large tip truck and were killed instantly. They were Glenn and Monique Richards from Mount Hutton, a Newcastle suburb, riding a VFR750. Those who were close to Glenn and Monique were obviously too distressed to continue on with the ride and turned back for home leaving about 20 riders who decided to continued on to Walcha.

Their company will be sadly missed on future rides.

 

Barry Bonning

KLX650

bbonning@ozemail.com.au


Highlights

 

Inside

  1. Where to meet, what to bring, where you’re staying.
  2. Who’s going?
  3. How To get to Walcha

The Walcha Gazette

ANZAC weekend ride approaches

The time has come to strap on the gearsack , dust off the touring leathers and pull out the maps of the Oxley Highway.

The response to this weekend ride has been overwhelming. Hopefully the weather will be fine and everyone will enjoy the two days.

What the experts say.

For those who haven’t experienced the Oxley Highway, here is an passage from the 1997 Two Wheels Touring Guide on an article written by Mick Matheson specifically about the Oxley Highway.

‘No list of good roads in NSW would be complete without the Oxley, especially the good bit between Wauchope and Walcha.. I’ve never bothered counting the corners or measuring the miles but there’s something like 65km of constantly winding road up there. Absolute bliss. At either end all of these corners are long, open sections to be enjoyed at any pace. I haven’t found a bike that wasn’t fun over the Oxley because the road’s just such fun. The Oxley is one of the best roads Australia boasts - no small praise if you think how many great roads we’ve got. Give it a go whenever you’re in the area.’

 

 

Where do we meet?

Everyone attending (see attached spreadsheet) should meet at the Hexham Macdonalds rear carpark at 7:30am. All riders shall be leaving at 8:00am sharp. Please park together at the rear Macdonalds carpark for a group photo. This will be the best opportunity for a photo as it will probably be the only time all bikes will be together. It will be wise to fill up with petrol before you reach Hexham Macca’s as this will prevent others waiting for you (there is a Shell Service Station next door to Macca’s).

 

Where do we go from Hexham?

At 8:00am sharp all riders will depart from Hexham Macca’s and travel north to Gloucester for our first main stop. This involves riding up the Pacific Highway through Raymond Terrace to the turn off for Gloucester. This road is known as the Bucketts way. The attached map shows the way we intend to travel to Walcha. Some riders will stop at this turn off to wait for the rest of the group (or their slow husbands), but most riders will continue to Gloucester where they will stretch their legs and wait for the rest of the group. Note that it is not compulsory for riders to stop and wait for the others - you may travel straight to Walcha if you like.

 

Where to from Gloucester?

Gloucester is a leg stretch stop only - don’t get settled in, there is a long way to go (see approximate program). As shown on the map, the group will continue to Taree where it would be wise to stop again to wait briefly for the rest of the group. Having ridden approximately 200kms, most riders may wish to refuel. There are service stations in the main street of Taree ( turn right just after going over the main bridge). This would be a good spot as any to wait for the rest of the group and refresh - but again - this is not a long stop. Alternatively you may wish to fuel up at Gloucester and continue over the Taree bypass straight on to Wauchope, just let someone know of your intentions.

 

What about lunch?

As per approximate program, it will be around 11:00am when everyone hits Taree. There is a Macdonalds on the outskirts of town if you’re really hungry, but it would be best if everyone pushed on another 75kms to Wauchope for lunch. It is anticipated that we will reach Wauchope at 12:00 midday. Here we should stop for lunch and RE-FUEL. It is important to refuel here as it is 159kms to Walcha. The only fuel stop between Wauchope and Walcha is Gingers Creek.

 

What’s after Wauchope?

If you haven’t ridden the Oxley Highway between Wauchope and Walcha ……..…… prepare to be thrilled.

If you have ridden between Wauchope and Walcha …………. welcome back to heaven.

 

Okay, once everybody leaves Wauchope - you’re on your own. Nobody is going to care who’s behind them, nobody is going to stop and wait for the others, nobody is going to take time to smell the roses. The ride is too good. You can’t go wrong though as the road goes straight to Walcha. For those who do wish to stop and have a rest, there is a shop and fuel stop at Gingers Creek which is located halfway between Wauchope and Walcha. Take your own pace and turn up to Walcha when you want.

 

Hello Walcha.

You’ve made it to Walcha - thank goodness. You have just traveled 431kms since 8:00am in the morning ( approx. 600kms or more for our Sydney partners). All you want to do is get your room and have a beer. WAIT. I am not sure what time the petrol station opens in the morning and it would be wise to refuel before you get to the hotel. There is a service station on your left hand side as you enter Walcha. Across the road on your right is the New England Hotel…HOME. Fill up your bike, ride it around the back of the pub and go in and get your room.

 

What room am I in?

The publican, Kevin, will have a list of all riders and their room numbers. Go and see Kevin and pay your money up front (he’s a nice guy so don’t give him a hard time). The cost currently stands at $15 per head but this will depend on the final number of people staying. The list that Kevin is using is attached with this newsletter. If these numbers drop for any reason, the price will go up. I have been given assurance by everyone that they will attend RAIN, HAIL or SHINE. If you don’t attend, then others will have to pay for you (not nice).

 

What’s for Dinner and Breaky?

The hotel has a decent Chinese restaurant located downstairs at the side of the pub. Because of our numbers, the function room upstairs will be available for us (there is a bar up there too). I have not guaranteed how many will have Chinese food but I assured him that quite a few will eat. (it was very good last time). The restaurant will be open around 7:30pm. I don’t know how they intend to do this as yet ( menu, smorgasbord???). You will have to wait and see.

Breakfast can be ordered at the pub if you want a cold breakfast ( toast, cereal, fruit). The pub can also arrange a hot breakfast if you want. The order it from the takeaway across the road for you. Last time we had sausages, eggs and bacon from the takeaway shop. Alternatively, you can take your own breaky - the eight pack single serve cereals are a good idea - just make sure you have some milk.

 

What time will we leave on Sunday?

Obviously you can leave when you want, especially if you’ve had a big night. but I do suggest that everyone be ready to leave by 8:30am (Note: if you are having a cooked breaky up the road, it will take a while to cook it - allow 30 mins to order and eat it - more if it is crowded).

The group will head back to Wauchope - back down that awful road. Most people refuel here again at Wauchope - besides, you will want to stretch your legs anyway. There is a Service Station on your right as you have entered Wauchope. From here we will head off to Taree. By this time we have travelled a fair way and will want to go straight home. Most of us will go back home down the Pacific Highway to Buladelah where it would be a good spot for lunch at the Mobil or Shell Roadhouse. Please yourself - you can go straight through if you want. Buladelah will be the last recognised stop. Drop in here to say good bye if you wish. Everyone will go their own way home from here.

 

Where is the next ride?

Anyone heard of Kangaroo Valley - stay tuned and ask to be put on the mailing list.

 

PLEASE NOTE

There will be a large range of riders participating in this ride. They will range from learners on 250’s to boy racers like myself. Please be aware of riders that may not have the experience of yourself and give them fair warning and space when over taking them. Remember we were all novices at one time.

Do not ride up too close behind someone’s rear wheel, it makes the leading rider think they have to go faster than they are capable of.

Go at your own pace - the leading riders will wait for you at any major turn offs. Don’t forget you will have a map to get you to Walcha. A support vehicle will also be available at Wauchope in case the unthinkable happens.

It might be quite cold up in the New England area so make sure you are prepared with the appropriate warm clothing as well as your wet weather gear.

 

 

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS WITH ROOM ALLOCATIONS

 

Number

Name

Bike

Room

Confirmed

Room

Doubles

Singles

Booked

1

Monkey

VFR750

1

Y

MR 1

1

1

Shayn

2

Smelly

VFR750

1

Y

MR 2

1

1

Shayn

3

Penny

GPX250

2

Y

MR 3

1

1

Shayn

4

Trish

RF600

2

Y

MR 4

1

2

Shayn

5

Dave

VFR750

2

Y

MR 5

3

Shayn

6

Krys

GPX250

3

Y

MR 6

3

Shayn

7

Lance

GSXF750

3

Y

MR 7

1

2

Shayn

8

Doug

ZZR250

3

Y

MR 8

1

2

Shayn

9

Catie

CBR400

4

Y

MR 9

1

1

Shayn

10

Nod

GPX750

4

Y

MR 10

1

1

Grant

11

Shayn

VFR750

4

Y

HR 1

2

Shayn

12

Dazza

VTR1000

4

Y

HR 8

1

Shayn

13

Adam

VFR750

5

Y

HR 9

2

Shayn

14

Adam

ZX6

5

Y

HR 11

2

Shayn

15

Erry

ZXR750

5

Y

16

Barry

KLX650

6

Y

17

Brett

Pillion

6

Y

18

Noel

VTR1000

6

Y

19

Monique

GPX250

7

Y

21

Glenn

VFR750

7

Y

HR = Hotel Rooms

22

Spyder

ZX9

7

Y

MR = Motel Room

23

Gerard

Ducati 900

8

Y

24

Liz

Pillion

8

Y

25

Jimmy

RF900

8

Y

26

Simon

VFR750

8

Y

27

Amanda

CB 250

9

Y

28

Ross

Ducati 900SS

9

Y

29

Edwin

????

10

Y

30

Grant

????

10

Y

31

John

Monster 900

HR1

Y

32

Trevor

V MAX 1200

HR1

Y

33

Alan

BMW

HR8

Y

34

Dave

RGV250

HR9

Y

35

Rick

XJ650

HR9

Y

36

Edwin

VFR400

HR11

Y

37

Gary

Virago1100

HR11

Y

38

Geoffrey

ZX6

HR ?

Y

39

Mathew

ZZR250

HR ?

Y

 

 

 

 

Estimated Program Saturday 25th April & Sunday 26th April 1998

 

 

ITINERARY

TIME

DISTANCES

Depart Hexham

8:00am

Hexham - Gloucester 117kms

Quick Stop at Gloucester

9:30am

Gloucester - Taree 80kms

Stop at Taree for fuel

10:45am

 

Head off to Oxley Highway turnoff

11:00am

Taree - Oxley Highway - 67kms

Turnoff Pacific Highway to Wauchope

11:45am

Oxley Highway Turnoff - Wauchope 8kms

Reach Wauchope for lunch

12:00pm

 

Head off to Walcha

1:00pm

Wauchope - Walcha 159kms

Arrive at Walcha

3:00pm