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What a beautiful day for a ride. Clear skies. Great weather. Brilliant turn out.We got the SMS reminder with the ride details from our ride co-coordinator, the night before, 8:30am meet for a 9:00am leave. We arrived, we mingled, waited, mingled, waited.

Loz arrived and needed some mechanical assistance with her Harley. Unfortunately, we ride bikes but we don’t actually know anything about them. She had a sticky throttle. The boys gathered around her bike to offer all sorts of explanations and remedies but for now, she would have to persist with it.

So back to the waiting, mingling etc. 8:45am – no Stoney. 8:55am – no Stoney, then at 9:00am – he arrives. Then the penny drops. Stoney set the time for a 9:00am meet with a 9:30am leave. Rinse & repeat on the mingling and waiting.

Stoney gives us our ride debrief. He tells us that our fellow Ulyssean, Ricky (Chuckles) had to work today and could not make the ride. His work was moving to the industrial estate where Makin Mattresses is located and that we should ride by to show our support. Then we would head off to Aratula for morning tea, then to Allora for lunch. On the way home, we would head up to Toowoomba and come back via Warrego Highway. Our fare-thee-well stop would be at Smokey’s BP (not Loz’s BP).

First stop, Aratula, just a quick 85 kms down the Cunningham Highway. The “Boys in Blue” were out in force today and Stoney managed our speed very well to stay out of their sights. A nice relaxing coffee and snack at the BP at Aratula, a photo opportunity and then a chance to fix Loz’s Harley. She had used a half a tank of fuel to get to Aratula, so Stoney had a look, sprayed a bit of WD40 (out of High Beam’s bag) on her butterfly (that’s what I heard) and loosened up her sticky throttle.

Next stop, The Railway Hotel at Allora, a short stint of 68 kms further down the Cunningham/New England Highways. Allora is located about 160 kms southwest of Brisbane. It is a small town of about 900 residents. Allora is the birthplace to P.L. Travers (author of Mary Poppins) and Wayne Bennett (Broncos Coach).

On the way to Allora, we were passed by a group of riders (about 7 or so bikes) who were in a hurry to get somewhere. They passed us on the way up to Cunningham’s gap, which was fine, they were in an overtaking lane. We saw they stopped to regroup just past the top. They passed us a little while later as well but this time, they used the space between line markings, at speed, with oncoming traffic. If they had any patience, they could have just used the overtaking lane which was 2kms up the road. Karma is a bitch though, because we passed them again just a bit further down the road, three-quarters of them had missed their turn and had to turn around … hehehe.

We arrived at Allora’s Railway Hotel, quick photo, and then piled into the pub. Out the back and we had a very relaxing lunch. Service was quite slow but meals were big and very well priced. The salads that came with the meal had Mexican Cucumbers. They look like miniature watermelons. If you want to know how to grow them, Cackles has the link.

Just before we headed off, Loz asked Stoney “where do I stick it” (that’s what I heard). She, of course, was referring to the place where the WD40 needed to go to keep her throttle unstuck. Just a few jokes later and we were off.

Out of Allora, up the New England Highway, through Toowoomba traffic, down the Toowoomba range, avoid more “Boys in Blue”, on our way to the BP/McDonalds at Gatton. Another 100 kms to the Odo. Chance for us to have an ice-cream, refuel, chance for the chooks to gather and natter in the shade of the storage container. Handshakes, hugs and we all headed home. Thanks for everyone who turned up and thanks to Stoney & Maureen for Ride Leader/TEC duties.

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