Sunday we had been invited to ride with the Shadow Riders Australia's Queensland mob. Terry and I became a member of them when I joined up their forum a couple of months ago and they're a great bunch of guys and gals who answer my numerous questions happily. I'd mentioned a while back that Terry and I were going up to Queensland for our first big ride and immediately one of the blokes from up that way organised a ride for us!
We met them at about 8:30ish at the McDonald's in Indooroopilly, which was only two blocks from our accommodation.
At Indooroopilly we met Rayd who organised the ride, Daz and his son who guided the group through the tricky city bits of the ride, Chrisso and Highwayrunner. There was one other person that had indicated he would meet us here so we had coffee and waited a bit for him but he didn't turn up. We finished our coffee then headed for Blacksoil where we were to meet up with some more of the group.
When we arrived at the service station meeting place at Blacksoil I got an idea that this was a common sort of thing to happen here. The group we were with had about 11 bikes when we arrived and across the other side were about that many sports bikes all getting ready to head off on their ride. WOW
At Blacksoil we met up with Steve the Queensland forum co-coordinator, MRC who led our ride that day after giving cheek to Rayd and Sed. We also met a new member to the group Ant who unfortunately couldn't ride with us that day but decided to take the opportunity to meet some of the guys, I was kinda excited to see another girl then disappointed when I realised she wouldn't be riding. We've already threatened them with a return visit up north in the future so here's hoping some of the ladies will be able to join us next time.
There were 10 shadows riding together when we headed from Blacksoil to Esk for coffee. It's the first time I've ridden with a large group. I'd already asked Rayd to put me at the back of the group so I wouldn't hold too many people up, and he rode behind me, it made me feel safe knowing he was there. It felt a bit strange not following Terry, I've become used to that and I follow his lines often, so now I had to ride in a large group in a staggered formation, sticking to my side of the lane instead of just taking up as much as I felt like I wanted or needed. I followed the guy in front of me on my side, I think it was Sed and soon become comfortable enough with it to take in the scenery. Wow there was some gorgeous scenery, it's a shame I can't ride and take photos at the same time. One of the most awesome views was the one in front of me, there's nothing like being a part of such a large group of bikes riding like that, it's probably not something I feel the need to do every day but it's certainly something I wont forget in a very long time!! It looked incredible. Somewhere along that stretch I lost my P plate, Rayd said it sailed past his head ... eeek dangerous thing!!
|This isn't a shadow, but you knew that!! This Victory was out the front of the cafe at Esk and I couldn't resist a shot of it.|
Terry and I were carefully locking our helmets to our bikes when we were told that we still had a ways to go to get to the pub for lunch .. oops
So we went round the corner and up the road to the pub for lunch, we were to meet one more person here who would have been riding with us the rest of the trip to Yandina. We had planned to go to the ginger factory and stay overnight there before going back to Brisbane, but because we'd taken so long to get up here we decided to skip the Yandina leg of the ride and go back to Brisbane that night so we could spend some time with the family. Unfortunately that meant we wouldn't get to ride with Grasshopper or Spinal and Collie who met up with us while we were having lunch.
|Aparently this isnt technically a Shadow, tis a Honda VT1300cx but I'm saying it is a Shadow. It's in the right family and it's a monster!!|
Sed and MRC lead the way home for us, and after fuelling up, decided to just take us home the way we had come. They had been going to take us on a different route home, on the opposite side of the dam we'd passed earlier but I got a bit scared of doing those twisties so they kindly took the easy way home. MRC was again leading the way and he was taking it easy. He sat behind a caravan for a while, I think it was because he wasn't sure if I could overtake it though he never said that. We stopped at the next town along for a stretch and a smoke and before I'd even gotten off my bike some guy who had been in a van behind us had pulled up across the road and come over to have a go at MRC for going so slowly and not overtaking. MRC didn't want to argue so he just kinda walked away from the guy and came to have a smoke with me and Terry, but it's OK Sed went over to let the guy know how silly he looked stopping to abuse us cause he was in such a hurry when he could have been at least 20 minutes up the road if he hadn't stopped.
The one thing that struck me was that in the week or two before we were visiting there had been some bike gang related violence all over the news from up around that way, this guy looked like an accountant, but I'd say he was either stupid or brave to stop and abuse four bikes that looked very similar to Harleys and had leather clad people on them. When that guy pulled up we all still had helmets on, he had no idea what he was walking into and he's very lucky it was us in my opinion.
Anyway MRC continued to lead us til his turn off then Sed took the lead and showed us onto the motorway that took us home so we wouldn't get lost again, very nice of him as I think he didn't even need to go on that motorway to get home and had to double back a ways.
We both had an absolute ball that day, riding with those guys was wonderful, they were all so thoughtful of my noobness without pointing it out. I did some pretty tricky things and didn't screw up once or embarrass myself, they even got me doing a U-Turn without stressing about it the way I normally do. I was proud of myself and my riding seemed to just go like a dream that day. Although I have to admit that I totally screwed up the hill start when we got into Indooroopilly.
The next day we just took it easy, did some washing in the morning then headed to Terry's brother's place to spend the day with him and his wife. We sat around a fire keeping warm and just talking nonsense then they made us dinner. It was just the ticket after all the riding we'd done recently and I actually was kinda glad when I didn't have to get on the bike at all that day.
|Terry sitting in the garden at the apartment waiting for the washing to finish.|