A Planned Meeting.
So I get this message on Friday night from a friend.
I’m at this market for the weekend. You got time to come down and say G’day?
The message was from Dan over at Daily Bikers, he was up from Mexico… ahem, I mean, Melbourne.
Well, it is south of the border isn’t it?
I digress: He was going to be in the Northern Rivers area of NSW for a few days, and wondered if I had time to ride down from Brisbane to meet up for an hour or so.
Did I what?
Early summer, perfect riding weather, a maximum forecast temperature of 30°C (86°F), and a free day.
What more excuse do I need to go for a ride.
So on Sunday morning, The Pillion and I saddled up Bluey and headed for the Boondall round-about to pick up The Melting Man for the trip down south.
It’s about 185 km (115 miles) south down the Pacific Motorway, a boring run, but we figured it was better to do a quick trip first up due to the daylight saving time shift between states. That way we could meander back at our own pace later in the day via some of the twisty roads and maybe over Mt Tamborine.
I like daylight saving, the sun comes up at a reasonable hour during summer instead of 04:00, and you get a bit of time at the end of the day to tidy up loose ends at home after you finish work.
But they wont introduce daylight saving in QLD.
There have been a few attempts to bring it in over the years, but none have been successful. Something about confusing the cows and fading the curtains (?)
We arrived at a rest stop near Bangalow NSW at around 10:30 daylight saving time (AEDST) – 09:30 Brisbane time (AEST) to get our bearings.
I Googled our destination on my phone to see how much further we needed to go…10 more minutes and we’ll be there. Awesome!
I studied the map and memorised it perfectly… then promptly took us in a completely different direction to where we should have gone, and got totally lost… Nice country side though.
*sigh* Chuck a U-ie* and head back to where we started.
Right, take two.
A few minutes later we rolled into our destination, parked up and headed over to meet Dan at a local market.
Even though Dan and I have known each other since I started this blog around 3 years ago, we’ve only ever messaged or emailed each other: We’ve never met or spoken on the phone.
Last Sunday was the first time I’d met one of my online friends, and I have to say I was a bit apprehensive. It’s way out of character for me to meet people I’ve met online and I often find it hard to string two sentences together when I’m face to face with someone new… until I get to know them, then you can’t shut me up.
Having said that, there wasn’t any awkwardness in our meeting, the conversation flowed well, even with the occasional interruption from prospective customers. I really enjoyed putting a (real) face and voice to the words I’d been reading online for so long.
We spent about 1-1/2 hours together before the three of us saddled up again and headed for the Brunswick Heads Pub for lunch.
I recommend their snapper and salad by the way…. mmm – mmm, it filled the hole under my nose nicely, let me tell you.
At around 14:00 AEDST we pointed our bikes for home, north to Brisbane.
Years ago the Pacific Highway was a meandering stretch of black top – one lane each way in poor condition and busy with traffic at all hours.
The NSW Guv’mint has been bypassing many of the little towns that dotted the Pacific Highway with a new multi-lane motorway. The new road has taken much of the traffic away from the smaller towns and as a result the Old Pacific Highway is just about empty now.
Just as well too.
There’s a stretch of that old road between Murwillumbah and Brunswick Heads that crosses the Burringbar Range. This is 48km (30 miles) of the relatively smooth black top with mostly sweeping corners, and an average 80km/h (50mp/h) speed limit.
I’ve driven this stretch of road many times on our trips to Sydney before the new motorway was built, but I’ve never ridden it. After riding that road last Sunday, I’ve decided that it is worth the detour just to ride it again the next time we’re down this way.
Next time though, instead of pushing through (we were tight on time), I’m going to stop at a little town along the way called Mooball.
The locals must have a real sense of humor in this town, because everything is painted black and white like the spots on a Friesian cow. Plus they have the biggest YZR500 I’ve ever seen. It must be 2m (6 feet) to the seat.
We continued north over the border into QLD, stopping at Tugun only to re-fuel. From there we headed out to Oxenford and over Mt Tamborine as planned, popping out at Beenleigh on the Pacific Motorway. From there it was a quick blast over the Gateway and home.
The Pillion and I covered 510 km (316 miles) on Sunday, and not only did we get to meet one of my online friends, it was a good opportunity to test out the new seat I wrote about a few weeks ago.
In all it was a top day. Great friends, good food, and awesome roads.
What more could I ask for?
- AEDST: Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time
- AEST: Australian Eastern Standard Time
- U-ie: U-Turn