Friday 25 April 2014 - ANZAC Day/Weekend Ride, Day 1

Lets go back a few years. At this stage, I had been doing longer and longer rides and started to collect a few motorcycles. Unfortunately, my paternal grandmother passed away at age 93. She died peacefully at home and the funeral brought many of her very large family back together.

Some of those who cam together were my cousin Peter and his brother-in-law, Kerri (married to Peter's sister, my cousin Janet) and myself. I was given a chance to share my passion for motorcycle riding, especially longer travels with Peter and Kerri. Since then, both have bought bikes. Peter's current ride is a Suzuki VX800 and Kerri has a Suzuki V-Strom and we have been trying to get together for a decent ride for a few years.

In the last year and a bit, my waife Karen has been teaching at the local Lutheran Primary School and in the room next door has been Mark, the Year 3 teacher. It turns out that Mark was a few years behind me at school and studdied with my younger brother. As with the case within Lutheran circles, Mark is also a distant relative, not uncommon for people from Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. Of course, Mark rides, otherwise he wouldn't be in this story now, would he?

So a plan was hatched and this one actually worked out. We decided that we would celebrate and remember ANZAC Day by enjoying one of the great pursuits that this great land offers us. Mark and I pushed off on Friday morning and rode across Mount Nebo, Mount Glorious, across to Lowood, Gatton and then to Allora. Some helmet camera video of the Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious part can be seen by clicking here. Peter and Kerri kicked off from Pittsworth and we all met at Allora at 11:35. Some lunch and then off we go.

Led by Kerri we rode along the "Sprint Route", a tourist drive that is all about the glory days of motoring along country roads and travels through Leyburn, home of the Leyburn Sprints. It is also home for Shane Webcke's Leyburn Hotel. Shane is famous for his rugby league days playing for the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australia. But he isn't famous just for his skill, it was the way he played the game and conducted himself off the field, with honour, dignity and respect.

We stopped for the obligatory photos but when we got ready to go, well my bike wouldn't start. What to do? Have a drink with the locals of course! They started turning up shortly after opening time; it was like the Pied Piper was in town. Really nice and sincere group of people.

The Leyburn Hotel

Opposite the Leyburn Hotel.

After that, it was time to crack the throttle and off to Inglewood and then Texas. Being ANZAC Day, there wasn't much open, which is just as it should be. However we could see that Texa wold be everything we have heard and read about and will be back.

The Stockman Hotel was previously known and the Royal Hotel and made famous by the Lee Kernaghan song Texas QLD 4385. The publican had to change the name because she wanted to promote a family friendly and motorcycle friendly image that did not fit with the lines:

At the set of daylight at the Royal Hotel
You get a beer get a feed get a fight as well

Unfortunately we did not have the time to stop in, but it is such a great ride that we will be back. The hotel looks great and extends real hospitality to riders. So after a quick refill, we hit the Texas - Stanthorpe road.

Have you read or heard about the Texas - Stanthorpe road? If so, I hope it was all good because I am here to tell you that it is a very, very good road for motorcycle riding. DO NOT take the shortcuts back to Stanthorpe, DO this road. Have I made myself clear enough?

Anyhow, off to a cabin put aside for riders in Severnlea and to one of the pubs in Stanthorpe for tea. We put on a Horizons Unlimited "The Achievable Dream" DVDs before hitting the sack.